For the last few days, Grand Theft Auto fans the world over have been revelling in the amount of information being shared by Obbe Vermeij, a former Rockstar North developer who worked on GTA III, Vice City, San Andreas, GTA IV and some of the various spin-off titles associated with those games. He left Rockstar North in 2009, and in the last week or so, took to the internet to share stories and long-lost secrets about the development of these games.
Unfortunately, Rockstar North has caught up with Vermeij and informed him that he must stop writing blog posts about his escapades, which have included features that never saw the light of day, how certain games came to be, and the technical side of how certain elements – like cheat codes – actually work.
Fun While It Lasted
Obbe Vermeij was a fountain of knowledge for all of about a week, telling us insider stories about some of our all-time favourite Grand Theft Auto games – San Andreas included. His tellings revealed a side of the development story that we rarely see, but it proved to be too much for Rockstar North.
It seemed that the straw that broke the camel’s back was the reveal of a zombie survival game that Rockstar Games was working on back in the 2000s. It was a complete diversion at that point from what Vermeij had been discussing thus far, and it was likely a step too far for Rockstar North. In his latest (and last) blog post, Vermeij explained that he’d been shut down:
I got an email from R*North.
Apparently some of the OG’s 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 piss 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.
Till then, Obbe.
It was a short-lived glimpse into the development of some of the greatest games ever made, but it has now come to a sudden and unfortunate end. There are still some blog posts live on Obbe’s page, but they’re technical in nature and answer questions about cars spawning, cheat codes working, and how weather systems work — interesting for a moment, but there’s no meat on the bones anymore, sadly.