On Sept. 18, 2022, a tweet and Reddit post claimed video game developer Rockstar Games "confirmed" a former employee named Samuel W. Hyde was the source of leaked videos of "GTA VI," the yet-to-be-released video game in the decades-old Grand Theft Auto series. The posts read, "BREAKING: Rockstar Games confirmed that GTA VI did in fact get leaked by a former employee named Samuel W. Hyde. Rockstar has not made any further comment about the leak or the game itself."
While it was true that the company suffered what it called a "network intrusion" that revealed "early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto" game — which fans have dubbed "GTA VI" and doesn't yet have an official name — the rumor that a person named "Samuel W. Hyde" committed the act was nothing more than a long-running internet gag.
As we've reported in the past, the name "Sam Hyde" or "Samuel Hyde" often gets quickly posted following breaking news of high-profile crime stories, mainly mass shootings. These social media posts claim, apparently as a running joke, that Hyde, a comedian, was confirmed as the shooter. The usage of Hyde's name grew so frequent that KnowYourMeme.com created a page just for the joke.
After the above-displayed tweet about Hyde was posted, Rockstar Games addressed the rumor. In a statement, the company said that "an unauthorized third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information." The illegal activity led to the posting of several videos on YouTube and other websites that allowed the entire planet to see the "early development footage" of the new GTA game, which is, perhaps, still far from being released for purchase.
The message did not refer to the in-question game as "GTA VI," like the tweet and Reddit post did. Rather, the statement simply referred to the game as "the next Grand Theft Auto":
In sum, no, Rockstar Games did not confirm a person named "Samuel W. Hyde" leaked content pertaining to "GTA VI" in September 2022. The name appearing on social media following big news is nothing more than a long-standing internet joke.
This story will be updated if any further details come to light.
Note: The author of this article was employed by Rockstar Games from 2010 through 2013.