If you’re excited about GTA 6 we’ve got good news: it’s currently in development and, according to developer Rockstar Games, work on it is "well underway".
The confirmation that we are definitely getting a sixth Grand Theft Auto game came after years of rumors and speculation around whether or not it would happen. But, now that we know GTA 6 is a real game we'll one day be able to play, we have more questions. The biggest one being: when can we play it? Unfortunately, we don't know yet. It seems likely that the release is still a couple of years away, meaning we probably won't see it until at least 2024.
There aren’t a huge amount of solid details about GTA 6 available just yet, with Rockstar not going past confirmation of its existence and a vow to "set creative benchmarks for the series." Fortunately, we have plenty of reports and rumors to help us get a sense of what we could see when the game is eventually released.
For instance, while we're still waiting for Rockstar’s word on where and when the game will be set, as well as what story it will tell, an intriguing Bloomberg report claims that the game could introduce the series' first playable female protagonist and revolve around a pair of characters styled after the American criminal duo Bonnie and Clyde.
The 'where' of GTA 6 is also surrounded by mystery. However, it looks more and more likely that GTA 6 will be set in Vice City with extensions into other regions and cities via post-launch DLC.
Rockstar Games doesn't make announcements before it's ready, so it's likely we're going to be waiting a little while longer before hearing official details on GTA 6 or actually seeing it in action. In the meantime, GTA 5 on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S has at least given us some insight into how sharp the game could look on the latest generation of consoles.
Want to find out more about the next Grand Theft Auto? Read on for everything we know about GTA 6 so far.
GTA 6: cut to the chase
- What is GTA 6? The next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series
- When is GTA 6 coming out? TBC, but likely not for a few years
- What platforms will GTA 6 release on? TBC
- Where will GTA 6 be set? TBC
GTA 6 release date: when is GTA 6 coming out?
While Rockstar Games has finally announced it's working on GTA 6, it’s kept release details tightly under wraps. But there have been plenty of reports and rumors that could hint at when we'll get our hands on Grand Theft Auto 6. Very few of them suggest it'll be anytime soon.
According to a recent report by Bloomberg (opens in new tab), several current and former Rockstar employees suggest the developer has spent a long time figuring out exactly what the next Grant Theft Auto will look like. Given this extended development time, they reckon GTA 6 is still at least two years away from release, pinning the sequel to a 2024 launch.
Although only speculation, it tallies with other reports and leaks from the last couple of years. Until now, our most solid GTA 6 release date hint came via the marketing budget of Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar's parent company. Take-Two's 10-K SEC filing (opens in new tab) from 2020 (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 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 (which now looks likely). In a note (opens in new tab) to investors, 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.
What's more, in a press release (opens in new tab) detailing Take-Two Interactive’s deal to buy mobile game company Zynga, a section on "Strategic Rationale and Stockholder Value Creation" contained a note stating that: "Looking ahead, the combined company is expected to deliver a 14% compound annual growth rate… over the three-year period from Take-Two's Fiscal Years 2021 through 2024."
In response to that, an analyst from investment banking firm Jefferies, quoted by Axios' Stephen Totilo on Twitter (opens in new tab), said: "there are only a handful of titles that can...provide management with the confidence to put out such a strong guidance; we believe there is at least one Rockstar IP set to be released by FY24."
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 previews of Battlefield and Call of Duty, posted a video (opens in new tab) sharing a bunch of alleged GTA 6 details. In it, Henderson predicts 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", with the developer aiming to avoid crunch culture. Henderson also claimed that Rockstar didn't want to announce the game until it was 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. His report (opens in new tab) earlier this year confirmed that Rockstar has been making efforts to overhaul its workplace culture, and previously said on Twitter (opens in new tab) that Henderson's claims "[match] up with what I’ve heard".
