Video game developer Rockstar confirms hack of popular Grand Theft Auto series

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Video game developer Rockstar Games on Monday confirmed the authenticity of a massive hack of development footage for the next entry in its popular Grand Theft Auto series, a leak that went viral on Sunday.

Rockstar Games said in a statement the development team was “extremely disappointed” in the unprecedented leak of game footage, expressing dismay that “details of our next game [were] shared with you all in this way.”

“Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto game will continue as planned and we remain as committed as ever to delivering an experience to you, our players, that truly exceeds your expectations,” the studio team wrote. “We will update everyone again soon and, of course, will properly introduce you to this next game when it is ready.”

At least 90 videos of the game were leaked over the weekend. Grand Theft Auto VI is a highly anticipated upcoming installment in the wildly popular series, which puts players in control of a character or characters involved with heists and crime inside of a free-roaming city.

Grand Theft Auto V, which first released in 2013, is one of the best-selling games of all time. Rockstar confirmed the sixth installment was in development earlier this year.

The leaked videos of the upcoming game were posted on the website gtaforums.com by a user named teapottuberhacker.

The footage shows a playable female character in what appears to be “Vice City,” a fictional city based on Miami in the Grand Theft Auto universe.

Most of the footage has been taken down since the hack, but gameplay seen by The Hill showed the playable female character robbing a diner before fleeing in a car with her male accomplice.

Other gameplay footage showed a male playable character cruising around the fictional city.

Rockstar Games on Monday said the hacker “illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems,” but that there was no longer a threat to the studio nor would the hack cause a delay in the game’s release.

“At this time, we do not anticipate any disruption to our live game services nor any long-term effect on the development of our ongoing projects,” they wrote.

The leak confirms details previously reported on by Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, including that there would be a female playable character and that the game would take place in Vice City.

Schreier tweeted on Sunday that “this is one of the biggest leaks in video game history and a nightmare for Rockstar Games.”

“One is that it’ll disrupt work for a while. Another is that it may lead management to limit work-from-home flexibility,” Schreier wrote. “The repercussions of this leak might not be clear for quite a while.”

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