Keen to know more about GTA 6? Well, you’re not the only one. The much-anticipated next installment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise may not have been officially announced by developer Rockstar Games yet but fans are excited and speculating.
While excitement over a game that hasn’t been officially announced yet might seem a little premature or optimistic, Grand Theft Auto 6 isn’t simply a pipe dream. A report by Kotaku claims that a “new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series” was in the early stages of its development back in April 2020, leading to speculation that this could be GTA 6. However, given recent reports suggest the game could be looking at a 2024/5 release date, it’s probably going to be some time before we learn more.
Aside from these reports, it just makes sense that there would be another entry in the long-running series—GTA 5 continues to be a roaring success and is set to receive an expanded and enhanced edition next year, while a remastered GTA Trilogy has also been confirmed for later this year. Basically, this is not a franchise that’s in decline.
Still, with Rockstar Games and its parent company Take-Two resolutely keeping quiet on the topic of a potential Grand Theft Auto 6, there are next to no solid details out there – but there are plenty of rumors to dissect. Read on for all the biggest GTA 6 news and rumors so far.
GTA 6: cut to the chase
- What is GTA 6? The rumored next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series
- When is GTA 6 coming out? That’s the internet’s biggest mystery (but likely not soon)
- What platforms will GTA 6 release on? TBC but likely Xbox Series X/S, PS5 and PC
- Where will GTA 6 be set? TBC, but there’s plenty of rumors (scroll down for more)
GTA 6 release date: when is GTA 6 coming out?
So when is GTA 6 coming out? Unfortunately, the new GTA 6 hasn’t even been officially announced, never mind given a release date. That means that there’s not much to go on from developer Rockstar Games about Grand Theft Auto 6 at the moment, but it doesn’t mean that we haven’t got a rough idea of when we can expect to get our hands on the new GTA.
It seems that it’s still early days for Grand Theft Auto 6, with a Kotaku report claiming that GTA 6, or at least “a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series,” was in early development as of April 2020.
However, while the Kotaku report didn’t give us an idea of when GTA 6 will release, publisher Take-Two Interactive’s marketing budget may have given us our most solid GTA 6 release date hint. As reported by VentureBeat, Take-Two’s 10-K SEC filing (which lays out financial plans for the next five years) shows that the company expects to spend $89 million on marketing between April 2023, and the end of March 2024 – that’s a huge spike and, as the report points out, more than half the marketing budget expected for any other fiscal year over the next decade.
This led industry analyst Jeff Cohen to predict that this spike is because GTA 6 is expected to release within this period. In a note to investors, included in VentureBeat’s report, Cohen pointed out that previous marketing budgets have predicted the releases of other big releases from Take-Two Interactive, including Red Dead Redemption 2. If this prediction is correct then we would expect to see GTA 6 release sometime between April 2023 and March 2024. Originally this spike was expected to take place in the fiscal year 2023, however, it’s been pushed back to 2024. If it is GTA 6 that has caused this spike, this would suggest that a delay has occurred.
This 2024 spike almost lines up with leaker Tom Henderson’s GTA 6 release date prediction. The notable leaker, who is primarily known for his (mostly) accurate leaks on Battlefield and Call of Duty, posted a video sharing a bunch of alleged GTA 6 details. In the video, Henderson predicts that GTA 6 isn’t going to release until between 2024 and 2025, based on his sources.
There are a few reasons for this, according to Henderson. The biggest is that apparently, Rockstar Games has been focusing heavily on “employee wellbeing” for the past 15 to 16 months, with the developer aiming to avoid crunch culture. Rockstar reportedly doesn’t want to announce the game until it’s confident that it will hit its release date, with an aim to avoid any delays, but wants to do so without making employees work extremely long hours to meet a deadline.
In addition, Henderson claims that GTA 6 will only release on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. Given the current PS5 and Xbox Series X shortages, Rockstar Games is apparently waiting until there is a “big enough market” for these consoles – in other words, until the majority of players can actually get their hands on them.
The third key reason Henderson gave for this predicted 2024/2025 release date is the popularity of GTA 5, claiming that Rockstar would likely not want to release GTA 6 while its predecessor is still so successful.
Henderson’s prediction has since been corroborated by Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, who said that Henderson’s claims “matches up with what I’ve heard”.