A release sometime in 2024 looks like a pretty safe bet, then, but one leaker claims this could be wishful thinking. Creator of Rockstar Mag Chris Klippel (who has accurately leaked Rockstar Game news before) claims that while the developer has reached an important working milestone, he doesn't expect Grand Theft Auto to release before the end of 2024.
"I think that a (real) announcement at the end of the year may be possible," Klippel tweeted (opens in new tab). "In any case, I don't see the game arriving before the end of 2024."
So, maybe the 2025 side of that 2024/2025 estimate is more likely.
Take-Two's FY23-FY25 Pipeline outlined: pic.twitter.com/kZEf8xgpvLMay 16, 2022
Take-Two Interactive's May 2022 earnings presentation (opens in new tab) also put a dampener on any release date optimism by outlining the publisher’s release pipeline for the 2023 financial year through to 2025 with no mention of GTA 6.
On the surface, this would appear to suggest that we might not see GTA 6 until after April 2026 which would be a long wait. However, it’s worth noting that the slide showing the release pipeline says that it’s only a “snapshot” of the current development pipeline and that new titles will be added in the future. The presentation, for instance, suggests details about unannounced projects are expected to release in early 2023.
Even if Take-Two does have a rough internal release window for GTA 6, it’s unlikely that it’s going to reveal it to the world via a slide in a financial presentation.
We'll have to wait until Rockstar Games officially confirms GTA 6's release date to know for sure when we'll get our hands on it, but based on current speculation it looks likely that won't be for a couple of years yet.
GTA 6 trailer: when can I watch one?
Unfortunately, Rockstar Games didn't share a trailer for GTA 6 alongside its announcement, suggesting that the developer is approaching its reveal of Grand Theft Auto 6 differently than its previous titles. With both GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar Games teased an announcement a few days before dropping the first trailer for either game.
But this time Rockstar didn't tease an announcement at all, nor did it announce the game with a trailer, instead it simply included the announcement as part of a community post, making it somewhat difficult to predict whether there will indeed will a trailer sometime soon.
Either way, 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.
GTA 6 map: where and when will GTA 6 be set?
Rockstar Games hasn't confirmed where GTA 6 will take us, but there's a plethora of rumors floating around suggesting a variety of settings for the game. Although every online titbit and juicy gossip morsel looks tantalizing, a few hold more water than others.
It's looking most likely that GTA 6 will be set in Vice City, Rockstar's fictional version of Miami, or at least a fictional version of Miami. The aforementioned Bloomberg report claims a source "close to the matter" suggests Vice City will appear in GTA 6, although Rockstar's original plans were apparently more ambitious. The report claims that, at the beginning of development, GTA 6 encompassed huge areas modeled after both North and South America. That scope was apparently cut back, however, to focus on Vice City and its surrounding area, though "the game’s world remains large, with more interior locations than previous Grand Theft Auto games".
But the map won't remain static, according to the report. Rockstar plans to update GTA 6 with more cities and interior locations after release, with these updates set to be substantially larger than those GTA 5 has received. The idea is to give developers more breathing room to create the game's expansive map and cut down on stressful overtime during development. It also means you'll have new areas to explore after the game hits shelves. According to Bloomberg, Rockstar plans to add new missions and cities to the game “on a regular basis”, giving us new areas to explore while hopefully cutting crunch at the studio.
Those rumors nicely align with previous leaks. One of the biggest Grand Theft Auto 6 setting rumors of the past few years came from YouTube channel The Know (opens in new tab). It claimed GTA 6 is being developed under the code name Project Americas because players will be able to fly between the US and South America in the game.
Similarly, a post on Reddit that's since been deleted seemed to corroborate some of the claims in The Know report. According to the Reddit poster behind the leak, the game 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).
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).
Following these rumors, since early 2020, a series of 'leaked' images have emerged 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 to include Rio De Janeiro, the Everglades and Colombia.
However, the recent Bloomberg report suggests those rumors were only half true. While the game was originally intended to span both the North and South American continents, its scale looks to have been cut back to focus more specifically on Vice City with "more interior locations than previous Grand Theft Auto games."
