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Former Rockstar dev shares details about cancelled PlayStation exclusive Agent

A former Rockstar developer has shared new details about the fate of the studio’s cancelled spy game Agent.

Announced as a PlayStation 3 exclusive at E3 2009, the game was planned to take place in a 1970s Cold War setting, but it was ultimately abandoned for being “too much of a distraction” from the company’s work on Grand Theft Auto.

That’s according to former technical director Obbe Vermeij, who spent 14 years with Rockstar North before leaving in 2009.

He said the original plan was to split Rockstar North into two teams, with half working on GTA 4 and the other half working on Agent, which was codenamed Jimmy.

“It was a James Bond game and Jimmy is the Scottish version of James,” he wrote in a blog post that has since been unpublished (via Rock Paper Shotgun).

“The game was to be set in the 70s, be more linear than GTA with a number of locations. There was a French Mediterranean city, A Swiss ski resort, Cairo and at the end there would be a big shootout with lasers in space.”

Vermeij said he worked on Agent for over a year before the studio decided to prioritise development of GTA 4.

“The game wasn’t progressing as well as we’d hoped,” he said. “It was inevitable that eventually the whole company would have to get behind GTA4.

“We tried to cut the game down in an attempt the get the bulk of it done before the inevitable call from [Rockstar New York] would come. We cut out an entire level (I think Cairo) and maybe even the space section.

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“It became clear that Jimmy was going to be too much of a distraction for us and we ditched it. I think it was handed over to another company within R* but never got completed.”

Following several renewals, Rockstar abandoned its Agent trademark in 2018, before pulling the game’s website in 2021.