While a 2024/2025 release date for Grand Theft Auto 6 is further away than we would have hoped, it does make sense when these factors are taken into account. It’s worth noting that Henderson did caveat that he is “not known for GTA 6 leaks” and that viewers should take these rumors will a grain of salt
We were hoping to hear something solid about Grand Theft Auto 6 with the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and then again at E3 2021, but currently, Rockstar seems to be focusing on a remastered GTA Trilogy as well as the expanded and enhanced version of GTA 5 coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X instead of a sequel. This could also push a release date back, especially given the expanded and enhanced GTA 5 has been delayed from 2021 to 2022.
Again, it’s worth noting that GTA 6 hasn’t been confirmed by Rockstar to even be in development, so we can only speculate about the release date. With all this in mind -and the tight-lipped nature of Rockstar – we probably shouldn’t expect to get our hands on GTA 6 any time soon, nor do we expect an announcement for a while yet.
GTA 6 trailer: when can I watch one?
The thing about Rockstar Games is that it’s an incredibly secretive developer. No GTA 6 trailer is getting out of that studio unless someone seriously screws up.
Just look at what Rockstar did with both GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2. It teased an announcement a few days before dropping the first trailer for either game.
If there’s a Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer, you’ll know about it because the internet will explode – and we’ll let you know too, of course. But we’re not expecting one anytime soon.
It’s likely we will see Rockstar following the same pattern as with previous games, publishing a teaser a few days ahead of a full announcement trailer.
GTA 6 map: where and when will GTA 6 be set?
So what about the GTA 6 map? There’s a plethora of rumors floating around suggesting a variety of settings for Grand Theft Auto 6 – making it hard to nail down which we will actually see in the final game. Although there haven’t been any concrete reports as yet, every online titbit and juicy gossip morsel is pointing towards GTA 6’s map being absolutely massive. We’re even not talking city-size massive, we’re talking potentially the entirety of the United States massive.
One of the biggest Grand Theft Auto 6 setting rumors has come from YouTube channel The Know, which claimed that GTA 6 is being developed under the code name Project Americas. The reason for this code name is apparently because players will be able to fly between the US and South America in the game, though the majority of the action will take place in the former. This in combination with the source’s assertion that the game will largely be set in Vice City (the Rockstar version of Miami) suggests there could be a focus on drug-running which would draw on the popularity of shows and movies like Narcos and Tom Cruise’s Made in America. Particularly if Rockstar holds on to that 80s setting.
Another, now deleted, post on Reddit seemed to corroborate some of the claims in The Know Report. According to the Reddit poster behind the leak, the game, known as Project Americas, has been in production since 2015, though it was placed on ice while Red Dead Redemption 2 was the focus. The post claimed that GTA 6 could be expansive, set across multiple decades (the 1970s to 1980s) and locations (one of which is Vice City, another Liberty City and another is a fictional city based on Rio de Janeiro).
The game will apparently deal with one playable protagonist named Ricardo and play through their story as a rising drug lord with heavy inspiration from Netflix’s Narcos series. The story will allegedly be told through chapters, with a heavy emphasis on the visuals of changes in time as the story progresses. While there’s no estimated release date given, the post says that the plan is to release the game for the next generation only (a claim that several reports have corroborated).
While it’s unlikely that the whole report is true (even the poster says that the game’s pre-alpha status means things are likely to change) that’s not to say some elements are impossible.
Following these rumors, since early 2020, a series of ‘leaked’ images have been emerging online that allegedly reveal sections of the overall GTA 6 map – and line up with the Project Americas rumor. So far there have been four map leaks in total, each appearing to show a different section of the overall map. Fans have speculated about what each section of the map may be with locations rumored including Rio De Janeiro, the Everglades and Colombia.
However, leaker Tom Henderson claims that, while Vice City will be coming to GTA 6 in some capacity, as the Project Americas rumor claims, that the map isn’t as big as previous rumors claim.
In addition, Henderson claims that GTA 6 won’t be set be in the 80s or 90s, but instead will have a modern setting. This is apparently to allow the base game to “fit” with GTA Online, with developers wanting “as much freedom as possible to release as many DLCs as possible”.
Another, slightly less believable, rumor posted anonymously on Pastebin – which has since been removed (via Comic Book) – claimed that GTA 6 will allow players to travel between several big cities, including Liberty City and Vice City. The poster also claimed you start off as a small-time drug runner before joining an infamous gang and kicking it with the big dogs.