Leaker Tom Henderson has similarly claimed that while Vice City will be coming to GTA 6 in some capacity, the game's map isn't as big as previous rumors suggested.
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".
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 a 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.
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, we've yet to get an official confirmation of GTA 6's setting from Rockstar itself.
GTA 6 story and characters: what to expect
Rockstar Games hasn't confirmed GTA 6's story or characters yet but reports and rumors may point to what we can expect from Grand Theft Auto 6's storytelling.
According to Bloomberg's report, GTA 6 will feature the series’ first female protagonist and center around a pair of characters styled after the American criminal duo Bonnie and Clyde. The report details Rockstar’s efforts to change its workplace culture, and how the developer “has spent the last four years overhauling its culture and working to become a kinder, more progressive company.” As part of the changes, “Grand Theft Auto VI will have a female Latina protagonist – the first playable woman in modern Rockstar history.” Who the second leading character is and what the nature of their relationship will be isn’t clear.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard a report of a playable female character in GTA 6. Prominent leaker Tom Henderson previously reported (opens in new tab) that the game will feature "multiple playable characters", including one female character who is set to be the "bright one", with a focus on technology and hacking.
In Schreier’s report, he writes that “the woman, who is Latina, will be one of a pair of leading characters in a story influenced by the bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde". Developers at Rockstar are "being cautious not to ‘punch down’ by making jokes about marginalized groups," in contrast to previous entries in the series.
But this may not have always been the case. According to Axios' Stephen Totilo (opens in new tab), at one point GTA 6 was to have three cities and four protoganists. If these reports are true, the number of protagonists has been cut down, similarly to the cities.
The story itself, outside of the Bonnie and Clyde stylized characters, is also unconfirmed. However several rumors, including the Know's report and the aforementioned deleted Reddit post, have pointed to GTA 6's story focusing on drug-running, drawing inspiration from shows and movies like Narcos and Tom Cruise's Made in America. The Reddit post also claims that the story will be told through chapters, with a heavy emphasis on the visuals of changes in time as the story progresses. However that post also claimed the next GTA would have only one protagonist, called Ricardo, which contradicts Axios and Bloomberg's reports (though it simply could be the vision for GTA 6 has changed over time).
We could be waiting a while to hear anything official from Rockstar on GTA 6's story and characters – likely until the game's official reveal – but news of the series' first potential female protagonist is certainly enough to get us excited.
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.
Reports of single-player DLC returning
GTA 6 could feature single-player DLC according to a recent report from known leaker Tez2. Writing on the GTAForums (opens in new tab), Tez2 touched on recent reports on how the game could expand over time, claiming that “Rockstar will go back to how they were planning future content before GTA Online success boomed”.
This, Tez2 says, means that Rockstar will plan the first new cities and missions that will be added as DLC prior to the release of GTA 6. This is apparently “to allocate resources towards whatever new title they will work on after VI release”.
As for the cities that will be part of this DLC, according to Tez2, they will be "new cities or islands. Like Cayo Perico or North Yankton style. That way, Rockstar can introduce a new heist for the next GTA Online mode with each new DLC. If we are lucky, we could receive a fully fledged new city from time to time.”
This would, as Tez2 notes, be a shift after Rockstar revealed to Game Informer (opens in new tab) in 2017 that it moved away from plans to bring DLC to GTA 5’s single-player back in 2015 in favor of expanding GTA Online and working on Red Dead Redemption 2.
Rockstar is “determined” to “set creative benchmarks”
In an August 2022 financial call (opens in new tab), GTA publisher Take-Two touched on GTA 6, the progress being made on its development and Rockstar’s ambitions for the game. During the call, CEO Strauss Zelnick reiterated the February 2022 announcement that development on the game is “well underway”, adding that the team at Rockstar Games “is determined to once again set creative benchmarks for the series, our industry, and for all entertainment, just as the label has done with every one of their frontline releases."
