Red Dead Redemption 2 is nearly a year old and it's been a whole six years since Rockstar Games launched Grand Theft Auto 5. Does that mean we can soon expect the next game in the Grand Theft Auto franchise: GTA 6 soon?
The short answer is: no one knows. Despite all kinds of rumours (which you can read about below), there have been no official details about GTA 6 from the team at Rockstar Games – but that doesn't mean it might not drop at any minute.
UPDATE: The latest rumor that could hint at GTA 6's imminent arrival comes from website Edinburgh Live. According to the team there, Rockstar's HQ in Edinburgh has been tearing down the Red Dead Redemption 2 banner this week. We know, that's hardly proof of anything. But what will replace it? It could well be another game, a redesign or maybe the team just want to let a bit more natural light in.
How can we be so confident about Rockstar's next move? Grand Theft Auto 5 has been one of the most successful game releases in the world and even though we're still enjoying GTA Online, it's been nearly six years since launch, which means a new one is only a few years (or less) away.
However, despite what some of the latest rumors might suggest, we don't think there'll be a a GTA 6 release date in 2019. After a hoax release date in some fake pop-up ads spread across the internet, Rockstar came out to inform us that we wouldn't be seeing the game during the next year.
Details may be thin on the ground, but that doesn't stop us gathering together the best pieces of gossip, rumor and fact for your personal pleasure. So without further ado, here's everything we know so far about GTA 6.
Check out our video below on GTA VI: predictions on characters, locations, story and GTA Online.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The highly-anticipated next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series
- When it is out? That’s the internet’s biggest mystery (but we're pretty sure it won't be 2019)
- Will it launch on PC? Both GTA 4 and 5 made their way to PC (eventually), so fingers crossed
GTA 6 release date : when can I play it?
Red Dead Redemption 2 has now been released into the wild for nearly a whole year, which means we're hoping a GTA 6 announcement isn't far away – even though we're likely to be waiting a while to play it.
According to some reports, we could be waiting until 2020 for the next Grand Theft Auto, which would make sense. Rockstar has supported GTA Online, the multiplayer component of GTA 5, since the game launched back in September 2013 with regular content updates. Rockstar has been busy over the past year focusing on getting Red Dead Online running smoothly.
According to reputable industry analyst Michael Pachter, the game could be as far away as 2022. In an interview with Gaming Bolt, Pachter said that he thinks a 2020 announcement with a 2021 release would be the best case scenario, while a 2021 announcement with a 2022 release or later would be more likely.
Basically, expecting any news of GTA 6 any time soon is optimistic. We think it would make sense if the game followed the release pattern of its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto 5, whereby it'd be released at the very tail end of the current generation, comfortably released on the new generation and straddle both for the widest install base possible.
GTA 6 trailer: when can I watch one?
The thing about Rockstar Games is that it’s an incredibly secretive games publisher. No trailer is getting out of that studio unless someone seriously screws up.
Just look at what Rockstar did with both GTA 5 and Red Read Redemption 2. It teased an announcement a few days before dropping the first trailer for either game.
If there’s a GTA 6 trailer, you’ll know about it because the internet will explode – and we'll let you know too, of course. But we're not expecting one anytime soon.
GTA 6 news and rumors: what do we know so far?
Below we've collected together 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 pinch of salt – some are old, some are from now deleted sources and others might just be keen fans getting carried away.
Latest rumor: Edinburgh Rockstar HQ
The latest rumor that could hint at GTA 6's imminent arrival comes from website Edinburgh Live. According to the team there, Rockstar's HQ in Edinburgh has been tearing down the Red Dead Redemption 2 banner this week. We know, that's hardly proof of anything. But what will replace it? It could well be another game, a redesign or maybe the team just want to let a bit more natural light in.
Another day and another Grand Theft Auto 6 leak (via GamesRadar) is making the rounds, though we'd recommend not getting too excited given it's from a now-deleted Reddit post. Admittedly, some of the things that appear in this supposed leak do corroborate previous rumors but this consistency is no confirmation of what the game will be and we won't know for sure what's in store for Grand Theft Auto 6 until Rockstar itself makes an announcement.
Regardless, it's still fun to get our imaginations going for what the future of the Grand Theft Auto franchise may hold. According to the Reddit poster behind the leak, the game, known as Project Americas, has been in production since 2015 though it was placed on ice while Red Dead Redemption 2 was the focus. GTA 6 could be expansive, set across multiple decades (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).