The anonymous poster also claimed GTA 6 will feature both major cities along with a vast stretch of highways and Blaine County-like countryside in the middle of it all.
While location rumors seem to be leaking in abundance, the anonymous Pastebin post was backed up by review on Glassdoor by a Rockstar Games QA tester, which has since been removed (via Dexerto). The post left a cryptic message that seen the first letter of each sentence spelling out ‘GTA6LSVCLC’. This may be pointing to the potential locations of Grand Theft Auto 6: Los Santos, Vice City, and Liberty City.
Wonder what these locations would look like together as an actual map? Graphic designer RealityDesign posted a concept image on GTA Forums, showing what this map could potentially look like. Check it out below:
There was also a rumor that GTA 6 would be set in London, which started with a comment from Rockstar Games’ co-founder Dan Houser from an interview with Polygon back in September 2013:
“At the moment, it feels like GTA’s DNA is contemporary-ish, American-ish, English-speaking-ish, because that’s what it has been… But that doesn’t necessarily limit it to those, that’s just what we’ve done so far.”
However, Houser then shot down a London setting in an interview with The Guardian later that month.
Flying in the face of many of these rumors, a report by Christian Today claims that GTA 6 will have a futuristic setting. The Christian Today report also alleges that there might even be time travel involved in the next GTA title.
For what it’s worth, we think this would probably plant it a bit too close to Saint’s Row, which is already incredibly similar to Grand Theft Auto and this is probably something Rockstar would be keen to avoid.
For our money, we think a return to Vice City in some form is on the cards, which would tie into the rumors mentioned above. But, outside of that, where exactly GTA 6 will be set still remains a mystery for now.
GTA 6 news and rumors: what do we know so far?
Below we’ve collected all of the latest leaks and rumors that hint at when GTA 6 might be launched – and what we can expect from the new game. As always, take these details with a huge pinch of salt – some are old, some are from now-deleted sources and others might just be keen fans getting carried away.
Job listing details next-gen VFX
A job listing on the official Rockstar site suggests that the developer is looking to raise the bar when it comes to next-gen visuals in its games. The listing for a VFX Artist based at Rockstar New England is looking for someone to “help to bring extra life to the environment, characters, weapons, vehicles, and more.” This involves, “using ambient effects for things like insects around the player and rain dripping off buildings up to large scale destruction events like skyscrapers crashing to the ground.”
“Our technology is used to tie the world together” the listing continues, “weapons create bullet impacts, vehicles kick up dirt and smoke and leave debris when they crash, objects get dirty when they fall in mud.“ It specifically asks that the candidate be prepared to “Develop assets optimized for current and next-generation consoles.”
Of course, this listing doesn’t actually specifically mention that the VFX artist will in any way be working on GTA 6. That said, if Rockstar is looking at next-gen details like this on any of its other projects, we’d be amazed if GTA 6 didn’t get similar treatment.
GTA Remastered Trilogy
There’s been another GTA announcement and once again it isn’t GTA 6. This time, Rockstar has confirmed that a GTA Trilogy remaster is on the way sometime later this year, comprising HD remasters of Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, and Nintendo Switch. There’ll also an iOS and Android release in the first half of 2022
GTA 5 Enhanced Edition delayed
Rockstar’s GTA 5 Enhanced Edition has been delayed to March 2022. The announcement was made during the PlayStation Showcase 2021 and means the game won’t hit its original release date of November 11, 2021. A reason for the delay hasn’t been given but fans are concerned that this delay could mean that GTA 6 is even further off than we could have ever imagined.
GTA 6 is already rumored to be released no earlier than 2024/2025, and it’s logical to think that GTA 5’s delay will only push it back. We can only hope that’s not the case.
Instagram sparks another Vice City rumor
Vice City setting rumors are picking up once again after a recent Instagram post made by a Rockstar employee. The post (via GamesRadar) was made by soundtrack manager and music supervisor Tony Mesones. Mesones has worked at Rockstar for around a decade and has provided music for a range of titles including GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2. His Instagram post shows Miami’s South Beach and is captioned “who said it would be cold???”
As many have pointed out, this could simply be eager fans reading far too much into a holiday photo, though others have noted that Mesones tagged Rockstar Games in the post suggesting it could be a work-related trip.
