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News video games 23 November 2023, 03:34

author: Maciej Gaffke

Former Rockstar North Dev Upset Colleagues; Had to Wipe Blog Where he Revealed Old Secrets

After saying a few words too many, Obbe Vermeij - a former employee at Rockstar North - had to stop writing about older projects of the GTA developers. However, we can still learn some interesting things from his past blog posts.

Source: Rockstar Games

In early November, Obbe Vermeij, who worked at Rockstar North studios as technical director for almost fourteen years (1995-2009), launched a blog, where he shared various trivia from his time working on the studio's older games. It seems that the developer spilled too much beans, as he was forced to stop "freely" writing about the behind-the-scenes of his former job.

  1. In one of the posts Vermeij told more about things like the canceled game called Agent, which was to be a spy game set in the Cold War era, modeled on the adventures of James Bond (which is why it was codenamed Jimmy).
  2. According to the author of the blog, Agent was to be a linear game. The action was to take place in different corners of the world, such as in a French city on the Mediterranean Sea, in Cairo and even in outer space.
  3. Work on the project took a year, but as the priority game at the time was GTA V, the company became less and less eager to invest in the spy story. The development team of Agent tried to speed up the pace of development by cutting out sizable chunks of it, but the title went to another in-house studio and was ultimately never completed.

Obbe Vermeij also presented some information about the ideas for a game starring zombies that Rockstar Games was planning. The game was given the working title "Z".

  1. The game used the source code of GTA Vice City, and the action was to take place on a mysterious Scottish island.
  2. Players were to be in a state of constant danger of attack by the living dead, and to move they had to use a variety of vehicles, requiring, among other things, fuel (let's note that the very idea resembles the mechanics known from Days Gone).
  3. Apparently, the project was in pre-production for several months. It was eventually deemed "too depressing a game" and was abandoned in favor of GTA 4.

Work on San Andreas from "behind the scenes" and Vermeij's possible return to blogging

In addition to these two unrealized games the former Rockstar North employee revealed some details from the development process of the much-loved GTA San Andreas. Vermeij revealed that the "brass" wanted to have three cities (i.e. Los Santos, San Fierro and Las Venturas) in this game, which would be on separate maps.

The developer, on the other hand, insisted on placing them in a single space so that players could move comfortably between them. In the end, the idea of Vermeij and the team was adopted.

There were many more similar stories on the aforementioned blog, but after the "reprimand" from Rockstar Games, only a few posts remained, and those are unrelated to such "trivia" from the past, as well as a final farewell.

"Apparently, some of my former colleagues are upset with this blog. I really didn't think anyone would be bothered by me talking about games from 20 years ago. Unfortunately, I was wrong. [...]," announced Obbe Vermeij in a recent post.

The author notes that this is the end of his anecdotes on the Internet. However, he does not rule out that he will try again in another ten or twenty years.

Let's point out that Vermeij was involved in the development process of such games as GTA 3, Vice City, San Andreas or GTA 4, so he could tell us many more interesting facts.

Rockstar Games, on the other hand is preparing currently to officially unveil the first trailer for GTA VI, which is expected to be released in early December.

Maciej Gaffke

Maciej Gaffke

At, deals with writing news. Graduated in Polish philology and sightseeing and historical tourism at the University of Gdansk, which is related to his other "non-game" interests - history, books, and travel. As for video games themselves - once a fan of FPS, now converted to action-adventure games. Also interested in fighting games (especially Mortal Kombat), RPGs, and all titles focused on single-player. From time to time, likes to play tennis, volleyball, or football. Proud resident of Pomerania and Puck.