The game will apparently deal with one playable protagonist named Ricardo and play through their story as a rising drug lord with heavy inspiration from Netflix's Narcos series. Starting The story will be told through chapters, with a heavy emphasis on the visuals of changes in time as the story progresses. While there's no estimated release date given, the post says that the plan is to release the game for the next generation only.
While it's unlikely that the whole report is true (even the poster says that the game's pre-alpha status means things are likely to change) that's not to say some elements are impossible. Certainly a next-gen only release seems entirely plausible. Before you get too excited,though, the post has already been debunked by Kotaku's Jason Schreier.
A good rule of thumb is that if a video game leak is a giant list of incredible-sounding bullet points, it's fake https://t.co/lWHFRv9xZk pic.twitter.com/o9SZWcQPuJ2 July 2019
Another rumor leak?
This is definitely one to take with a big pinch of salt but according to a new leak, Grand Theft Auto 6 will return to multiple previous fan-favorite locations, take inspiration from Red Dead Redemption 2, and won't release on current generation consoles. Well, that's according to an anonymous post made on Pastebin, which has since been removed (via Comic Book) .
According to the post, GTA 6 will allow players to travel between several big cities, including Liberty City and Vice City. The poster also claims you start off as a small-time drug runner before joining an infamous gang and kicking it with the big dogs.
In addition, the post claims Rockstar is waiting to see how the new-generation consoles sell (PS5 and Xbox Two) as GTA 6 wouldn't be able to be released on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One due to memory restrictions. The anonymous poster also claimed GTA 6 will feature both major cities along with a vast stretch of highways and Blaine County-like countryside in the middle of it all.
Finally, the post claims that, despite the game being set in a timed era, there will be flashbacks between missions and Red Dead Redemption 2-type stranger dialogues that implement the greet/antagonise format.
While location rumors seem to be leaking in abundance, the anonymous Pastebin post has been backed up by review on Glassdoor by a Rockstar Games QA tester, which has since been removed (via Dexerto). Alongside reading out Rockstar for its institutionalized crunch, the post leaves a cryptic message that sees the first letter of each sentence spelling out 'GTA6LSVCLC'. This may be pointing to the potential locations of Grand Theft Auto 6: Los Santos, Vice City, and Liberty City.
Wonder what these locations would look like together as an actual map? Graphic designer RealityDesign posted a concept image on GTA Forums, showing what this map could potentially look like. Check it out below:
At this point we're probably just clenching at straws, but Rockstar have been hiring for a tonne of programming positions. We're hoping they're preparing to get development underway, but that is probably just hopeful thinking.
The Know report on Vice City
The most significant Grand Theft Auto 6 rumor came from YouTube channel The Know. It stated that an inside source told it that GTA 6 is coming 2021-2022 and is being developed under the code name Project Americas.
The reason for this code name is apparently because players will be able to fly between the US and South America in the game, though the majority of the action will take place in the former. This in combination with the source's assertion that the game will largely be set in Vice City (the Rockstar version of Miami) suggests there could be a focus on drug running which would draw on the popularity of shows and movies like Narcos and Tom Cruise's Made in America. Particularly if Rockstar holds on to that 80s setting.
With no comment from Rockstar, these rumors remain nothing more than, well, rumors. But they do pose an interesting proposition that would seize upon the particular fondness many fans of the series have for Vice City.
GTA 6 is definitely coming and there are ideas
What we do know about GTA 6 is that ideas are being thrown around for development, even if it’s just in the early stages. Rockstar President Leslie Benzies teased the game in an interview back in 2013 with Develop magazine.
“We don’t know what GTA 6 will be, but we’ve got some ideas,” said Benzies in the interview.
Okay, so it’s not much, but it’s certainly a snippet of solid information direct from the source.
Benzies went on to talk about what kind of ideas get the creative juices flowing over at Rockstar.
“We’ve got about 45 years’ worth of ideas we want to do,” he added. “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.”
We’re just pleased that Rockstar has so many ideas for what it wants to do with GTA 6. We just hope it sorts them into some kind of organised system and gets that game to us sharpish.
GTA 6 map: where will GTA 6 be set?
Although there haven’t been any concrete reports as yet, every online titbit and juicy gossip morsel is pointing towards GTA 6’s map being absolutely massive.
We’re even not talking city-size massive, we’re talking potentially the entire of the United States massive.
Some rumors are suggesting that GTA 6 may end up spanning the entirety of the US, with some kind of teleportation system that cuts down the journey time between cities.
There are even some incredibly exciting rumours that Rockstar Games might have a ‘70s theme up its sleeve, so crack out those old bell-bottoms and disco balls.