Mesones’ post isn’t really proof of anything, though Miami does line up with previous reports that the game will visit Vice City in some capacity, the Grand Theft Auto located heavily influenced by Miami. Given reports that the game could have a rough release window of 2025, we’ll likely be waiting quite a long time before we find out if this is just a holiday snap or something more.
Vice City map and activities ‘leak’ – not likely
Rumors all point to Vice City playing a role in GTA 6 in some capacity, but a leak claims to show a glimpse of the Vice City map along with some of the activities players can partake in including bowling.
The video shows a shakey look at a screen allegedly showing the map and is likely to be fake, with notable leaker Tom Henderson even stating that he “wouldn’t expect any leaks like this for a couple of years”.
2025 release date looking likely
GTA 6 is likely to launch during 2025, according to multiple sources. Tom Henderson was the first to suggest that a 2025 release date was on the cards, and his claims have been corroborated by Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, who said that “Everything Tom Henderson has said about the game matches up with that I’ve heard” on Twitter, adding that the game is “still in early development”.
Multiple playable characters, an evolving GTA Online map and more
Notable leaker Tom Henderson, who is primarily known for his (mostly) accurate leaks on Battlefield and Call of Duty, recently posted a video sharing a bunch of alleged GTA 6 details.
In addition to a 2024/2025 release date prediction and claims of a modern setting, Henderson also shared some other alleged details on GTA 6 that he has picked up from his sources.
The leaker claims that GTA 6 will take the same approach to GTA 5 and feature “multiple playable characters”, including one female character who is set to be the “bright one”, with a focus on technology and hacking.
But it’s not just GTA 6 that Henderson shared details on. The leaker claims that GTA Online, accompanying GTA 6’s release, will feature an evolving map that could change each time new GTA 6 DLC is released. Henderson compared this map to that of Fortnite’s and also claimed that GTA 6’s release will see additions made to the “default” GTA Online map, including new areas and an expansion to the map.
It’s worth noting that Henderson did caveat that he is “not known for GTA 6 leaks” and that viewers should take these rumors will a grain of salt, as his sources may be “less reliable” than those of his Call of Duty and Battlefield leaks.
An in-game reveal?
Though GTA 6 wasn’t unveiled during E3 2021, a recent job listing has fuelled existing rumors that it will be revealed during a GTA Online event, an approach games like Call of Duty have had success with in the past.
Building on previous rumors that Rockstar would use GTA Online updates to market GTA 6, this recent Rockstar job listing (via GameRant) for a Live Operations Coordinator shows that the developer looking for someone to “be responsible for executing all in-game marketing campaigns for Red Dead Online and Grand Theft Auto Online. This is a full-time, permanent position based in our Soho, Manhattan studio.”
This should, of course, be taken with a pinch of salt as neither Rockstar nor Take-Two have said anything about any plans to reveal GTA 6 in the GTA Online world and having a Live Operations Coordinator is no guarantee of this happening.
GTA 6 could reward you in cryptocurrency instead of cash
Tom Henderson, a well-known Call of Duty and Battlefield leaker, claimed on Twitter that he’s recently heard that some of GTA 6’s missions will reward players in in-game payments of bitcoin rather than cash.
According to Henderson, bitcoin wouldn’t replace cash as in-game currency, but instead would sit alongside it. Henderson claims that the stock market will make a return in GTA 6, with the addition of a broker for different cryptocurrencies.
These bitcoin payments apparently be rewarded for every mission but instead will be rewarded by more high-profile characters who want to move high amounts of “untraceable cash and fast”.
This in-game currency will apparently not be called bitcoin, but will still be a form of cryptocurrency.
I heard recently that in GTA 6, some missions will reward you in bitcoin instead of cash for completing some missions. The stock market feature will return, with the addition of a broker for different cryptocurrencies. If GTA 6 incorporates this right, it’s huge for crypto.June 3, 2021
GTA 6 Florida and Cuba setting rumor has been debunked
Another major GTA 6 rumor has been debunked. The rumor originally appeared on a post on The Medium, by a poster called Tim McDowell who wrote a ‘deep dive’ on the (proven to be accurate) rumors around Red Dead Redemption 2. The piece also included images from 4Chan with apparently ‘leaked’ details about GTA 6. These details claimed the game would be set in Cuba and Florida, and echoed leaker Tom Henderson’s claims the next GTA will have a female protagonist.
