When leaving a job, the etiquettes dictates not to air the company’s dirty laundry. Where the limit lies between etiquette and civil or criminal responsibilities is a separate matter. This is well understood in the video game industry, where signing confidentiality agreements is commonplace. Even when some individuals seem to have no issues divulging everything in detail.
This has been the case with Obbe Vermeij, former Technical Director of Rockstar North, who worked for the company between 1995 and 2009. This developer recently chose to write an article on his blog discussing his experience working at the company, titled “Inside Rockstar North.” “Inside Rockstar North,” if you can’t read Hamlet in its original version. In this article, he covered the development of several GTAs, as well as various canceled projects like the spy game Agent or a zombie game called Z.
Why are we speaking in the past tense? Because obviously, good old Vermeij has received a call from his former colleagues at the studio. Or to be more precise, he received an email from the company. Although its content is not exactly what we expected.
According to Vermeij himself, people from the studio have contacted him to remove the post as they believe he is “breaking the mystique of Rockstar.” Vermeij doesn’t seem to attach much importance to it, but out of respect for his former colleagues, he has decided to delete this article, along with others related to his previous work. This decision is understandable, especially considering Rockstar’s reputation for legally pursuing those who speak about their time at the company.
In the future, Vermeij intends to continue writing about game development, as he has mentioned, but apparently not about his time at Rockstar. Only anecdotes he deems harmless. It’s disappointing but shows the extent of secrecy maintained by the company behind the mega-success of GTA.