But there’s also another rumor that’s gathering strength, which would put GTA 6 a little closer to Rockstar Games’ British home – a London setting.
The reports actually started with a comment from Rockstar Games’ co-founder Dan Houser:
“At the moment, it feels like GTA’s DNA is contemporary-ish, American-ish, English-speaking-ish, because that’s what it has been… But that doesn’t necessarily limit it to those, that’s just what we’ve done so far.”
Rockstar Games sources suggest that London is the only non-US location to be whispered as a potential GTA setting.
For our money, we think a return to Vice City is on the cards, which would tie in to the rumors mentioned above. A recent report from The Know suggests that a return to Vice City in the 80s is actually in the works and that players will explore the rise in drugs at the time through the missions. In this rumored game, players will move between Vice City and South America, which would create a very interesting and entirely new kind of map.
The GTA 3 trilogy was set across three locations, Liberty City, Vice City, and San Andreas. This mirrored the original Grand Theft Auto Game, which was also set across the same three locations.
The most recent Grand Theft Auto games, GTA 4 and GTA 5, have so far been set in Liberty City and San Andreas respectively, meaning that Vice City is the only location yet to be explored by the recent games.
The only question now is whether Rockstar will be tempted to complete the set.
GTA 6 rumors
A female protagonist
When asked about a female protagonist for GTA 5, instead of three male heroes (or anti-heroes), Rockstar co-founder and lead writer Dan Houser said in an interview with The Guardian back in 2013 that a female lead wasn’t really on the table, but not intentionally.
“We didn’t really think about it this time,” Houser said. “That’s not to say that we couldn’t or we wouldn’t. This character set is just what came to us: it wasn’t, ‘we’ve got X and Y so we need Z’. We weren’t trying to do it off a checklist – I don’t think that will ever give you something that’s believable or engaging.”
“In the future, could we do a game with a female lead? Of course. We just haven’t found the right game for it yet, but it’s one of the things that we always think about.”
“It didn’t feel natural for this game but definitely for the right game in the future – with the right themes, it could be fantastic. But for GTA 5, this was the organic thing that came up, these were the characters that would display the themes we wanted to think about.”
Likelihood: Strong. Fans have long clamored for a female hero in a Grand Theft Auto game, and it would be a wonderful change from all the murdered prostitutes.
Eva Mendez and Ryan Gosling
Rumors of a female protagonist are super exciting, but there’s more.
But again, there’s more. There’s a male lead on the list too and it’s none other than global heart-throb Ryan Gosling, who also just happens to be her real-life husband.
Likelihood: Questionable. GTA is a major gaming franchise that’s incredibly famous, especially outside of the gaming industry, so it’s possible some big names could be involved, but we’re not convinced.
Full support for virtual reality
Another GTA 6 rumour involves virtual reality and according to the online rumblings, you may be able to play the entirety of GTA 6 in VR.
Specific headsets haven’t been mentioned, but since this is probably just a rumor we’re not that bothered.
Likelihood: Questionable. GTA 6 might have a VR experience attached to it but playing the whole game in virtual reality would be insane.
Unless we’ve seen huge leaps in virtual reality in the years between now and the GTA 6 release date playing a whole GTA game in VR would prove testing for most stomachs.
Fast-paced, action-packed and played in long sessions, a VR GTA (in its current form at least) wouldn’t work.
Time travel or another futuristic twist
With the murmurings of a seriously big map for GTA 6, there are also some rumors of time travelling being a major part of the game.
This isn’t Saints Row we’re talking about, but apparently there may be a futuristic twist to GTA 6.
According to a report from ChristianToday – really – the game will give players “the taste of time travel” where “teleportation [is] possible within a split-second”.
Likelihood: Utterly ridiculous. There are hilarious side-missions in GTA games, but having time travelling as a main gameplay mechanic is just not in Rockstar’s DNA.
Plus, ChristianToday has no screenshots, sources or any kind of proof, so we’re certainly sceptical.
Playing as either a cop or a criminal
Another potential for the GTA 6 storyline is that you have the decision to play either as a cop or as a criminal. Or at least, if GTA 6 adopts the multiple protagonist feature of GTA 5, one of the characters you play as could be a police officer.
Likelihood: Strong. We could totally see this working, especially with the potential mayhem that could ensue if you’re playing a Trevor-style character half the time and a cop the other.
(Image credits: Rockstar Games)
- While you wait for GTA 6 news, check out our list of the best single player PC games of 2019 so far