Zelnick’s statement doesn’t give much away. Nor does it comment on the late July reports from Bloomberg on the contents of the game. But it does, at least, suggest that Rockstar is aiming high when it comes to GTA 6 and that we’re unlikely to get even a peek of the game before Rockstar is happy that it’s ready to be shown.
A change in workplace culture
Bloomberg's aforementioned report details Rockstar’s efforts to change its workplace culture, and how the developer “has spent the last four years overhauling its culture and working to become a kinder, more progressive company.” As part of the changes, “Grand Theft Auto VI will have a female Latina protagonist – the first playable woman in modern Rockstar history.”
Bloomberg adds that production on the game “has been slower than expected, largely due to the pandemic but also due to these changes, as employees grow accustomed to working at this new Rockstar. But many say morale is higher than ever and that the cultural changes are well worth it.”
Rockstar hiring push and a focus on GTA 6
Rockstar has already confirmed that the development of GTA 6 is “well underway” but a recent hiring push suggests it might be moving up a gear. As spotted by PCGamesN (opens in new tab), Rockstar Games is hiring for over 200 positions across its global studios with a large number of the roles added around mid-2022.
The jobs span a range of development fields, from UX, to production, to animation, to art. They’re also open at many of the developer’s studios across the world. The jobs are, of course, not all necessarily tied to Grand Theft Auto 6 but with that game being the developer’s focus at the moment, there’s a good chance that many are.
This follows a July 2022 post (opens in new tab) from Rockstar announcing that it’s pulling back on major updates to Red Dead Online, Rockstar has touched on its intentions for Grand Theft Auto going forward and the focus it has on developing Grand Theft Auto 6.
“Over the past few years,” the post reads, “we have been steadily moving more development resources towards the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series — understanding more than ever the need to exceed players’ expectations and for this next entry to be the best it can possibly be — and as a result, we are in the process of making some changes to how we support Red Dead Online.”
In a “very turbulent” state
Notable leaker and insider, Tom Henderson, has said (opens in new tab) that work on GTA 6 is in a “very turbulent" state at the moment. This isn’t, he clarifies, for any reasons that ought to cause fans alarm. Instead, he says that the development “hasn't been plain sailing just like with every other game in development during COVID etc. People leaving and what-not.”
Henderson adds that, in spite of this turbulence, he still believes the game will launch sometime in 2024 or 2025, which has been his estimated date for some time now.
I still believe the game is releasing in 2024-2025.I'm referring to turbulent because it hasn't been plain sailing just like with every other game in development during COVID etc. People leaving and what-not.June 27, 2022
An engine ahead of its time?
The graphics for GTA 6 could be seriously impressive if a recent report is anything to go by. Journalist and Rockstar insider Chris Klippel (via T3 (opens in new tab)) has said that the engine being used to create GTA 6 is “ahead of its time”.
Klippel claimed on Twitter that "the new version of the graphics engine of RockstarGames (RAGE9) which will be used for GTA6 is likely to be quite incredible", adding that he’s been “able to get very positive feedback, we really shouldn't be disappointed on this point.”
Visiblement, la nouvelle version du moteur graphique de #RockstarGames (RAGE9) qui sera utilisée pour #GTA6 risque d'être assez incroyable. J'ai pu avoir des retours très positifs, on devrait vraiment ne pas être déçu sur ce point. On parle d'un moteur en avance sur son temps. pic.twitter.com/v2DVSS4lMJApril 22, 2022
Klippel also said, when asked for more details on how it will compare to Unreal Engine, that "Apparently the goal is to outperform the Unreal Engine. They are capable of it, we will see if they can do it."
Let's face it, GTA 6 being a graphically impressive release is sort of to be expected but we've yet to see how it will look for ourselves. It also remains unclear when exactly we'll get the chance to see the game.