But, after a suspicious fan (ADropInTheOcean) on the GTA forums did some digging, they found that the post was full of false information and the images had been photoshopped. Essentially, the whole article has been a troll. Seemingly realizing they had been found out, McDowell has since updated The Medium article to a meme.
Speculation addressed by Take-Two Interactive
Unfortunately, Rockstar Games’ parent company, Take-Two Interactive, is remaining tight-lipped about the prospect of GTA 6 and when we could get our hands on it.
When asked by an eager investor about GTA, during the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference last week (via Comic Book), Take-Two’s CEO, Strauss Zelnick reiterated that GTA 6 hasn’t been confirmed and that he wouldn’t be the one to spill the beans on it.
“Right, so, Rockstar hasn’t announced any new titles for the market and when there’s an announcement to be made it’ll come from Rockstar, so I’ll probably leave you there and I don’t think you would have expected anything else,” Zelnick responded.
It’s not exactly what we wanted to hear, but it does mean that we can expect Rockstar Games to make its own GTA 6 announcement when the time comes – rather than the game being announced to investors during one of these meetings.
Take-Two CEO commits to single-player experiences
Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Rockstar’s parent company, Take-Two, has said that Rockstar Games will continue to make single-player games, which is likely to be welcome news to those hoping that GTA 6 will offer a single-player experience despite the success of GTA Online.
In a Q3 2021 earnings call (via GameSpot), Zelnick said, “The folks at Rockstar Games intended to create a powerful single-player experience a story-driven experience. And Rockstar has always been known for great stories and great single-player experiences and then developed in addition, a massive multiplayer opportunity over the past years”, adding that Rockstar’s success with both single and multiplayer games is proof that it can have both rather than just one.
This lines up with a 2020 GQ interview with Rockstar’s Tarek Hamad and Scott Butchard. When asked if Rockstar will continue to tell single-player stories even as Online continues, Hamad replied “Absolutely” and Butchard intimated that it could even become more a part of the Online experience, saying “I think you can see that with Online and I think going forward we’re going to inject more of that single-player element in there.”
Job listing pointing to a possible trailer?
It seems unlikely There has been some excitement in the GTA 6 community after a job posting for a “Cinematic Gameplay Capture Artist” was spotted at Rockstar (via ScreenRant). The description of the role notes that the person would be responsible for shooting the in-game footage that’s used for putting together digital and TV advertising campaigns, which has led some to wonder if a GTA 6 trailer could be on the horizon.
With this one, we think it’s probably best to lower expectations. Given there’s a GTA 5 port coming to the latest generation of consoles, it seems more likely that this job will have something to do with the marketing campaign around that launch later this year rather than anything to do with the still-technically-unannounced GTA 6.
New patent suggests smarter NPCs
A new patent filed by Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two could point to GTA 6 having improved AI for its NPCs. The patent attempts to trademark a “system and method for virtual navigation in a gaming environment“ and was filed by the publisher in October 2020.
The main focus of the patent is on the ways NPCs move around and react to environments, with a particular emphasis on driving NPCs, highlighting that the conventional systems only have “limited resources” when it comes to automating NPCs. The tech in the patent would make it possible to create “a realistic virtual world that is not limited by hardware or software limitations.”
It might, for example, see NPCs have different driver profiles for more realistic and natural behavior, meaning speed limits could be dynamically adhered to, and non-moving objects, such as street lights or car crashes, could be recognized and responded to accordingly. Driving NPCs might also dynamically react to things like traffic jams or high-speed chases and find another route around the game map.
The patent also takes into consideration more general driving skills, like a better understanding of vehicle handling when moving at top speed, and braking times, for an overall more realistic on-the-road experience.
Of course, it should be noted that the patent was filed by Take-Two and therefore isn’t necessarily about GTA 6 – it could be about any of the publisher’s games. However, one promising sign that it relates to the GTA franchise is that the system’s inventors are David Hynd and Simon Parr who work at Rockstar in the roles of associate director of technology and lead AI programmer.
As with any patent, there’s no guarantee that it’ll be applied in a final product, but it does seem likely that this system was created with Grand Theft Auto 6, or at least Grand Theft Auto Online, in mind.
