Rockstar Hits Original GTA Developer With Copyright Strike for Sharing Early Game Footage

Grand Theft Auto creator Mike Dailly has been hit with copyright strikes for his own work.

Dailly was one of the founders of DMA Design, which eventually became Rockstar North and was responsible for the original Grand Theft Auto. But after he posted prototype videos and old design documents to social media, Rockstar issued the creator with a number of copyright strikes.

“I see Rockstar are going full f*****s mode again, issuing copyright strikes to any GTA video they can find – including both my prototype videos,” he said through Twitter. “So, now they’re trying to block all release of anyone’s work on a game – and any old development footage.”

Two videos on Dailly’s YouTube account were affected, both showing prototype renders from early graphics engines that Dailly himself had developed in the early 90s for us on Grand Theft Auto. One was a rotating isometric prototype while the other depicted the top-down style that the franchise is famous for.

Dailly also removed links to a 25-year-old design document for GTA2 that he posted on Twitter.

He told PC Gamer that the reason for the takedown was for posting development footage without permission.

“I’ve now removed all GTA dev stuff,” he said through Twitter. “Only direct examples of my own work are left – work that was never used in GTA, but ‘inspired’ parts of its evolution.”

Dailly also teased another Grand Theft Auto design document that would now “never see the light of day”.

The developer also designed Lemmings and worked for several years with YoYoGames on the popular game design software, GameMaker: Studio. He regularly posts about game design concepts on social media, lending help and advice to those who seek to follow in his footsteps.

Considering Dailly’s ongoing commitment to game development, it’s easy to see why he might be frustrated by Rockstar’s actions. As the original Grand Theft Auto developer, there’s a certain value in him passing his knowledge and expertise on to the next generation of devs.

IGN has reached out to Rockstar for comment and will update the story if they respond.

Every IGN Grand Theft Auto Review

Additionally, the original Grand Theft Auto and GTA2 are unable to purchase anywhere… making it difficult to see how the sharing of such documents could impact their business in any way. Especially since the games are decades old at this point.

Still, Dailly has since taken steps to remove any offending material… and it looks as though we won’t be getting any more peeks into the history of GTA. At least, for now.

Want to read more about Grand Theft Auto? Here’s what we know about GTA VI so far, and take a look at every upcoming Take-Two game.

Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.

Leave a Comment