There used to be a time when Rockstar would publish a new Grand Theft Auto game nearly every year. That’s a far cry from the current release schedule, which consists of multiple Grand Theft Auto V re-releases, but that hasn’t stopped us from thinking about the next installment, which has yet to be officially announced. Sure, we’ve got GTA: San Andreas for Oculus Quest 2 and Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition to look forward to, but what about Grand Theft Auto 6?
Technically, GTA 6 might not even exist since it hasn’t been confirmed by Rockstar, but it’s highly likely it’s in development. Several reports have claimed it is, indeed, in the works, and with that in mind, what do we know about this game? When can we expect to play it? How will it compare to previous entries? Which platforms will it come to? Here, we’ll break down everything we know about Grand Theft Auto 6.
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Grand Theft Auto 6 hasn’t been officially announced by Rockstar yet, so it doesn’t have a release date. However, numerous leakers and reporters have claimed it will launch sometime in 2024 or even later. One such leaker is Tom Henderson, who has a positive track record, and covers Call of Duty, Battlefield, and GTA.
I'd openly bet anyone that claims to have "insider information" $1000 that it will release 2024-2025.
— Tom Henderson (@_Tom_Henderson_) July 3, 2021
While this likely means we’ll have to wait a long time to play it, this does bode well for the game’s existence in the first place. The game has yet to be unveiled, but the number of reputable leakers and reporters who have confirmed that GTA 6 is in development is a good sign.
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
Jason Schreier, a video game reporter for Bloomberg, also corroborates Henderson’s claims, stating “everything Tom Henderson has said about the game matches up with what I’ve heard.” Schreier has likely heard from Rockstar developers who have given insight into the game’s production.
One thing to note is that a report from Rockstar Mag’ (as relayed by DSO Gaming) states that GTA 6 is “in development hell.” Following the departure of Dan Houser — who co-founded Rockstar — GTA 6‘s development went sideways. Rockstar Mag’ explains that GTA 6 is the “most chaotic project Rockstar has ever developed.” This could severely impact the game’s production schedule, pushing out past the 2024-2025 release window.
Most recently, rapper Snoop Dogg told Rolling Stone that Dr. Dre is working on music for an upcoming GTA project. “I do know he’s in the studio,” Snopp said about Dr. Dre. “I do know he’s making great fucking music. And some of his music is connected to the GTA game that’s coming out. So I think that that will be the way that his music will be released, through the GTA video game.” It’s unclear if this is for GTA Online, GTA 6, or possibly Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition.
Bottom line: We won’t be playing GTA 6 for at least a few more years — likely longer.
Unfortunately, since GTA 6 isn’t yet announced, there isn’t a trailer for it. The first trailer for Grand Theft Auto V launched exactly 10 years ago on November 2, 2011. GTA V didn’t launch until two years later in 2013. The first trailer for GTA IV was published in March 2007, a year ahead of the game’s release date. So, assuming the 2024-2025 release window is accurate, we’ll likely get a trailer for GTA 6 in the next couple of years.
Given the supposed release window, it’s likely GTA 6 will launch for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC (though, PC launches are typically after the console release). Each console generation since the original PlayStation has received at least one GTA game, and we don’t anticipate that trend to stop any time soon.
While we don’t know much about this game, it will probably be an ambitious project, meaning Rockstar will probably skip the previous generation since the PS4 and Xbox One likely wouldn’t be able to handle it. Likewise, it probably won’t come to Nintendo Switch, though it could launch for whatever Nintendo’s next platform is (but we wouldn’t count on it).
The heart of GTA has always been its open-world exploration, fast cars, and action-packed gameplay. The series evolved in 2001 with the release of GTA III, marking the first installment to be presented in 3D (instead of the 2D, top-down perspective). Then, GTA Online expanded on the formula again, focusing on multiplayer connectivity while retaining all the things that make GTA so much fun.
It’s unclear if GTA 6 will revolutionize the formula once again, but considering just how long it’s been in the works, expectations are immense. One possibility is that GTA 6 will take place in a familiar setting — possibly a modern version of Vice City. Tom Henderson seems to believe so, anyway. In addition, the map itself will likely evolve over time, as we’ve seen in GTA Online. This was reported by Jason Schreier.
I dunno I haven't seen everything but it's still early in development, it has an evolving/expanding map (which I also reported last year), etc
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) July 4, 2021
Others think GTA 6 will be comprised of the entire United States, which is a lofty claim, but one that makes sense.
In 2013, Rockstar’s then-president Leslie Benzies told Develop magazine about the future of the series. “We don’t know what GTA 6 will be, but we’ve got some ideas,” Benzies said.
“We’ve got about 45 years’ worth of ideas we want to do. We’ll pick the right ones. 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.”
Ultimately, this isn’t much information to go on, and considering the statement was made so long ago, a lot has probably changed at this point. But the team was already thinking about GTA 6 in 2013, which means it has years to iterate upon ideas.
We’d love to see GTA 6 implement multiple playable protagonists, similar to GTA V. This was a fantastic way to break things up and offer some variety while adding tension between the characters. It would be wild if Rockstar added the ability to play as the lead characters from past GTA games like Claude from GTA III, Tommy Vercetti from Vice City, and Carl Johnson from San Andreas.
In addition, customization, player-choice, and explosive gameplay will likely be at the forefront once again. We’d be thrilled if GTA 6 would feature sandbox-style missions, giving players numerous ways to tackle objectives similar to Hitman 3. This would be tricky to pull off, especially in an open-world game, but if any studio could do it, it’s Rockstar. Now that the technology has improved so drastically, Rockstar will have much more freedom to add ideas that make sense.
Finally, it’s a safe bet GTA 6 will be playable in first-person, as well as third-person. This mechanic has been in GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2, and considering how popular the feature is, it’s likely to return in the next Grand Theft Auto game.
Arguably the most prominent change that came with GTA V was the implementation of GTA Online. This mode became the backbone of the game, roping in millions of players (and dollars) for a shared experience. The base game is excellent, but GTA Online is what has kept GTA V relevant nearly a decade after launch. The point is that we’ll almost certainly get some sort of multiplayer functionality with GTA 6. Whether that means the entire game is online-only, or if there’s a dedicated multiplayer mode like the previous installment remains to be seen — but we can almost guarantee it will have an online mode.
But considering just how successful GTA Online became, it’s unlikely Rockstar will drop multiplayer functionality from the next installment.
Grand Theft Auto IV is known for its two DLC expansions, The Lost and Damned, and The Ballad of Gay Tony. These single-player add-ons fleshed out the story and gave players a reason to return. Many had assumed GTA V would get the same treatment, but all of the game’s post-launch support was poured into GTA Online instead. Since then, the online mode has continued to receive major expansions such as The Diamond Casino Heist and The Cayo Perico Heist, along with a slew of others.
The point is that GTA 6 will probably receive DLC after launch, but it’s unclear if it will be tailored around multiplayer, single-player, or both. We’ll likely have a better idea of its post-launch DLC rollout after the game is officially unveiled.
As expected, GTA 6 pre-orders aren’t available yet. Judging by the rollout from GTA V, you may be able to pre-order the next game around 10 months before its launch date. Players were able to pre-order GTA V in November 2012.
In 2013, pre-orders would go live years ahead of a game’s release. Now, it’s far more common for games to be announced and released within a short period, so it’s possible Rockstar will use this method when marketing GTA 6. Either way, don’t expect to be able to pre-order for quite some time.
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