Former insider reality check
Those who are hoping to get their hands on Grand Theft Auto 6 sometime soon may be disappointed by a recent tweet from former Rockstar insider Yan2295. Dismissing rumors that the game might be coming soon, they tweeted to say that while the game “is being developed”, it’s “not coming soon”. Nor do they have any idea when it will be announced or released. Even though we should always take statements that don’t come from Rockstar itself with a pinch of salt, this one does at least seem fairly realistic, if extremely vague, as it doesn’t certainly doesn’t look like Grand Theft Auto 6 is going to be coming anytime soon.
Yes GTA 6 is being developped. No it’s not coming soon. No I don’t know when it’s gonna be announced or released. You can stop asking now.January 2, 2021
GTA Online update has fans looking for clues
A recent teaser posted by Rockstar for the new GTA Online update has kicked up some GTA 6 rumors.
In the teaser, fans spotted a set of GPS coordinates which, when entered into Google Maps, lead to a dirt road in Virginia. This might seem like nothing but some fans think that the road is shaped like the Roman numeral for 6, “VI”, and is, therefore, a direct reference to Grand Theft Auto 6 by Rockstar. It seems like a stretch and Rockstar hasn’t said anything either way, but it’s a clear sign that fans are hungry for GTA 6 news.
When I searched this location on Map , it showed a place in North America and the roads direction were in the shape of VI ….. #GTAVI #GTA6 #GTAOnline pic.twitter.com/5rlyW8RFo1November 20, 2020
GTA 6 and Vice City Online domains updated
It doesn’t take much for GTA 6 rumors to take off so Take-Two Interactive renewing a couple of relevant domain names will certainly do it. A user of Reddit (via GamesRadar) pointed out in August 2020 that the publishing parent of Rockstar renewed its ownership of the domain names gtavicecityonline and gtavi.
It’s worth bearing in mind that companies often claim domain names related to their products even when they have no intention of ever using them, so we shouldn’t take this too much to heart. We won’t know anything for sure until Rockstar starts making some official announcements.
GTA 5 Online’s continued success won’t necessarily stop GTA 6
GTA 5 Online has been a huge success for a while now and naturally, this has left some wondering if that success could hold up any potential GTA 6 release. According to GamesIndustry.biz, in May 2020 Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked in an interview at the Bernstein Annual Strategic Decisions Conference if the publisher would “think twice” about launching a new game when the live service game is still performing well.
Zelnick could not be persuaded to comment on release plans for a game that hasn’t been announced. However, he did touch on a time Take-Two has faced a similar dilemma with NBA 2K Online.
According to Zelnick, Take-Two had NBA 2K Online in China and it was performing well but when it came time to update the game and they released NBA 2K Online 2 “it turned out to be a massive hit”. Take-Two found that “the audience was still stable and growing for NBA 2K Online itself, the first title. So we kept them both up and they’re both up to this day.“
According to GamesIndustry.biz, Zelnick went on to say “Any time you look at a business and you take the position, ‘This is great, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. I’m just going to stick with it and I’m not going to worry about innovating because everyone loves what we have,’ you are just moments away from being destroyed by your competitors,” adding “I am not remotely worried about being in a position that we have a great line of live services and a new release and that there’s somehow maybe some internal competition. That to me is the definition of a high-class problem.”
Although Zelnick was not commenting on GTA 6 directly, his comments do suggest that GTA 5 Online’s success wouldn’t necessarily stop Take-Two moving forward with a new instalment in the series.
The next step for GTA could be VR
GTA in VR? It could be on the cards if a posting on LinkedIn from an Australian development studio is anything to go by. In the post, Video Games Deluxe shared that it’s “now gearing up for a new project, a AAA open-world title in VR for Rockstar. 2020 marks our 7th year of working exclusively for Rockstar in Sydney and we are excited to taking on this groundbreaking project.”
The studio has history with Rockstar, having worked on the VR adaption of L.A. Noire for PC and PSVR so this doesn’t seem unlikely.
The question is what game will be getting the VR treatment. We can say right away we don’t think it’s likely that GTA 6 will be coming out of the gates in VR. An older title seems more likely and GTA 5 is the lead contender.
The good news for GTA 6 hopefuls is that this project is with an entirely different studio so if GTA 6 is in development, this VR project isn’t likely to derail anything.
GTA 5 enhanced edition
GTA 5 is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X in November 2021, Sony has announced. The game will be enhanced and expanded, and feature a range of visual upgrades and improvements to performance that will take full advantage of the next-gen beefy hardware.
