A massive leak of early gameplay footage from the highly anticipated “Graft Theft Auto VI” video game is authentic, devastated developer Rockstar Games confirmed on Monday.
The developer said it had “suffered a network intrusion” in which a hacker illegally breached its systems and “downloaded confidential information,” including “early development footage” from the unreleased game. The hacker leaked the footage, which spread widely on social media even as the company scrambled to take down the videos.
“We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all in this way,” the studio said. “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.”
Rockstar did not provide further details on the extent of the breach. The developer said it does not “anticipate any disruption” to service for its network of games and does not expect a “long-term effect” on its development of unreleased projects.
Shares of Rockstar Games’ parent company, Take-Two Interactive, were down more than 1% in early trading Monday.
The hacker posted a file with 90 videos of unreleased gameplay footage to an online forum on Sunday morning and has threatened to “leak more data soon” – potentially including the game’s source code.
The individual said “I am looking to negotiate a deal” to prevent release of more sensitive data.
Rockstar Games employees were “stunned” by the leak, with some questioning the potential long-term implications for the game’s development, according to Bloomberg.
The hack marked a setback for what is considered one of the most lucrative and successful video game franchises in the industry.
The last installment in the “Grand Theft Auto” series has remained popular since its release in 2013 and had sold nearly 170 million copies as of August. It is the best-selling game of the last 10 years, according to data from NPD Group.
Take-Two Interactive’s stock surged earlier this year when company executives first confirmed “Grand Theft Auto VI” was in development earlier this year.