Sunday, September 25

Why the Grand Theft Auto 6 leak is bad for everyone | Digital Trends Spanish


After years of hype, fans finally got their first look at grand theft auto 6 this weekend, but not in the way that Rockstar Games intended.

In the dead of Saturday night, a GTAForums user posted a bomb: 90 videos taken from an early version of grand theft auto 6. On Monday morning, Rockstar publicly confirmed the authenticity of the clips, noting that they were stolen in a “network intrusion.” The developer says the breach won’t have any “long-term effect” on the project, lamenting that its creators are simply disappointed that it was revealed that way.

While it may not change much for the development cycle of grand theft auto 6, the leak has already sparked some heated reactions and debates. Some have complained about how the unfinished build looks, well, unfinished. Others have used it as another way to immerse themselves in the recently released Saint’s Row, joking that the rough footage of GTA already looks better than a fully finished game. The developers grieve for their peers whose work-in-progress is now being dissected by fans who might not really understand what they’re seeing. On top of all that, there are plenty of genuinely curious viewers who are excited to see how the sausage is made. That has prompted calls for the usually secretive video game industry to offer more transparency to help gamers better understand how much work goes into making a game.

In the confusing aftermath of the unprecedented leak, there is one question that has lingered on my mind for the past 24 hours: What does anyone really gain from seeing the first images of grand theft auto 6?

The mother of all leaks

If gamers seem surprised by this weekend’s Grand Theft Auto 6 leak, that’s because it’s truly shocking. While game companies are no strangers to hacks (just check out CD Projekt Red), it’s highly unusual for actual development footage of a game to come out early. Major developers tend to keep games of this scale locked behind closed doors, only showing carefully prepared trailers and gameplay late in a game’s development cycle. See a game like GTA6 in such an early state it’s like watching Bigfoot stroll through a CVS.

What makes this moment especially amazing is that it’s happening with perhaps the most anticipated video game of all time. For the better part of a decade, GTA fans have been hungry for information on the sequel. That has created an obsessive culture around him, one that is always on the hunt for leaks and inside information. While the game’s development has received a TMZ treatment from traffic-hungry press and influence-chasing Redditors alike, Rockstar Games has kept its head down during the endless tide of gossip. It has only aired once to confirm that the game is indeed in development.

Those years of anticipation are now gone with a groan. Instead of entering the world of GTA6 with a carefully put together trailer, fans have now seen it through a series of rough vignettes drawn from an early build. While he is unlikely to affect the final outcome of the game, he does put a damper on the eventual reveal of him, for better or worse.

Although there is a fair amount of sympathy for Rockstar amid the leaks, others see this as a potentially positive moment. These leaks give players a rare chance to see what a game actually looks like when it’s in development, demystifying the process. Some reactions have gone so far as to hint that a leak like this could be avoided altogether by giving players a peek behind the curtain more often.

While it’s a sweet thought, there are a few plot holes. At a fundamental level, developers simply don’t owe anyone that level of access. We don’t expect this kind of transparency from any other art medium. No one is asking bands to release unmastered drum tracks while they work on a new album. Moviegoers don’t demand to see newspapers from film sets with actors standing in front of a green screen. Writers are not expected to publicly share early drafts of their novels. So why should a developer share pre-alpha images of a game they’re working on? Why turn the artistic process into one more product to consume?

That’s not to mention that the gaming industry isn’t totally secretive about how games are made. You can go to the Game Developers Conference YouTube channel right now and watch several hour-long talks detailing in great detail how some of the biggest AAA games came to be. In fact, you can see Rockstar delve into what it was used for create horses in Red Dead Redemption 2. Anyone who wants to see how games are made at a high level can do so with relative ease.

There is value in transparency when it comes to craftsmanship. It can help players understand how difficult it is to make games and promote kinder attitudes towards developers. But those resources do exist, through talks, dev diaries, and more. Rockstar can, and sometimes does, deliver that information without taking players through each step of the journey.

Expectation management

If the conversation around the leaks of GTA6 is an indication, there are more reasons to keep it secret. Some of the immediate reaction to the images is already evidence of that, with a subset of players complaining about how the build looks, a frustrating response to a work-in-progress never intended for public consumption.

However, there is a more practical reason for the lack of transparency. While players have had a wish list of things they’d like to see in the game for years, they now have specific expectations. One sequence shows an armed robbery, with the game’s two heroes holding up a fast food joint. Even in its early state, it’s a promising sequence that reflects the tension of a Hollywood heist scene. What if the reach of the giant balloons from the open world game and the sequence is finally left on the cutting room floor?

Being strategic about when and how a game is shown is as much a self-defense mechanism as it is a marketing gimmick. It helps studios guide player expectations by giving them a realistic idea of ​​what they’ll be doing in the game. When studies promise too much, it tends to be a recipe for disaster. Just look at the negative response to 343 Industries abandoning split-screen co-op from halo-infinite. Features like that are often cut from games during development without players knowing it, preventing anyone from getting too attached to anything.

In our latest dev update, members of the 343 Industries team discuss the studio’s priorities, player experience goals, and offer details on what you can expect with #HaloInfinite in the coming months. https://t.co/C8jAYzZ3Jf pic.twitter.com/LSeEwE22Na

— Halo (@Halo) September 1, 2022

When grand theft auto 6 finally comes out, it will now be subject to an additional layer of scrutiny. You’ll likely see fans comparing the final game to the leaked videos and dissecting what has changed. And while that will be an informative experience for anyone who really wants to see how games are made, it’s a potential nightmare for Rockstar depending on how much the release changes between now and then.

This weekend’s leak is fascinating as social media gossip, but that’s about all it’s ultimately good for. There is no positive result; it’s just a logical occurrence in a culture that is obsessed with inside information. Developers walk away disappointed, a potentially exciting time for fans has fizzled out, and everyone now has skewed expectations for the final product. This offers no respite from gaming’s annoying hype cycle; it just oversizes it.

Waiting nearly a decade to see a new game can feel like torture at times, but patience is a virtue here. There’s no point in spoiling dinner by eating raw cookie dough before it, as tempting as it may be.

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