Video Games: The successful GTA franchise undergoes a large-scale “hack”

Posted on September 19, 2022, 5:23 pm

Electronic Arts, Capcom, Ubisoft, CD Projekt…and now Take-Two Interactive. The list of popular video game publishers who are victims of cyber-attacks continues to grow. This time, the “hack” relates to the leading franchise of the American publisher, Grand Theft Auto, in particular the currently in development and awaited by tens of millions of players around the world: “GTA VI”.

This weekend, a user posted dozens of videos of a prototype of the game on the GTAForums community site with a link to several dozen other videos, which is a pretty big “leak” of such a game. Claiming to be behind last week’s Uber hack, the latter asserts that it has the source code for “GTA VI” and “GTA V”.

“As always with hacks of this kind, you have to use the conditional, but it seems that the hacker got his hands on the source code for GTA VI, but not the central one. In the screenshots we see, they are rather elements of dialogue or interaction between the characters of the game, as he explains Jerome Belloa, cybersecurity expert at Wavestone. This is not personal player data, but technical data used in game design.”

“The main risk is reputation”

However, the hacker’s content quickly went viral, despite requests for removal from Rockstar Games (the studio behind the game’s development and a Take-Two property) which realized, on Monday at the beginning of the afternoon, that it had been the victim of a cyber attack. In his messages, the hacker said he wanted to negotiate directly with Rockstar Games and Take-Two, threatening them with more “leaks” in the event of non-payment.

“With what has been stolen, it is possible to circumvent the game’s anti-copy system, to find loopholes to be able to cheat. Nothing is too expensive or too problematic for Take-Two, as the main risk for them is reputation and image”, as Jerome Belloa says:

“It also causes them to lose control of the connection around the game,” Julian Bilott, educator and researcher at the Inseec School of Business and Economics abounds. This will also slow down the development of ‘GTA VI’ because Take-Two will have to request an external audit, toughen the verification process. internal so it doesn’t happen again, and check that there is no collusion between their teams. It will also hurt their bottom line because they will have to increase their spending on cybersecurity.” Need to avoid another bad fuss of the same proverbs. Especially since the GTA franchise is Take-Two’s cash cow and no new co-op is released every four days.

A huge turnout in the video game industry

Since the release of “GTA V” in 2013, no new part in the franchise has seen the light of day. In its nine years in operation, the title has sold nearly 170 million copies, a stratospheric level making it the third best-selling video game in history, by volume, behind Minecraft (Microsoft) and the unclassifiable Tetris. In terms of value, “GTA V” has generated an estimated $8 billion in revenue since 2013, making it the most profitable cultural property in history, far ahead of “Avatar” or “Avengers: Endgame”.

Even today, the game sells several million copies every three months. Extraordinary longevity spanning three generations of home consoles (PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series) which is particularly explained by the “GTA Online” mode (accessible for free to players who purchased “GTA V”). “). In this persistent, multiplayer universe with no predetermined objective, “players” can roam as they please, find each other, or sometimes create content themselves.

And microtransactions, for various bonuses, are many. Success and profitability explain why Rockstar Games left time to move forward with “GTA VI”. When the game’s development was formalized in February, Take-Two stock jumped 7%. On Monday, the title was down just over 1% at the start of the session on Wall Street.

Leave a Comment