Maybe it'll be a PS5 exclusive?
You can finally give up hoping it’s real (Picture: Rockstar Games)

The secrets behind James Bond homage Agent and a previously unknown zombie game have been revealed by a former Rockstar North developer.

Grand Theft Auto Is arguably the biggest media franchise in history and yet there is almost no information about who made the games or what it’s like to work at developer Rockstar North. Rockstar founders Sam and Dan Houser give the very occasional interview (although Dan has left now) but that’s it in terms of official communication.

Why Rockstar is like that has never really been explained (something about not wanting individuals to seem more important than the team as a whole) but they tend to get very upset if anyone breaks the enforced vow of silence, which explains why former technical director Obbe Vermeij has had to stop updating his blog.

Although it’s still live, it now only contains a few dry, technical details, whereas earlier in the week it was filled with secret information about the mythical Agent, a multiplayer mode for GTA 3, and a previously unknown zombie game.

Agent was originally announced as a PlayStation 3 exclusive back in the summer of 2007. Although the only thing that was officially revealed was a logo and the fact that it was set in the 70s during the Cold War.

Vermeij states that the game had a heavy James Bond influence (its codename was Jimmy), with plans for the game apparently starting off with a demo of a ‘hang glider and a car turning into a submarine or something.’

Apparently, it was to have been more linear than GTA and include locations such as Cario, a French Mediterranean city, a Swiss ski resort, and a ‘big shootout with lasers in space’. So not only very James Bond but very specifically the campier Roger Moore era – which seems a surprising choice for Rockstar.

At first, fully half of Rockstar North were working on the game, for more than a year, but progress was slow and it began to be seen as a distraction from working on GTA 5. Jimmy was then passed over to another, unnamed, Rockstar studio before being completely abandoned.

Because Rockstar never confirmed that Agent had been cancelled speculation carried on for years that it was still happening, but in reality it seems it was only really in active development for a relatively short period.

Agent - did it ever exist?
These accidentally leaked screenshots are the only visual evidence of Agent’s existence

None of that is unusual for video game development, where projects get cancelled or redesigned all the time, but Vermeij’s other big revelation is a previously unsuspected zombie game codenamed Z.

Z was based on tech created for GTA San Andreas and was set on a ‘windswept foggy Scottish island’. (One of the most frustrating aspects of Rockstar’s secrecy is that only hardcore fans realise that Rockstar North is based in Scotland, especially as it’s the only studio whose location isn’t part of its name.)

Although there’s no suggestion that it was a survival game in the modern sense it does sound an awful lot like DayZ, as you had to secure fuel for vehicles and avoid constant attacks from zombies. Development lasted even less time than Agent though, and Rockstar abandoned the idea to work on GTA 4 instead.

The final big revelation is that, at one point, seminal PlayStation 2 game GTA 3 was supposed to have multiplayer options, including deathmatch. This involved dragging other players out of cars to kill them but while it did work it was glitchy and Rockstar gave up as they’d run out of time to finish the game.

Vermeij left Rockstar in 2009, so there’s no hoping he’d know anything about GTA 6, but the blog is still live at the moment, if you want to read his non-controversial revelations.

According to him, he got an angry email from Rockstar North about ‘ruining the Rockstar mystique or something’.

It seems likely he was going to discuss more secrets in the future but according to him, ‘this blog isn’t important enough to me to p*** off my former colleagues in Edinburgh so I’m winding it down’.

Agent - the assumption was it was Rockstar's take on James Bond
You have to wonder why Rockstar just didn’t buy the actual James Bond licence (Picture: Rockstar Games)

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