Stuck in Cairo: A Story From The Development Of Rockstar’s Agent by Blake Hester for Game Informer
During the development of Rockstar’s now long-missing spy game Agent, Rockstar San Diego project leader Luis Gigliotti had to do something far outside his typical job description: Call the United States Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. He needed help. A small team of artists – his fellow coworkers at Rockstar – were being held under house arrest in Cairo. Not only that, but the Egyptian authorities were also trying to pin the group with false charges of shooting pornography – a crime in the country. He needed assistance in getting them home safe.
“And I’ll never forget, whoever it was on the call from the Embassy just literally said, ‘Are you guys stupid?'” Gigliotti tells me in a recent interview. “‘Whatever possessed you to think this was a good idea?'”
While Agent has become a consistent joke and reference between my friends and myself, I am fascinated whenever a story about its development comes to light. Last year, Hester wrote a brilliant look inside the mysterious game’s rocky, early development for Polygon. Now at Game Informer, Hester has written up a smaller, but equally unique story about a one-off trip to Egypt to gather reference data for the dev team. Rock solid reporting all around that I find far too rare in the video game industry.
Always fun to think that somewhere out there, Rockstar has a build of this game for the PS3.