Image: Rockstar

A Rockstar North employee has taken down a bunch of blogs about his time at the studio after receiving a written complaint from the developer.

Obbe Vermeij was a technical director at Rockstar North and its predecessor DMA Design from 1995 to 2009, and had recently taken to blogging about his experience working at the studio in a series of posts under the title "Inside Rockstar North".

These posts covered the development of various Grand Theft Auto games, cancelled projects like the spy game Agent and the zombie game Z, and some of the technical work he had been doing at the studio (and quickly caught the attention of publications like Eurogamer).

But it seems like Rockstar North caught wind of this not long after and has now discouraged Vermeij from sharing anything further to avoid ruining the "Rockstar mystique"

In the latest blog called "Sorry you missed it", Vermeij writes about the complaint:

"Today (22 Nov 2023) I got an email from R*North. Apparently some of the OG's there are upset by my blog. I genuinely didn't think anyone would mind me talking about 20 year old games but I was wrong. Something about ruining the Rockstar mystique or something. Anyway, this blog isn't important enough to me to piss off my former colleagues in Edinburgh so I'm winding it down. I'll maybe just leave a few articles with anecdotes that don't affect anyone but me.

"I would love for Rockstar to open up about development of the trilogy themselves, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen anytime soon.

"Maybe I'll try again in a decade or two.

"Till then, Obbe."

It's a sad turn of events, but not exactly unexpected given Rockstar's track record of trying to control the narrative surrounding its games.

In the past, we've spoken to various Rockstar employees from across its worldwide studios who have told us they would love to talk in detail about the work they've been involved with but have been intimidated away from discussing their participation due to the company's secretive culture and the threat of legal repercussions.

There have also been some reported instances in the media of public copyright strikes against former employees, such as in the incident where Rockstar allegedly issued a claim against the GTA co-creator Mike Dailly for sharing early prototype footage of Grand Theft Auto on YouTube.

Fortunately, from Vermeij's statement, it seems like he will continue to blog and offer his insights into game dev, but it's disappointing that this will no longer include more direct references to the library of games he was involved with.