Agent (video game)
Agent is an upcoming stealth action video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. In July 2007, Sony announced that Rockstar Games was working on a new exclusive game for PlayStation 3, but details of the project, including its title, were not announced until June 2009 during the Sony press conference at E3.
The game is set during the Cold War and will take players into "the world of counter-intelligence, espionage and political assassinations", according to a Rockstar press release. Rockstar has yet to reveal any details regarding the setting other than that it will be set in the late 1970s.
Announced in 2009 exclusively for PlayStation 3, little was heard about the game after 2009 and it was thought to have been cancelled, although Take-Two Interactive confirmed in May 2011 that Agent was still in development. On 18 July 2013, Take-Two Interactive re-registered two trademarks for the game, both of which were originally filed on 2 June 2009, and were abandoned on 26 August 2013.
The title Agent originally referred to a game that was in development at Rockstar San Diego around 2003, set to be released for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. A former artist for Rockstar San Diego stated that they, alongside three co-workers, had travelled to Cairo and took "over 10,000 photographs" as reference images. The project was later postponed indefinitely for unknown reasons.
In July 2007, at that year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Sony Computer Entertainment announced that Rockstar Games was working on a new franchise for the PlayStation 3 in July 2007. Michael Shorrock, SCEA's director of third-party relations, wrote on the official US PlayStation blog, "as part of our long standing relationship with Rockstar, and the incredible success for both companies with the cultural icon that is Grand Theft Auto we've agreed to the PlayStation exclusive rights of the next great franchise from the Rockstar studios." Nothing more was revealed about the new franchise except the clarification that it would not be L.A. Noire. According to Shorrock, "Rockstar really wanted to make a game that you can truly only do on PS3" and added that the reason Sony locked the IP down as an exclusive deal was because Sony believed the franchise would "set the bar for the rest of the industry." Ben Feder, former president of Rockstar Games' parent, Take-Two Interactive, said that the game would be "genre-defining" and "a whole new way of experiencing videogames that we haven't really seen before."
Details of the project, including its title, were not announced until June 2009, when an announcement was made during the Sony press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Sam Houser, founder of Rockstar Games, described Agent as a game the company had been wanting to make for some time, and had set out to create a unique experience for the player. Ben Feder, former president of Take-Two Interactive, professed his belief that the game could achieve the same level of success as the Grand Theft Auto series and become "yet another great Rockstar North franchise title", given that its development is being overseen by Rockstar Games founders Sam and Dan Houser. Speaking with GameSpot on the E3 2009 show floor, Feder explained the decision to develop the game solely for Sony's console as stemming from the increased support from Sony as an exclusive title rather than developing the game across platforms.
On 7 September 2009, in a Question and Answer section on their blog, Rockstar Games stated that Agent could be released as early as 2010, though Take-Two Interactive did not comment on the subject until March 2010, confirming that Agent was still in development. On 9 June 2010, Take-Two Interactive confirmed that Agent was still planned as a PS3-exclusive title. On 24 May 2011, after nearly two years since Agent was announced at E3 2009, Take-Two Interactive confirmed the title was still in active development, even though it had never been seen by the public up to that time. However, SCEA CEO Jack Tretton said at E3 2011 that he was unsure over Agent's PS3 exclusivity and that it was a decision for Rockstar Games to make.
On 15 August 2011, Leigh Donoghue, a former Rockstar North environmental artist who worked on Grand Theft Auto IV and Agent posted the first images of Agent in his online resume. The shots show a character as well as various indoor environments from the game. Both of the images clearly mention that they were made in 2009. On 1 August 2012, when asked about Agent at Take-Two Interactive's Q1 2013 report, CEO Strauss Zelnick said "we haven't announced anything about that title".
With the announcement of the PlayStation 4 on 20 February 2013, there was an expectation that Agent may have moved to become an exclusive PlayStation 4 title. However, there was no mention of the game at the launch, but developer Rockstar North had signed up to support the PlayStation 4. When asked if Agent was still a PlayStation 3 title after the press conference of the PlayStation 4 reveal during a roundtable media session, Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida said "You are asking the wrong person. I have some knowledge, but I'm not in a position to talk about it."
In July 2013, Take-Two Interactive renewed its trademarks of the "Agent" brand. In December 2015, a few new screenshots from between 2009 and 2010 were leaked by former Rockstar North artist Darren Charles Hatton on his online portfolio. The artist said the art team was taken off the Agent project and re-assigned to Grand Theft Auto V, adding that he was "not sure if this project will ever be published." On 5 December 2016, Take-Two Interactive renewed the trademark for Agent. On 27 August 2017, images of concept art were allegedly leaked online, depicting a snowy alpine setting as well as apparent character sketches from the title.
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