Video Games

GTA 6 gameplay leak: Will the hacker go to jail?

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We reveal below what punishment the hacker of what is probably the biggest leak in the history of Grand Theft Auto can expect. One thing is certain: The industry was thrown into turmoil by the leak at the end of 2022 – and the developer also suffered major damage.

What do you need to know about the GTA 6 gameplay leak?

After Rockstar Gaming confirmed in February 2022 that it was working on GTA VI, some details from the initial developments were hacked and published in September of the same year. Over 90 clips and screenshots were circulated by the hacker group Lapsus$, giving viewers a glimpse of GTA 6 gameplay. Not only the various characters are shown, but also some game scenes and areas on the map. In addition, savvy fans were able to discover some details about the game through this special insight.

A leak like this is a huge loss for the game manufacturer: after all, interested parties can take a look at the new release in advance and decide whether the purchase will be worthwhile for them at all. The anticipation for the game can also be minimised and fewer players will be tempted to buy it.

The developers are also confused in their planning. Worse still, their property can be used illegally and some contracts can be cancelled as a result. The hacker group Lapsus$ has therefore claimed responsibility for cybercrime, which has risen sharply in the years leading up to 2022. Moreover, this is not the only attack that the group has carried out to date. The hacker group has also targeted well-known companies such as Microsoft.

These details have come to light as a result of the leak

Fans and interested parties can now get an idea of some of the details of the upcoming game. The leaked screenshots and clips are being analysed in online communities and taken apart minute by minute to find out as much as possible about the gaming experience. These are just some of the features that have come to light:

  • Gigantic map: The leaked screenshots and recordings are said to reveal that the game’s map is significantly larger than usual. About twice as big as Los Santos in GTA V. There are said to be several large cities, but also smaller towns as well as lush lakes and bodies of water.
  • Lucia: Lucia will be one of the game’s new protagonists and has a partner with her, whose name we do not yet know. The leaks also show that Lucia is sent to prison at one point in the game (presumably after a major robbery attempt). It is assumed that the two are working together on a big score. It is not yet clear from the leak whether players will be able to control the two characters or simply follow their story.
  • Vice City: Based on the leaked material, it is assumed that the game will return to Vice City. This in turn probably mirrors Miami and is therefore likely to include beach sections, among other things.
  • Shooting in a moving car: It will presumably also be possible to draw your own weapon inside a vehicle. So far, however, this is just speculation that has been fuelled by the gameplay. Rumours are also circulating about whether new functions have been made available that make the game seem even more realistic – for example, eavesdropping on people and their conversations.

These are just a few of the many details that have come to light as a result of the leak. Fans are currently busy analysing the various screenshots and searching every section for clues. After all, it will be quite a while before the game is finally released on the market. Not everyone can handle this kind of suspense in the long term.

Who is behind the massive leak?

As previously mentioned, the hacker group Lapsus$ is behind the attack on Rockstar Gaming. More specifically, the then 17-year-old Arion Kurtaj, who was arrested in England immediately after the attack. Both the American FBI and the Department of Justice were involved in the manhunt. After his arrest, the initial conclusion was that Kurtaj was not fit to stand trial due to his autism spectrum disorder.

In the summer of 2024, a judgement was reached after all: Arion poses a continuing danger to the public. This is because his abilities and his persistent desire to continue committing cybercrime after his release do not allow for a more lenient judgement. Kurtaj should therefore be housed in a prison hospital – indefinitely. It is therefore a kind of life imprisonment that the hacker must now face. Only if the doctors can certify that the now 18-year-old no longer poses a danger and is no longer involved in the hacker attacks, does a release or mitigation of the sentence even seem possible.

A second hacker is also convicted

That’s not all you need to know about the case of the hackers behind the GTA 6 gameplay leak. A second hacker has also been convicted, but his sentence is much lighter (an expensive holiday is still available for him). Another 17-year-old from the now well-known hacker group must now undergo an 18-month rehabilitation programme. During this time, the adolescent will not only be under intensive surveillance, he will also no longer be allowed to use VPN services, among other things. The slightest slip-up during this time could result in an even harsher sentence.

Why is the penalty so severe?

However, the punishment is not only so severe because of the hacker’s skills: In addition to Rockstar Gaming, the hacker Arion had also attacked numerous other companies, as well as causing a great deal of damage. Also, because the young hacker showed no realisation and admitted to wanting to continue hacking after his release, a more lenient sentence could not be chosen. The hacker alone is said to have caused around ten million dollars in damage. The extent to which the other hackers in the Lapsus$ group can also be prosecuted is still unclear. There are also rumours of sexual harassment allegedly committed by the young hackers. These companies, among others, are said to have been among the group’s targets:

  • Microsoft
  • Samsung
  • Ubisoft
  • Revolut

This hacker group appears to have demanded ransoms after their attacks – in some cases successfully and in the millions. However, the various companies have not yet confirmed this. Explosive: Arion is also said to have made money through crypto-hacking activities – but the young adult has not yet disclosed the passwords to the corresponding crypto wallets.

Summary: hacker group has become known worldwide, but the price was too high

The gameplay leak for GTA 6 has made the hacker group Lapsus$ a name for itself – worldwide. The conviction took quite some time due to the complex aspects of the group’s cybercrimes, but some of the members are still at large. It is therefore impossible to say exactly whether there will be further convictions and details of the case. One thing is certain: The developer is suffering immense damage, similar to other companies that the group has already attacked.

Even if many fans were happy about the leaks, they are ruining a considerable part of the fun of the game. This is because players can no longer experience all the new discoveries in the game; they are already known in advance. In addition, a hacker attack can also have a detrimental effect on the release of the game and delay it unnecessarily – which is more than annoying for all players. It is to be hoped that this will no longer happen with future game releases, so that unnecessary excitement and scandals surrounding developers and games can be avoided. Whether the convicted hacker Arion can expect more leniency soon is questionable. We hope that he will soon realise that his whole life still lies ahead of him – even without hacking.