Grand Theft Auto is undoubtedly the greatest franchise in the history of gaming, with the parent game Rockstar selling over 110 million copies with more than 33 million active online players. The most recent release, Grand Theft Auto V made its debut on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 seven years ago. The game was again released on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 two years later. With the massive success of GTA 5 selling over 120 million copies to become the second best-selling video game of all time plus the many critical commendations from gaming enthusiasts, the developer Rockstar Games is yet to make an official announcement about the next installment in Grand Theft Auto franchise -GTA 6.
However, boundless streams of rumors and sketchy leaks suggest that GTA 6 might be on the way. On April 15, Jason Schreier, a reporter with Kotaku, confirmed that GTA 6 was in development. According to the report, the game is in “early development” with Rockstar games trying to improve the work culture primarily by eliminating crunch leading up to the release of games. The report pointed that the game may still be far away than actually thought
Other popular Rockstar leakers have, however, denied reports by Kotaku, stating that the game could be released sooner than imagined. According to French Rockstar leaker, Chris Liberty, GTA 6 development kicked off in 2014 and could be further into development than what is being reported as “early stages of development.” A YouTube channel, The Know, revealed that GTA currently in development under the code name Project Americas with a 2021-2022 launch date. Regardless of the rumors, Grand Theft Auto 6 is going to happen sooner than we think. Here is what we know so far.
With the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, GTA 6 is definitely next in line. According to some trusted rumors, Grand Theft Auto 6 could be announced this year (2020), with a potential release date falling in 2021. Looking at past releases, GTA 5 was released in 2013, and Rockstar might have shifted its attention to other games, including Red Dead Redemption. Therefore, the company couldn’t immediately start the development of a sequel until maybe 2014 or 2015. GTA 6, perhaps in the pre-production phase, with the most probable release date being in 2020 or 2021.
2020 being already in the second quarter, a 2020 date is highly unlikely. Also, Rockstar hasn’t made an official announcement meaning a 2020 release is far more likely. Recent rumors suggest that a 2020 teaser announcement is very close. There is a viral video posted by a developer on his YouTube channel portraying some strange artwork teases, meaning that Rockstar is preparing for some announcements relating to GTA 6.
There is a clear indication that Rockstar is currently developing GTA 6. The company has made a most recent claim for U.K. Tax Relief. Rockstar’s account has been receiving a steady flow of tax reliefs in recent years, creating controversy as to whether GTA and Red Dead Redemption are “culturally British” as required by the task scheme. Taxwatch points out that the continuous claim for U.K. Tax Relief is an indication that GTA 6 has been under development.
Based on past announcements and releases, Grand Theft Auto 6 could be announced 22 months after the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, which came out on October 26, 2018. Therefore, the game may possibly be announced in August 2020. But considering reports of early developments and history of delays between consoles, the release could be further pushed to the fourth quarter of 2021 or even 2022.
According to seasoned gaming industry analyst Michael Pachter, the game could be released in 2022. In an interview with GamingBolt, Pachter revealed that a 2021 announcement with a 2022 or later release is more likely. However, a 2020 announcement with a 2021 release would be the best-case scenario considering that 2020 is still in the first half. Twitter user and known leaker who correctly leaked The Last of Us 2 release date suggests that GTA 6 will be released in “Fall 2021.”
The launch of Xbox Series X and PS5 set to be released “in time for Holiday 2020”, could accelerate the release of GTA 6. But with no official release date from Rockstar, we can only speculate on the release date, which could fall between 2021-2022.
GTA 6 Trailer
Rockstar North is known to be a very secretive game developer and often doesn’t release game trailers. We can also expect the same for GTA 6 unless someone leaks the trailer. For GTA 5 and Red Redemption 2, Rockstar dropped the first trailer several days after a teased announcement. Until an official announcement is made, we shouldn’t expect a GTA trailer.
GTA 6 Plot
Every GTA story revolves around criminal acts, but GTA 6 may be quite different following Rockstar’s co-founder, Dan Houser, leaving the studio in March. Houser previously acted as writer, producer, and voice actor at Rockstar and led the company to massive success. However, his departure is unknown, whether it will have an impact on GTA 6’s development. Dan’s brother Sam remains at the helm of Rockstar as the president.
On the storyline, a rumor on Reddit suggested that the game could take an expansive setting across multiple decades (the 1970s to 1980s) and be set in various locations, including Vice City, Liberty City, plus other fictional cities based on Rio de Janeiro. The plot will feature one playable protagonist named Ricardo, who will be portrayed as a rising drug lord-similar to Netflix’s Narcos series. The storyline will take a chapter approach (similar to Red Dead Redemption 2) with great visuals indicating changes in time as the storyline progresses.
Another character, codenamed Kacey, will play a great role in the story. The game soundtracks will be inspired by the ‘70s and ‘80s music plus the pop culture at that time. Grand Theft Auto 6 is also rumored to take into consideration weather changes as part of the environmental design. This means that player missions will be affected by hurricanes, floods, among other weather events.