GTA Online will also continue, with additional content that’s exclusive to Sony’s new console. A standalone version of GTA Online will also be made available for free, exclusively for PlayStation 5 players during the first three months.
While this is welcome news for GTA 5 fans, it suggests we probably won’t see GTA 6 release until at least after mid-2021 and makes those reports of a 2023 or 2024 release seem more likely.
GTA 6 release date might have been discovered – and it’s bad news
As reported by VentureBeat, Take-Two’s 10-K SEC filing (which lays out financial plans for the next five years) shows that the company expects to spend $89 million on marketing between April 2023, and the end of March 2024 – that’s a huge spike and, as the report points out, more than half the marketing budget expected for any other fiscal year over the next decade.
This has led industry analyst Jeff Cohen to predict that this spike is because GTA 6 is expected to release within this period.
In a note to investors, included in VentureBeat’s report, Cohen pointed out that previous marketing budgets have predicted the releases of other big releases from Take-Two Interactive, including Red Dead Redemption 2.
“We are not sure how much we should be reading into this shift, but we would note that this disclosure accurately predicted the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 prior to that game’s announcement,” the note reads. “Management has spoken very confidently about the pipeline over the next five years and existing live services execution has been excellent. However, the timing of the next Grand Theft Auto remains top-of-mind for investors, particularly with the stock near all-time highs.”
If this prediction is correct then we would expect to see GTA 6 release sometime between April 2023 and March 2024. Originally this spike was expected to take place in the fiscal year 2023, however, it’s been pushed back to 2024. If it is GTA 6 that has caused this spike, this would suggest that a delay has incurred – potentially due to Covid-19.
Take-Two Interactive has 93 games in the works
Grand Theft Auto publisher, Take-Two Interactive, has revealed it has 93 “full game releases” planned for the next five years – and we’re hoping GTA 6 is one of them.
During an earnings call (via GamesRadar), Take-Two president Karl Slatoff said that this line-up is the strongest in the company’s history, but what can we expect? Well, according to Slatoff, 63 of these games are “core gaming experiences”, 17 will be “mid-core or arcade” and 13 are casual games.
However, out of these 93 games, 21 will be exclusively mobile titles – with the other 72 landing on PC, consoles and streaming platforms. But, perhaps the most interesting stat from this meeting is that half of this games line-up is from existing IPs. Suggesting we could be seeing GTA 6 in that five-year window, with the highly-anticipated next GTA falling into that “core gaming experiences” category.
“This is a larger pipeline than we’ve had before, we’ve been talking about this for quite some time. Our expectation is that we’d like to keep up this velocity,” Slatoff said. “It’s really important for us to build scale, and this is one way that we’re doing it. We need more at-bats.”
CEO Strauss Zelnick explained that the publisher plans to smooth out its financial results with “a handful or greater of new significant releases every year”. And it looks like the company believes it may have some big successes in the pipeline.
“With our strong catalogue, with our live service offerings, and with our annual releases, we can have great strength, even in a light year, even though it’s not our goal to have a light year, and then do even better in the year when we’re able to launch a number of titles, which is our strategy, and even better than that if we’re fortunate enough to have a blockbuster title. And we have some of those as well,” Zelnick said.
Story reportedly finished
The story for Rockstar’s GTA 6 is apparently finished if a supposed insider is to be believed.
Chris ‘Liberty93’ from Rockstar Mag (a French fansite) claims the story for Grand Theft Auto 6 was wrapped up prior to the departure of Rockstar’s head writer, Dan Houser, and that the next GTA entry will still have the “soul” of a typical Rockstar game.
Although a finished story might suggest a release date for GTA 6 is close, Chris did point out that many changes were made to Red Dead Redemption 2’s story during development, despite it being ‘completed’ way back in 2012.
“They still made changes in late 2017, early 2018, and many little details were modified,” Chris explained.
Reports of early development
It seems that Grand Theft Auto 6 is in the early stages of its development if a report from Kotaku is anything to go by (as of 2020). In the report which is primarily following up on the cultural changes that have taken place at Rockstar after a previous investigation into crunch at the studio, Kotaku has touched on the studio’s future, including the fact that studio management has outlined a plan for “a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series”.
The report goes on to say that this new installment is planned to be a “moderately sized release” (so, probably still pretty big) which will be “expanded with regular updates over time”. The hope is that this approach will lessen stress and crunch.
