The huge leak of videos of the next Grand Theft Auto VI game has sparked many harsh comments about the graphics of a game that is clearly still in production. Is it really useful?
We are not going to pretend that the elephant in the middle of the room does not exist: this weekend, dozens of videos of a – very small – game leaked on the Internet. This game is Grand Theft Auto VI. And you have surely seen, voluntarily or not, images of GTA 6 rotate on the Internet. It doesn’t matter: we would be lying ourselves if we dared to write that we hadn’t watched these videos. However, such an incident raises the question once again: what good does it do us, exactly, to have seen this?
One of the biggest leaks in video game history
So we learned this weekend that images of an old version of GTA VI have been published on a specialized forum. 90 videos and a ton of images, showing game footage in development, crippled with weird menus and internal dev tools. The authenticity of said images was quickly confirmed by Rockstar employees to Bloomberg and the person responsible for the leak even threatens to release more elements (he would be in possession of a playable version and part of the code source) if Rockstar Games management does not contact him.
It is indeed a major incident, and incidentally one of the leaks the heartiest in the history of the industry, but not the first either. Last year, the Polish studio CD Projekt (The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077) had undergone a similar intrusion and had seen certain sensitive data, including the source code of its games, being offered for sale on the Internet.
Re Grand Theft Auto VIRockstar reacted on Monday to confirm the intrusion into their internal network, and explains ” do not anticipate any long-term effects on the development of ongoing projects “. GTA VI will therefore be presented to the public when it needs to be, no matter how long it takes.
Behind the videos, there are teams working
Since the leak, hundreds of messages and videos posted on social media share the content stolen from the studio, despite Rockstar’s efforts to remove any presence from the Internet. This is a good opportunity to remember that no, the leaks are not good for video games. They maintain a toxic climate that serves the teams working behind the scenes on these projects.
The first reason is very simple: the creative process is also about choosing the moment to reveal your work to the public. This is valid everywhere: in the cinema, in music, in video games and even in the kitchen. In the case of Grand Theft Auto VI, we are talking about a particularly long production period, and therefore several years during which the game is not in a state to be shown. Added to this are marketing issues, distribution schedules and a whole communication process, which are potentially impacted by all of this.
We can have grievances against Rockstar, these are not the reasons that are missing. But lavishly relaying and commenting on the content of leaks thinking of being the Robin Hood of video games is not attacking the big bosses of Rockstar. It’s potentially slaving away hundreds of people who have been working on a game for years and didn’t ask to come to the office on Monday when they saw their work plastered all over the Internet.
No one asked our opinion on a game that isn’t even finished
More so, there is apparently talk of an older version of the game, which doesn’t actually reflect what it will look like when released. Yes, you have noticed intrusive text on the screen, characters that are not yet animated, and lines of dialogue that are missing. It’s normal, video games are not created by magic in the snap of a finger, ready to be marketed. Everything that can be seen in these videos may be subject to change, or even be removed from the project before its release in final version, if the teams decide so.
Giving an opinion on the content of the game, its playable characters or its mechanics does not therefore have any special meaning, since no one has knowingly decided to show us all that. No one wanted to introduce GTA VI to the players this weekend, to tell you about its characters or its city, and even less in this way. Would you go to your baker to tell him that his baguette, which has not yet been put in the oven, is not well baked?
To take the leaked content for granted — even though Rockstar has confirmed its authenticity — is kind of getting into the speculation game. To list all the secrets that can be seen there, to give one’s opinion on the presence of such and such a thing, is to maintain a hype unhealthy behavior that can demoralize people developing a game and lead players to form opinions about an unfinished product, creating undue expectations.
In the end, what players will have in their hands is the game in its commercial version. Falling into mistakes like this and profusely commenting on the content of the videos is therefore not only a disrespectful gesture towards the development teams, but when you think about it, it is also counterproductive when you expect a game like the Messiah. This is one of the best ways to generate unnecessary debate on the Internet, which is already full of it, and even risk a potential postponement, even negative reviews on release if ” planned content has disappeared from the game “.
There are other ways to see how video games are made
On the other hand, if you consider that such videos are interesting to know how the games are made, you are right. It’s always fun to look at how studios develop their games, you always learn a lot of things. There are, however, better, healthier and more respectful ways to do it. Take for example: here is a video of Miriam Bellard, artist at Rockstar North, which tells in broad and across how they rely on the scenography of the cinema to design their environments:
There even exists a 50 minute conference which details how Rockstar programmed realistic horses for Red Dead Redemption II.
The day after the leak, the hacker posted a short message on the forums, explaining that he was surprised by the number of reactions and messages he received during the night. He speaks of a message that has become unexpectedly viral “. As if he did not expect to see Rockstar react this way, and that thousands of people recover the videos of the game to put them online in turn. the official subreddit from the Serie Grand Theft Auto has also been suspended for several hours, and now displays a message prohibiting anyone from posting any images from the leak.
If these leaks have been so abundantly relayed, it is because GTA VI is arguably one of the most anticipated games of the decade. And if that’s the case, it’s also because the development and marketing teams have been working for years to make players want to wait for their games, choosing how and when to do so. It doesn’t matter the game, it doesn’t matter the studio, you have to respect that.
We can therefore ask ourselves the question: what good does it do us, to have seen all this? Not much. Past the morbid curiosity, our life as a player will not be deeply upset because we were able to see a character walking around in an imperfect version of GTA VI. It’s even a safe bet that everyone will have forgotten the content of the videos in a few months. The developers will not have forgotten it. And it is by continuing to get excited about leaks that we perpetuate this toxic thought pattern.