Mike Dailly, one of the founding employees at DMA Design (the original creators of Grand Theft Auto, and later became Rockstar North) recently posted several videos showing some of the prototypes of the original GTA from the early 1990s, only to have those videos removed by Rockstar and Take-Two.
The videos were originally posted to YouTube and documented Dailly's early work at DMA. Posting on Twitter, he confirmed that Rockstar was "issuing copyright strikes to any GTA video they can find - including both my prototype videos. So now they're trying to block all release of anyone's work on a game - and any old development footage."
I see Rockstar are going full fuckers mode again, issuing copyright strikes to any GTA video they can find - including both my prototype videos. So now they're trying to block all release of anyone's work on a game - and any old development footage.— Mike Dailly™ 🏴🇺🇦💙 (@mdf200) August 21, 2022
The videos showed off various renders from prototype versions of the game, including alternative graphic styles. Interestingly, one showed off a rotating, isometric view, as opposed to the top-down angle we're now so fond of. There was also footage from a beta version of what would become the final game.
Unfortunately, the experience has left Dailly unwilling to share these gems of development further. "I've now removed all GTA dev stuff. Only direct examples of my own work are left - work that was never used in GTA, but "inspired" parts of its evolution," he said in a statement to PC Gamer.
It's difficult to see the reason why Rockstar and Take-Two would prevent these historical records to be publicly shared, given the age of the game, and the fact it was made freeware by Rockstar themselves at one point. I personally think game preservation and insight into the development process is not only incredibly interesting but important to preserve as a matter of historical record.
Hopefully, Rockstar and Take-Two change their minds on this decision.