This year has been one hell of a year for Rockstar Games, with a few acquisitions, more remasters, GTA Online updates, and finally, the reveal of Grand Theft Auto VI towards the end of the year.
Lets take a look at what has happened this year, from the start of the year all the way to the end of the year in which December was a busy Month for Rockstar News.
Starting the New Year with a Bang
At the start of 2023 GTA Online players were welcomed to the lobbies by being randomly banned. Hackers found a way to delete and/or ban peoples GTA Online profiles on PC. The exploit got out of hand with thousands of players being affected. It took Rockstar a few days to sort it out, but eventually, a patch was released to fix it and Rockstar Games even put out a Statement to say they have acknowledged it.
Then we move onto February where not really much happened throughout the Month when it comes to Rockstar Games. Although the Parent Company of Rockstar Games known as Take-Two Interactive announced they were going to be making job Layoffs as a way to save $50 Million annually.
Max Payne Remake update
Towards the end of April, Remedy Games gave the community an update on the Max Payne Remakes over a year after they first announced them. They informed the community the remakes have finally left the Concept Development Stage and have entered the Proof Of Concept Stage.
Rockstar Games announced at the Start Of June that an upcoming update for GTA Online will be released called San Andreas Mercenaries. The update was released on June 13th 2023 and brought Junk Energy Time Trials, Career Progress allowing players to unlock items as a reward for completing certain tasks. 17 New Vehicles were added to the game, but it didn’t stop there, Rockstar Games had to do something to piss everybody off. So they went and removed almost 200 ‘Lesser used’ vehicles from GTA Online.
The update overall was quite a fun update, adding a lot of content for players to take advantage of, but like with every GTA Online update. The content becomes very repetitive very fast and then you’re waiting 6 months for the next update.
The community then received some sad news, Einstein the Motion Capture dog that played Cain the camp dog in Red Dead Redemption 2 sadly passed away.
Acquisitions in August
On August 11th, it was revealed that Rockstar Games had acquired cfx.re the team behind FiveM and RedM, the largest Modding servers for Grand Theft Auto. This was exciting for the community as it allows cfx.re to have the correct resources and man power to expand and make FiveM / RedM bigger than it already was.
The a few days later, it was revealed that Standard Deviation a company that focuses on Motion Capture, had been acquired by Rockstar Games and rebranded to Rockstar Los Angeles.
Michael Unsworth the Vice President of Writing also left Rockstar Games after 16 years with the company. Michael then went onto join Ex Rockstar Games Co-Founder Dan Houser at his company Absurd Ventures.
Finally in August, Rockstar Games announced and released a port of Red Dead Redemption 1 for the Nintendo Switch & PlayStation 4, which was also backward compatible for the PS5. All it brought was better graphics and a better Frames Per Second. Rockstar also thought it was a good idea to charge $50 for this port……
Nothing much really happened in September and hardly anything happened in October, we did get an update on the Max Payne remakes again though, with Remedy Games announcing that the games have left Proof Of Concept stage after 6 Months and have now entered Production Readiness Stage.
GTA 6 Hype begins
On the 8th November 2023 in the early hours, Jason Schreier from Bloomberg told the world that a Trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI will be revealed in December 2023. This led to the Internet to almost go into Meltdown.
Fast forwarding a few hours into the afternoon and Rockstar Games surprised everybody with a Statement from Sam Houser, it started off acknowledging the company reaching its 25th anniversary and then announcing that a Trailer for the next Grand theft Auto Game will be revealed in Early December. This sent the internet into literal Meltdown.
This then led to the Tweet announcing the Trailer to become the Most Liked Gaming Tweet of all time on X (Formerly Twitter) in just a few hours after it was published.
It was also announced the same day that Grand Theft Auto V had now sold 190 Million Copies Worldwide and the entire series selling 410 Million Copies.
A couple of weeks later towards the end of November a new GTA Online update was announced. Now known as The Chop Shop update. With Rockstar Games revealing that Yusuf Amir from GTA 4 will be returning.
December 2023 – From GTA Online update to GTA 6 Trailer
On 3rd December, A video surfaced on TikTok where somebody had captured Grand Theft Auto VI gameplay footage from a computer at the home of Aaron Garbut, the head of Development at Rockstar North.
The on December 5th 2023, Rockstar Games finally revealed Grand Theft Auto VI. We started off with a countdown timer, but then somebody went and leaked the Trailer early and posted it on X (Twitter) forcing Rockstar Games to release it around 14 hours early. The Trailer, as everybody can agree was insane. The trailer then went and broke multiple records, becoming the most watched Trailer within 24 hours & Most viewed none music video on YouTube in 24 hours. The Trailer earned 90,421,491 views in which it was previously held by MrBeast who had 59.4 Million Views. The Trailer then went and reached 100 Million Views just after 24 hours, it now stands at over 160 Million Views.
On December 12th, Rockstar Games released The Chop Shop update for Grand Theft Auto: Online. Bringing back Yusuf Amir from GTA 4. It also for the first time in 10 years allowed players to store Police Vehicles in their Personal Garages. The update also brought a new property called the Salvage Yard and a new variety of missions were made available.
Then on December 18th, it was unfortunately announced that James McCaffrey, the well known American Actor and his role as the Voice of Max Payne had sadly passed away the day before after his battle with Cancer.
GTA 6 Hacker Sentenced
The kid behind the hacking of Rockstar Games, in which 90 Videos of Grand Theft Auto VI were leaked to the world was then sentenced on December 21st. Arion Kurtaj, who is 18 years old, was sentenced to Life In Hospital meaning he will stay in a secure Hospital in a Prison until doctors think he is no longer a danger to the public or businesses.
Then on Christmas Eve, the Source Code for Grand Theft Auto V was leaked online. This was originally sold on the Black Market by Arion Kurtaj for around $2000 back in September 2022. This source doe revealed a lot of internal cancelled projects, such as the 8 planned cancelled Single-player updates for GTAV, Map designs and concept arts for Agent and Bully 2 and much more.
GTA+ continues to grow
Take-Two Interactive continues to let investors know that GTA+ is doing better than expected and keeps growing, GTA+ is a very Controversial product within the community due to it being a subscription service for GTA Online. This year players have been handed plenty of free Properties. New, old and exclusive ones such as the Vinewood Club Garage. This year, GTA+ members also saw the introduction of the Vinewood Car Club which offers 10 different vehicles each month for members to Test drive, and purchase at a huge discount.
The Rockstar Games and CircoLoco partnership continues. With Artists continuing to partner up with them to release songs. It still looks like there isn’t much interest in the partnership within the community and it also seems as though Rockstar Games & Circoloco haven’t done as much as they could have this year, with there being multiple 3 Month gaps between doing anythng.
2023 was for sure a year for Rockstar Games, in both bad ways and good ways. We’re excited to see what happens in 2024, especially with more information regarding Grand Theft Auto VI.