You’ve got to keep things fresh, says Take Two CEO
With GTA 5 expanded and enhanced edition bringing the nearly nine-year-old game to another console generation, it has felt like the GTA franchise is spinning its wheels a bit but that may change with GTA 6. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz (opens in new tab), Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick touched on the announcement that GTA 6 is in development and not being precious with the past, saying, "You always have to be willing to be fresh. You always have to be willing to bring consumers what they want. The minute you try to protect the past, you become irrelevant."
Zelnick went on to add, “I'm thrilled Rockstar's working on the next iteration of Grand Theft Auto. I have no doubt it will be just great, and there's every evidence to believe from the past that the Grand Theft Auto catalog will also continue to perform."
Rockstar’s only new game this gen?
According to prominent leaker AccNGT, Rockstar could be putting its all into getting GTA 6 right. In a January 2022 Q&A, when asked how many games we should expect from Rockstar this generation, they said, “If we are talking about new games, then I think only GTA 6 will be released.”
@ZerkhovHow many games should we expect from Rockstar this gen?If we are talking about new games, then I think only GTA 6 will be releasedJanuary 7, 2022
First screenshot hidden in the GTA trilogy?
A single image of a house in the GTA Trilogy version of San Andreas has fans thinking they might be looking at the very first screenshot from GTA 6. The image of the house, posted on GTA Forums (opens in new tab) (via IGN (opens in new tab)), can be found amongst the photos on the wall of San Andreas' UFO-themed Lil' Probe'Inn. That’s kind of the perfect location for the start of a conspiracy, don’t you think?
Another #GTATrilogy mystery hunt. The Lil' Probe'Inn has an unidentified house amongst the UFO photo display... GTAVI? (jk) (or am I, where is this from?) Credit to ArthurZussman, mussefar03 and mrcharhead for these images.Discussion source: https://t.co/F4uXihZS9v pic.twitter.com/1iHP1jiQMLNovember 16, 2021
It might just be a house with a UFO above it but the thing that’s striking fans as odd is that the high quality of the visuals in the image suggests it isn’t from an older game and no one can seem to find it in GTA 5 either.
One GTA Forums user identified a real-life house in Boca Raton near Miami that looks like the house. Those who have been keeping up with the reports that GTA 6 might be set in Miami (or at least a fictional version of it) will know why that’s significant and fans are taking it as a hint about the setting. One Twitter user and self-professed Rockstar fan, Matheusvictorbr, said in April 2022 (opens in new tab) that they've been able to verify that the house is from GTA 6. There has, however, been nothing official from Rockstar.
Job listing details next-gen VFX
A job listing (opens in new tab) 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.
Instagram sparks another Vice City rumor
Vice City setting rumors picked up after an Instagram post made by a Rockstar employee. The post (via GamesRadar (opens in new tab)) was made by soundtrack manager and music supervisor Tony Mesones in July 2021. 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 location 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.
GTA 6 could reward you in cryptocurrency instead of cash
Tom Henderson (opens in new tab), a well-known Call of Duty and Battlefield leaker, claimed on Twitter that he's 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
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.”
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.
The next step for GTA could be VR
GTA in VR? It could be on the cards if a posting on LinkedIn (opens in new tab) 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 game seems to be perpetually popular and we now have an expanded and enhanced version for PS5, which could mean PSVR 2 involvement.
The good news for GTA 6 hopefuls is that this project is with an entirely different studio so this VR project isn't likely to derail anything to do with GTA 6.
Take-Two Interactive has 93 games in the works
Grand Theft Auto publisher, Take-Two Interactive, revealed in 2020 that it had 93 "full game releases" planned for the next five years – and we now know 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 catalog, 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.
In February 2020, Chris ‘Liberty93’ from Rockstar Mag (a French fansite) claimed 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.
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 left Rockstar Games in March 11, 2020. 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.
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: GTA 6 could be the last GTA title. (opens in new tab)
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.
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