Rockstar Games recently pulled the plug on Agent as it distracted from GTA development efforts.
Agent is still technically available on PlayStation exclusively, though one developer from Rockstar revealed it has been put off the market due to it being distracting developers from working on Grand Theft Auto V series titles.
Rockstar Entertainment’s former technical director Obbe Vermeij has given insight into why Agent was cancelled following its E3 2009 presentation. He revealed this information while also clarifying Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was initially intended as a zombie game.
Vermeij revealed that Agent was cancelled as it distracted from development of GTA IV. Though Agent differed significantly from previous GTA games – even being linear rather than open world – its development proved too disruptive of focus for development of the classic game series.
Vermeij explained to RockPaperShotgun: “GTA4 wasn’t progressing as expected and therefore, all members of our company needed to support its creation – which led us to limit development time as much as possible before receiving that inevitable call from [Rockstar New York].” To achieve that aim, Vermeij reduced development work dramatically in an attempt to complete most of it before receiving notice from Rockstar New York.
Developers were keen to showcase multiple aspects of Agent that had been worked on. One mission saw players move into space like Bond from the 1970s; unfortunately this section of gameplay was eventually cut.
“The game would take place during the 1970s but would feature multiple locations more linear than GTA,” according to him. These would include French Mediterranean cities, Swiss ski resorts and Cairo before culminating with an all-out laser shootout in space at its conclusion.
After Rockstar decided to abandon Agent, its development was apparently handed off to another developer while Rockstar focused on open world projects – although we now know this would never come to pass.
“Jimmy Agent quickly proved too distracting for us and so he was dropped, though his contract may have been transferred over to another R* subsidiary but never completed,” according to Adler.
Rockstar Games used to produce numerous projects, from licensed titles such as The Warriors to brilliant RAGE engine tech demo Rockstar’s Table Tennis. Unfortunately, however, their studio now only specializes in developing massive open world games which take years and hundreds of developers.
GTA VI will soon become Rockstar’s next release and a trailer is scheduled for launch later in December.