After Insomniac, Rockstar’s Biggest Leak Ever Proves the Industry is Holding Back

On December 25th, Rockstar suffered a massive data breach, probably its largest ever where the entire source code for Grand Theft Auto V was leaked to public, including and not limited to employee data, reference images, DLCs, maps and details on unreleased titles such as Bully 2 and Midnight Club 5.

The breach was part of GTA VI leaks of 2022 where the hacker allegedly got hold of GTA V’s source code. For the longest time, this code had been circulated internally and used by modders and developers for internal purposes. However, someone posted the secret files online, which are now openly circulating on the internet for anyone to access.

Take-Two Interactive is issuing DMCA takedown notices to links hosting the source code, but they have yet to fully contain the leak.

Eight GTA V Campaign DLCs Were Cancelled In Favour of GTA Online

After the leaked data was posted publicly, some people dove deep and found evidences of five add-ons and three story DLCs that were scrapped indefinitely, proving that Rockstar didn’t always intend to leave the game’s story the way it did.

Michael, Franklin & Trevor | GTA V

Similar to how Grand Theft Auto IV received story expansions through “Episodes from Liberty City,” Rockstar Games initially planned to do the same for Grand Theft Auto V. The three planned DLCs, which would have been released with five separate add-ons, were:

  • Agent Trevor
  • Prologue (North Yankton DLC)
  • LibertyV (Liberty City DLC)
  • SP Assassination Pack
  • SP Manhunt Pack
  • SP Norman Pack
  • Relationship Pack
  • Enterprise Pack

The first three of the leaked expansions point to a new, more expansive story after the events of GTA V, whereas the rest of the “packs” could have been add-ons that added new game mechanics and features, such as the ability to have a relationship in-game.

GTA Online Is to Blame for Scrapped Story DLCs—Or Is It?

Back in 2017, three years after the release of GTA V, Rockstar confirmed that the game wouldn’t be receiving any story-mode expansion content, primarily because they believed that the game was “very, very complete,” and because most of their efforts were focused on GTA Online, which seemed to bring in a decent amount of green to Rockstar.

The ‘Leslie Benzies’ Fiasco & the Role of Red Dead Redemption 2

In 2014, a major internal clash at Rockstar arose from differing visions for the studio’s future. Leslie Benzies, a key producer, wanted to move forward with GTA Online as the studio’s main direction for GTA, while the Houser brothers wanted to maintain a balance with single-player experiences.

This disagreement led to Benzies and a huge number of development staff (who were working on these expansions) departing, effectively pausing work on planned GTA V expansions. By late 2015 however, the main focus for Rockstar shifted to the development of Red Dead Redemption 2. Naturally, the game’s ambitious scope and the late addition of New Austin pulled all of what Rockstar had towards a single title.

Due to this, all work on other projects, including the prototyped Liberty City expansion was halted. On the other hand, the massive revenue generated from GTA Online gave Rockstar the financial security and backing it needed to keep going and working on RDR2.

Thus, while GTA Online isn’t solely responsible for “killing” the idea of GTA V story expansions, its success and the role of Leslie Benzies (in driving out important developers) undeniably impacted the trajectory that Rockstar Games eventually took.

Here’s Why Backlash to Rockstar’s Controversial Choice is Unjustified

On the surface, these claims might make it seem like Rockstar simply cancelled projects for easy money. However, the situation is often more nuanced. For example, consider the recent leak at Insomniac Games, where over 1.7TB of data was leaked, and revealed that the studio cancelled a multiplayer Spider-Man game titled “Spider-Man: The Great Web.” These leaks highlight the reality that shifting priorities and changing trajectories are common within the industry.

Internal studio decisions, especially sensitive ones, are rarely meant for public to see. The sheer volume of leaks in recent months clearly show that a concerning amount of confidential information is being put out, often exceeding what audiences truly need to know.


Muhammad Qasim

Qasim's deep love for technology and gaming drives him to not only stay up-to-date on the latest developments but also to share his informed perspectives with others through his writing. Whether through this or other endeavors, he is committed to sharing his expertise and making a meaningful contribution to the world of tech and gaming.