It’s worth noting, though, that the report emphasizes that the game is still in the very early development stages so plans could quite easily change over time as the development process evolves.
Take-Two plays down AAA releases
In an earnings call for Take-Two Interactive – the publisher that owns GTA developer Rockstar – shareholders were told to expect the “most robust pipeline” in the company’s history. However, Take-Two CEO Strauss H. Zelnick also stressed that some years would be thin on releases – which, given the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018, doesn’t make us hopeful for any new GTA titles in the coming year.
“Given that we’re a company that depends on our creative teams to make as close to perfect products as possible,” said Zelnick, “we have to be willing to live with the vagaries of product deliveries. And that means, sometimes, we will have thin frontline years.”
Dan Houser leaves Rockstar
Revealed in a statement by Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive, Houser (who was has been on an extended leave period since spring 2019) will be officially leaving the company on March 11. His brother Sam Houser remains present as president.
Houser, who has variously acted as writer, producer and voice actor at Rockstar, led Rockstar Games to become one of the biggest developers in the industry. It’s currently unknown whether this will have an impact on GTA 6’s development.
CJ voice actor dismisses rumors
Chris Bellard, the voice actor for GTA San Andreas’ character CJ, has debunked rumors that he will be reprising his role in GTA 6. Using Instagram, Bellard posted that he’s “not involved in GTA VI at all”.
This doesn’t rule out the return of CJ as a character entirely (Rockstar could always cast someone else in the role) but it does confirm that Bellard isn’t involved and doesn’t intend to be if asked.
Rockstar hasn’t commented on rumors and we won’t know anything certain about the cast for GTA 6 until it speaks out.
Scouting areas in Florida
Speculation around a Florida setting – even a game that encompassed the whole state – has been brimming after a leaked letter was given legitimacy by a well-regarded Rockstar leaker, @Yan2295.
The letter was to a Florida store asking permission for Rockstar Games to inspect the premises, presumably for use or inspiration in the forthcoming game – mentioning a location scout Leah Sokolowsky who hinted at a large digital media client in a podcast back in May 2019 (via Daily Star).
Take inspiration from Red Dead Redemption 2
The same leak posted on Pastebin, that claimed GTA 6 will allow players to travel between several big cities, including Liberty City and Vice City, also claimed GTA 6 will take inspiration from Red Dead Redemption 2 and won’t release on current-gen consoles.
The post claims Rockstar is waiting to see how the new consoles sell as GTA 6 wouldn’t be able to be released on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One due to memory restrictions. In addition, the post claims that the game will be set in a timed era and that there will be flashbacks between missions and Red Dead Redemption 2-type stranger dialogues that implement the greet/antagonize format.
GTA 6 is coming and there are ideas
What we do know about GTA 6 is that ideas are being thrown around for development, even if it’s just in the early stages. Rockstar President Leslie Benzies teased the game in an interview back in 2013 with Develop magazine.
“We don’t know what GTA 6 will be, but we’ve got some ideas,” said Benzies in the interview.
Okay, so it’s not much, but it’s certainly a snippet of solid information direct from the source. Benzies went on to talk about what kind of ideas get the creative juices flowing over at Rockstar.
“We’ve got about 45 years’ worth of ideas we want to do,” he added. “We’ll pick the right ones,” Benzies said. “It comes from the idea first. Where it is going to be set is the first question. That then defines the missions; you’re doing different things in LA than in New York or Miami. The map and story get worked up together, and the story is a basic flow of how it works out so you can layer the mission in.”
We’re just pleased that Rockstar has so many ideas for what it wants to do with GTA 6. We just hope it sorts them into some kind of organized system and gets that game to us sharpish.
GTA 6 could be the last GTA game
This is more informed speculation from Tom Henderson than anything concrete. But we’ve included a lot of his predictions and leaks in this guide, so felt it was only right to flag his latest theory recently published on Dualshockers: GTA6 could be the last GTA title.
He acknowledges it would be a shame for such a huge franchise to end but suggests that, with GTA Online’s huge popularity and a continuously evolving map, there might not be a reason for Rockstar Games to ever follow up GTA6.
“Rockstar seems to be making GTA 6 the most epic future-proof video game in history, with constant updates that not only give the fans new content but keeps the world new and interesting by evolving,” he writes.