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Former GTA dev’s blog shut down after Rockstar Agent and zombie reveals

Rockstar disliked that
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Former GTA developer Obbe Vermeij, who’s worked titles like San Andreas, Vice City, and GTA 4 has deleted most of the content of his blog, in which he provided some interesting looks behind the scenes of Rockstar Games – apparently to the dismay of his former colleagues.

Vermeij got an angry message from Rockstar, which made him shut down a majority of posts on his website as of November 22, 2023.

He wrote: “Apparently some of the OGs there are upset by my blog. I genuinely didn’t think anyone would mind me talking about 20 year old games but I was wrong. Something about ruining the Rockstar mystique or something. Anyway, this blog isn’t important enough to me to p*** off my former colleagues in Edinburgh so I’m winding it down. I’ll maybe just leave a few articles with anecdotes that don’t affect anyone but me. I would love for Rockstar to open up about development of the trilogy themselves, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon. Maybe I’ll try again in a decade or two.”

GTA San Andreas

Obbe Vermeij has worked at Rockstar North, including on the development of San Andreas.

Enter the Streisand effect, which has more people than ever interested in the contents of the blog now. Just to give you an idea: A post from November 11, 2023, revealed that some of the employees at Rockstar North wanted to take a break from GTA after Vice City and settled on making a zombie survival game after the artists in the company had pushed for that direction. However, the game with the working title “Z,” based on Vice City’s code base, was only worked on for a very short time – a month or so, according to Vermeij – before being abandoned.

Instead, the team got on with San Andreas, after which it once again wanted a break from GTA. Turning some stuff from San Andreas into a spy game demo, the staff at North impressed the offices in San Diego and New York City enough to get the go ahead on making a spy title called Agent, which was announced back in 2009. That way at least half the team could do something else than GTA (the others went on with GTA 4).

“Classic James Bond. The vibe was very cool,” Vermeij wrote. “We really got going on this one and worked on it for over a year. I remember working on a downhill skiing chase scene with guns for instance.”

However, progress stalled and GTA 4 called for ever more manpower and resources. Despite cutting out content, the team never managed to finish Agent before everyone was drafted for work on Rockstar’s biggest IP once again: “It became clear that Jimmy was going to be too much of a distraction for us and we ditched it. I think it was handed over to another company within R* but never got completed.”

Anyway, you can still read the old blog entries on the Web Archive. Looking away from the past and into the future, the first GTA 6 trailer will be released in early December 2023, Rockstar has announced.