We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

GTA 6 PC version may be less of a priority, ex Rockstar dev says

After the GTA 6 trailer, the PC version of Grand Theft Auto 6 remains in doubt, but one ex Rockstar dev explains why it may arrive later.

GTA 6 PC version: A young woman, Lucia, from Rockstar sandbox game Grand Theft Auto 6

The first GTA 6 trailer gave us an extremely promising glimpse at Rockstar’s sandbox sequel. More than ten years since the launch of Grand Theft Auto 5, we’re finally returning to Vice City alongside new protagonist Lucia, and a sprawling, detailed open world that seems to be building on all the best aspects of Red Dead Redemption 2. Nevertheless, the Grand Theft Auto 6 PC version remains shrouded in mystery. The game is confirmed for consoles, but nothing has been said about a Steam or PC launch. Now, one former Rockstar developer says the PC version of GTA 6 is likely to follow some time after the initial console release, as studios such as Rockstar will “prioritize what’s best for the company’s money.”

The GTA 6 release date is on its way – that much we know for sure. After years of waiting, the first official footage of Grand Theft Auto 6 confirms a return to the sun-and-neon-drenched beachfronts of Vice City, as well some seriously impressive visuals, and potentially a whole-new dynamic for GTA whereby we play as both Lucia and her partner. The sandbox game sequel is confirmed for consoles, but despite the success of Grand Theft Auto 5 on our beloved platform, we’re still waiting for news on the GTA 6 PC version. One former Rockstar developer explains why this may be the case.

Mike York is a former Rockstar animator who worked principally on Grand Theft Auto 5. York says that studios such as Rockstar may leave PC versions of their games until later as they want to “prioritize what sells.”

“The reason why a PC port comes later and why it’s not the first thing that comes out, is because they want to prioritize what sells,” York explains. “In the past, PlayStation was the big seller. What the developer would do is focus all their energy on making sure the PlayStation port worked really good. When I was working on Grand Theft Auto 5 for instance, we were concentrating on the PS3 and the Xbox, but we were mainly pushing the PS3 to the limit. We put all our energy into that and optimizing it the best we can for that console.

“And the PC version is kind of like the version that’s in the background. There’s always a PC version of the game, but it’s not quite polished. It’s just feeding the other games and making them work.”

YouTube Thumbnail

York says that creating a PC version of a big game is challenging as developers have to test and optimize for a huge variety of different hardware configurations. Compared to consoles, which all use the same components, PC builds vary from consumer to consumer. Nevertheless, the PC will allow developers to incorporate some improvements over console editions.

“One of the main reasons that a PC port will take so long is that it has different architecture and different components,” York says. “They have to accommodate for all of these different things that can happen. On the PlayStation and Xbox, every single one of those has the same graphics card. But every single person has a different PC. And the memory usage and the things the game is doing in the background can hit a fail and mess up for different configurations. They need to test the game more for PC than they do for Xbox or PlayStation.

“But when the developer goes into the PC port process, they now have new ideas to push things. They can add in more characters. They can populate more foliage. Because the PC hardware – depending on what PC you have – is going to be able to run it better. They’re going to optimize it for the best PC parts that are available today.”

Several high-profile PC ports have faced criticism in 2023 owing to performance and technical issues, including The Last of Us Part 1, Hogwarts Legacy, and Star Wars Jedi Survivor. York explains that studios often lack the resources to fully optimize games for every possible hardware configuration, and says that developers will prioritize “what’s best for the company’s money.”

YouTube Thumbnail

“If they had a huge team, they’d just have one team work on the PC, one team work on the Xbox, and the whole time they’d be trying to optimize all three versions,” York says. “But it just doesn’t work that way. We don’t have the money, we don’t have the resources, we don’t have the manpower. So we just prioritize what’s best for the company’s money. So let’s put all our money into the PlayStation, then the Xbox, then the PC.

“I heard one guy say ‘it’s not rocket science.’ But it might be harder than rocket science! Don’t get mad at the developers. Just try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Give them the time to deliver these ports. Go into the comments sections and tell them ‘take your time.’”

Find out everything there is to know about the new, expansive GTA 6 map. We also have a rundown of all the GTA 6 cars that we’ve identified so far.

You can also follow us on Google News for daily PC games news, reviews, and guides, or grab our PCGN deals tracker to net yourself some bargains.