Skip to main content

Will Grand Theft Auto 6 come to Xbox Game Pass?

Grand Theft Auto 6 is still a complete mystery, despite the fact that it’s the most-talked-about upcoming game at the moment. Reports claim that the game is in development, with a release date still years off. There are also rumors that it’ll be a huge game that compiles maps from previous entries in the series.

While much if this is hearsay, there’s one question I find myself asking: Will it come to Xbox Game Pass at launch? That’s a question I ask about a lot of games these days, but its becoming especially front of mind when I think about Grand Theft Auto 6. Developer Rockstar has been playing nice with Microsoft’s subscription service over the past few years, opening the door for Game Pass’ biggest power play yet. It would be a full checkmate moment.

It’ll be a long time until we get a firm answer here, but there’s a new reason to speculate: Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — Definitive Edition. The upcoming collection is the first GTA game to release since 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V. Xbox Game Pass didn’t launch until 2017, so this is the first chance we’ve gotten to see how committed Rockstar is to bringing a new entry in the series to the service.

The answer is mixed, as it turns out. The full remaster trilogy isn’t coming to Game Pass. Instead, Game Pass subscribers will get Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas — Definitive Edition on November 11, the day it launches. Rockstar is doing something similar for Sony’s PS Now service, though the deal is a bit less sweet. Grand Theft Auto 3 — Definitive Edition will join the service on December 7.

Characters stand together in the remastered edition of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

It’s a bizarre move and one that shows that Rockstar isn’t ready to give its biggest series away for free just yet. Putting one game on each service won’t really help fans of the series much. The appeal of the trilogy collection is, well, the trilogy. Those who want to play all three games will need to pony up a full $60, so throwing San Andreas on Game Pass almost feels like giving Microsoft fans a demo.

Previous Rockstar games have come to Game Pass before, but the approach has been similarly cagey. Both Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2 have appeared on the service, but they disappeared just as fast. The latter joined Game Pass in May 2020 and left the library that September. The same thing happened with Red Dead Online this year, timeline and all.

Arthur Morgan mounts a machine gun in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Based on that history, the chances of Grand Theft Auto 6 coming to Xbox Game Pass at launch are looking slim. This is going to be a cash cow for Rockstar, and if its not willing to add its remake collection to services, or keep its old games available, there’s no reason to think it’ll give the milk away for free — especially when Rockstar has its own games launcher that stands to get a big boost when that game debuts.

Realistically, we’ll probably see Grand Theft Auto 6 come to Xbox Game Pass and PS Now sometime deeper in its life span. Rockstar still does play ball with services like Game Pass, but it’s more strategic about its offerings than most companies. It gives players a taste, but never enough to stop them from buying the actual game. Game Pass owners will probably get a few months with GTA6, only to find themselves needing to pay to continue their progress. You won’t sign up and beat a game like this in a month. Grand Theft Auto V is still going strong after eight years.

Naturally, a lot can change in the next few years. GTA6 doesn’t seem like it’ll launch until 2025 at the earliest, according to reports. Xbox Game Pass is growing every year, and 2022 should be its biggest yet. Companies will only be more and more enticed by the service. Still, temper your expectations. Game Pass needs Grand Theft Auto more than Grand Theft Auto needs Game Pass. Rockstar clearly knows that, and it’s going to game the system to boost its bottom line, not its player counts.

Editors' Recommendations

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
Xbox Game Pass adds a little and loses a lot this month
persona 4 golden 500000 players all out attack

Microsoft revealed the games coming to and leaving Xbox Game Pass this month, and there's an odd imbalance. Only three new games are announced to be coming to the service throughout the rest of January. Still, we will lose six games on January 15, including last year's indie hidden gem Nobody Saves the World and We Happy Few, a title from first-party Xbox studio Compulsion Games. 
As for what's coming to Xbox Game Pass throughout the rest of January, we have three highly anticipated Xbox ports that are day-one launches on the subscription service. Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden will come to the service on January 19, while Monster Hunter Rise will be added on January 20. All three games will be available across the cloud, console, and PC versions of the service. Meanwhile, the what's leaving on January 15 list is double the length of what's being added:

We Happy Few
Nobody Saves the World
Windjammers 2
The Anacrusis
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

Read more
4 video game news stories that shaped the industry’s future in 2022
Living room with Microsoft Xbox Series X (L) and Sony PlayStation 5 home video game consoles alongside a television and soundbar.

With the video game industry in constant growth mode, it's rare we ever get through a year without some massive bombshell announcement with huge implications for the future. In 2021, for instance, we saw Epic waging war against Apple’s business practices, Valve disrupting hardware with its Steam Deck announcement, and a harrowing Activision Blizzard scandal that acted as a tipping point for the industry and its often difficult working conditions.

The news didn’t slow down in 2022 -- if anything, it escalated. The Activision Blizzard revelation in particular had something of a snowball effect this year, rolling its way into several major threads. Between high-profile acquisitions and a push for unionization, this year very much felt like a direct continuation of 2021. Nothing was a one-off story, but rather part of a historical moment that could make the 2020s the most pivotal decade in gaming history when all is said and done.

Read more
Even without a big exclusive, Xbox quietly dominated 2022
The Xbox Series X controller on a black background.

Looking back on 2022 at a surface level, you might be tempted to say that Xbox had a rough year. Halo Infinite struggled to push its initial momentum, major releases like Starfield were delayed in 2023, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) moved to block Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition. All of that left Xbox players with no big ticket exclusives in 2022 and a sense that Microsoft’s plans to rectify that issue may be hitting a brick wall.

However, that would be an outdated read of the situation -- one that’s not reflective of the gaming landscape as it stands today. The truth is that big exclusive games are no longer the sole mark of a platform’s success. While that strategy is still Sony and Nintendo’s bread and butter, Microsoft’s unusual 2022 made it clear that the company is comfortable playing by its own rules.

Read more