After almost a decade of rumours and speculation, Rockstar Games has finally confirmed active development on its next Grand Theft Auto title. The sequel to one of the most beloved games on the planet has some big shoes to fill – selling nearly 110 million copies and crashing the Epic Games Store when it was being given away for free. Not to mention, its online segment is still running strong – receiving new content and improvements on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.
Rockstar Games’ standard release procedure involves an official Twitter announcement, after which, we wait for another 22 to 23 months to see a launch date. This aligns perfectly with the analyst statement from investment banking firm Jefferies, according to whom, Rockstar has at least one IP “set to be released by FY24.” If true, this could put GTA 6’s launch somewhere between April 2023 to March 31, 2024.
A leak from YouTuber Tom Henderson also matches these dates, claiming that it’s unlikely GTA 6 launches before 2024 or 2025. Rockstar is also trying to avoid a situation where they promise a release date and then fail to deliver on set deadlines – as we saw with Cyberpunk 2077. The company had previously released a remaster of their classic GTA titles, which was subject to ridicule on social media for its horrendous bugs and textures.
A lot of rumours have come and gone since Rockstar announced “early development” in April 2020. However, one thing that has remained constant is the setting – a modern-day rendition of Vice City, the titular metropolitan town from the classic game.
The rumour was corroborated by Bloomberg journalist, Jason Schrier, who said on Twitter, “Idk why everyone thinks that I said GTA VI was coming in 2023. Everything Tom Henderson has said about the game matches up with what I’ve heard.”
Idk why everyone thinks that I said GTA VI was coming in 2023. Everything Tom Henderson has said about the game matches up with what I’ve heard
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) July 4, 2021
Rockstar draws huge inspiration from real-life cities and events, with the original Vice City set sometime towards the decline of the hippie revolution. According to tipster Tom Henderson, this time, we will get to see a modern-day recreation, emulating the neon-drenched look of Miami.
Another theory suggests that GTA 6 will take place across three different countries – fictional representations based around the USA, Miami, and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Players will be able to fly between them as part of the story, or just for sightseeing.
The leak also shed some story details, involving a drug empire, ever-changing weather, and vehicles that let you store equipment in the trunk – similar to the horse in Red Dead Redemption 2. The plot seems to be heavily inspired by Netflix’s Narcos, as you run through the borders smuggling cocaine and the likes. The game is also rumoured to touch upon topics such as HIV and immigration problems, and is reportedly going to feature a 60-hour long story.
The game could also take some interactive mechanics from Red Dead Redemption 2, where NPCs (non-playable characters) randomly comment on your outfit and greet you. You could also get into scuffles by responding in an impolite manner, ultimately affecting your wanted level.
A 2016 report, however, had suggested that Rockstar was working on a GTA title based around Tokyo. Turns out, a group of developers had visited the Japanese capital, met up with locals, and taken reference photos several years ago. Unfortunately, the idea was later pulled.