Rockstar North starts hiring developers for next-gen Grand Theft Auto tech

Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto V is still at least five months away from release. Rockstar and publisher 2K Games have pegged the sequel for spring 2013, but given Rockstar’s release schedule of the past four years, Grand Theft Auto V likely won’t hit shelves until at least May. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game is also likely dominating Rockstar North’s development resources, but that isn’t stopping the studio from looking to the future. Rockstar is already hiring people to develop the technology that will run the studio’s Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 games.

A job posting on Rockstar’s careers website is advertising for a core engine programmer position with Rockstar North, the flagship studio of the company responsible for the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

“Rockstar North is currently seeking an experienced programmer to focus on core engine development,” reads the post, “This is an exciting opportunity to develop cutting-edge architectures and high performance systems for current and next-gen platforms.”

That the post says the engineer will be working on both current and next-gen hardware hints that Rockstar North will likely be tweaking its current technology, the RAGE engine for high-end PC development as well as building a new engine for future titles. A PC release of Grand Theft Auto V would be a likely candidate for that bridge title, but the inevitable Grand Theft Auto VI would use RAGE’s successor.

Rockstar Games moves in mysterious ways. The slow reveal of its Grand Theft Auto V is exemplary of the company’s process. Release a trailer, go dark for the better part of a year, release simple, vague screenshots, and then follow up with a massive information dump about the game’s story and activities. It hands out just enough information about its major releases to whet the audience’s appetite while not telling them much at all. Case in point: Plenty of people knew the name of the city Grand Theft Auto V would take place in, but they didn’t know what console it would be available for. That being the case it will likely be a long time before the public sees a game running on Rockstar’s next engine.