Another GTA 6 storyline theory suggests that the game will feature multiple protagonists with a twist. Take, for instance, cops vs. robbers scenes where you are playing the police officer with the other of your character being a criminal. However, there is a little chance that GTA 6 will involve a multi-protagonist approach since it would possibly ruin the gameplay by the lack of clear heroes or villains-you either play as a hero or villain.
There are also rumors by Christian Today that GTA 6’s storyline will take a more sci-fi approach compared to its predecessors. The rumor has it that players will have the ability to teleport “within a split-second.” It’s not yet clear whether players will time travel back to previous moments in the hero’s storyline. However, this rumor is highly doubtful considering that GTA is highly circumspect on supernatural phenomena except for the GTA Online update, The Doomsday, which featured orbital lasers and flying cars. GTA tries as much as possible to be realistic, with the games in the series being consistent with its time period. GTA 5 features a teleportation feature, but it’s quite consistent with the storyline.
Characters – A Female Character?
Apart from the playable protagonist named Ricardo and the second character by the name Kacey, rumors are suggesting that GTA 6 will feature a third female character. GTA 5 has three male characters-Trevor, Franklin, and Michael. A female character is possible since the game is now themed on equality plus a growing social momentum for a female lead character. Whether playing as a female lead character will be possible, we should wait for the official trailer.
GTA 6 setting is still a subject of intense debate with high speculation. Whether the game will be set in Liberty City, Los Santos, Miami, or any other metropolitan area is still not known. However, numerous rumors indicate GTA’s map will be absolutely massive-even the size of the United States. Some rumors suggest that Grand Theft Auto 6 may be based in the whole of the U.S. with the teleportation feature allowing players to traverse the 52 states in a matter of seconds. GTA fans claim that GTA 6 will leverage Ubisoft’s driving game-The Crew system to enable players to cover all 52 states by placing cities abreast.
There are also rumors that GTA 6 will be based in London returning to the U.K. In an interview with The Guardian, Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser said that GTA wouldn’t return to London amidst mounting speculation of a possible return. A return to London is therefore highly unlikely given the lack of London’s viability plus the massive size of GTA’s fans in the U.S.
A move from the U.S. could be damaging to GTA’s reputation, let alone the enormous works that would go into redesigning the setting. We should, therefore, expect GTA 6 to be based in the U.S. even all across all 52 states given that the game has been termed “Project Americas.” However, Rockstar is yet to confirm which city or country the game will be based on.
With the set release of PS5 and Xbox Series X, it’s of interest to see which platform Grand Theft Autp 6 will be released. The biggest question is whether GTA 6 will be released exclusively to the PS5 and Xbox Series X. There are more and more rumors pointing that GTA 6 will be a timed PS5 exclusive upon release. TweakTown reported on a PasteBin anonymous post, indicating that GTA 6 will be released alongside the launch of PS5 and Xbox Series X. The post also indicated that Sony paid an enormous amount of money to secure 1-month PS5 exclusive rights. It’s tenable that GTA 6 will be exclusive to PS5 just like Red Dead Redemption 2, but one month later PS5 exclusive release is not convincing. GTA 5 was a next-gen release on PS4 and Xbox One at the same time, and GTA 6 may follow suit.
Will GTA 6 Support Virtual Reality (V.R.)?
Multiple rumors suggest that GTA 6 will support V.R. not only on some missions but the entire game. However, V.R. on GTA 6 seems far too fetched considering the technical challenges plus the financial bottleneck. V.R. is a heavy investment, which could be a gamble gamers fail to pick up the idea. Nonetheless, we still cannot completely rule out V.R. on GTA 6 since Rockstar has already experimented V.R. in 2017 on the crime game-L.A. Noire, which has seven missions exclusive for V.R. GTA 6 may integrate V.R. similar to the V.R. version of L.A. Noire.
Summary of What to Expect
Grand Theft Auto 6 is on its way with a possible launch date of 2021 or beyond. The game will be a next-gen release launching on new generation hardware i.e., Xbox Series X and PS5, which are set to be launched by the end of this year. The storyline will feature the traditional criminal activities themed on current real-life issues, including immigration, terrorism, inequality, fake new and autocratic leadership, plus radical partisan politics seen in the world today.
GTA 6 will “borrow” much from GTA Online rebirth, even retaining a similar story element. The game modes may be single-player with an online hybrid option identical to the GTA Online’s release-The Doomsday Heist, which can be played online with collaboration among players. GTA 6 is very likely to be online considering the massive success of GTA Online, raking an estimated $1.09billion as of July 2017.
Regarding the setting, the game would probably be based in multiple cities in the U.S. or even the entire 52 states. There is also a high chance that the game will make a return to Vice City considering that GTA 4 and GTA 5 have been set in Liberty City and San Andreas, respectively. Also, a 70’ or 80’ theme is in the cards with an incredible 70s/80s soundtrack.
On the subject of technological improvements, GTA 6 may support V.R. plus behavioral A.I., weather cycles, teleportation with dynamic time, permanently deformable environments plus player stat tracking.
To conclude, rumors may not point to the actual thing, but they are usually not far off. The fact is, Grand Theft Auto 6 will be released sooner or later, and we’ll get to enjoy such an incredible game again in new dimensions.