GTA 6 release date: all the latest details on the new Grand Theft Auto

Everything you need to know about the next game in Rockstar's biggest series, and all the GTA 6 news we can find

GTA 6 release date

When is the GTA 6 release date? It’s hard to say, as Rockstar usually releases a new entry into the franchise every four to five years, which means we should have had one three years ago. As you know, however, we got Red Dead Redemption, instead. Hardly a rough trade off, sure.

The previous Grand Theft Auto game was almost inconceivably massive and entertaining. No wonder we’re so desperate for a GTA 6 release date. The game’s sales numbers are off the charts, too, and player numbers remain impressive years on from release. This is largely thanks to Rockstar’s excellent and consistent updates to GTA Online. So, naturally, we’re thinking hard about what’s coming next: GTA 6.

While Grand Theft Auto 6 hasn’t been announced yet we’re very much hoping for some GTA 6 news soon. Our insatiable appetite for biting satire and a good carjacking knows no bounds. We’ve rounded up all the latest GTA 6 rumours in one place with our suggestions for what we’d like to see, no matter what form the new Grand Theft Auto ends up taking. Below you’ll find everything we know about GTA 6:

GTA 6 release date

When is GTA 6 coming out? If the series’ typical development timeline of about four to five years between entries is anything to go by, we should have got GTA 6 in 2018. Safe to say, it’s been a little longer than that.

Rumours suggest GTA 6 has been pushed back to 2024 or 2025. A video posted by Battlefield and Call of Duty leaker Tom Henderson reports that the game has supposedly been pushed back from 2023, as Rockstar has reportedly taken steps to improve workplace conditions and avoid crunch.

GTA 6 release date streets

GTA 6 news

Nowadays we tend to wait the best part of a decade between new games like GTA and Borderlands, but that might not necessarily be the case going forward. In an interview with gamesindustry.biz, Take-Two Interactive CEO, Strauss Zelnick, suggested that better development tools and bigger teams could shorten these gaps. It could also mean that such “games may be a bit shorter” while still being robustly supported post-launch.

To mitigate crunch time is another reason the next GTA could be shorter, as Kotaku says in its report, “One plan that management has laid out for the next game, a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series, is to start out with a moderately sized release (which, by Rockstar’s standards, would still be a large game) that is then expanded with regular updates over time, which may help mitigate stress and crunch.” Rockstar employees are speaking out about the positive changes the company is making after it was scrutinised following the crunch time over Red Dead Redemption 2. Although there’s still no timeline on GTA 6, it means the next GTA might be slightly smaller when it does release.

 

This theory also works with a few other rumours mentioned in Henderson’s July 2021 video, in which he discusses the theory that GTA 6 is set in modern-day Vice City, and not the ‘80s as some suspected. Apparently, this is because a modern setting is more easily expanded upon in GTA Online – and on that note, the new online mode may take place on an ‘evolving map’ that changes on every release.

gta 6 rumours

 

A GTA 5 character standing in front of a screen with information about Data Gathering Drones, which, if we had any, we would put to work discovering more about GTA 6.

This GTA 6 rumour is from all the way back in 2018, and is a bit out there, so bear with us on this one. A supposedly leaked screenshot of the GTA 6 map made its way onto GTA forums and Reddit, but its apparent validity comes from the fact that it matches a similar leak from 2018. The new map shows a central American-inspired island in early stages of development, but looks roughly the same shape as the older leak.

Of course, this could all be rubbish and the fake could have been planned to match the older map. However, that’s not stopping fans from getting excited at a potential remake of the iconic Vice City.

Before that, the last GTA 6 rumour comes from the online CV for actor Jorge Consejo, who lists GTA 6 as a title where he plays a character listed as ‘The Mexican’ from 2018. Consejo has been addressing, and not addressing, the rumours on Twitter, simply stoking the fire with replies like “I can neither confirm nor deny this. But I did read your tweet ;)” and “While I read every message from you, please know that because of contract stipulations sometimes I’m unable to comment on certain projects,” – sounds promising.

Another GTA 6 rumour comes from Rockstar’s tax returns of all things. TaxWatchUK reports that Edinburgh-based Rockstar North latest published accounts reveal a huge increase in claims for video games tax relief. The report then speculates, “Studios are able to make interim claims for VGTR before a game is completed, and the huge claims being put in by Rockstar are likely related to the production costs of GTA VI. As VGTR is related to production spend, the large claim indicates the scale of Rockstar’s spending on games development.”

Of course, there’s been plenty of job ads over the years, too. Rockstar Leeds posted a job ad for an Environment Artist, whose job is ‘creating and texturing environment assets for the biggest and best open-world environments in the industry’. This could very well point to the development of GTA 6, although nothing more specific can be gleaned.

Twitter user @Yan2295, a previous Rockstar insider known for leaking information in the past, has drawn attention to a number of potential hints circulating the internet.

On Reddit and Twitter is a photograph of a letter allegedly written by location manager Leah Sokolowsky, containing a request on behalf of the Rockstar Games development team to visit ‘primarily… interior spaces’ in Florida so that they can research and photograph these locations to inspire in-game locales. If legitimate, this fits nicely with the Project Americas theory touted by YouTube channel Inside Gaming, which purports we’ll be visiting Vice City (Rockstar’s Miami) and South America in GTA 6. Lending even more credence to the Vice City theory is the simple fact that we’re talking about GTA VI… VI-ce City? No? It works so well.

GTA 6 release date Michael

GTA 6 story

A GTA 6 story could take any shape. Across the Grand Theft Auto series, narratives have covered a broad spectrum of ideas and tones – from the cynical critique of capitalism portrayed in GTA 4, to the relatively light and humorous GTA 5.

We’re not aware of any specific GTA 6 story beats as yet. It remains to be seen if there will be multiple protagonists once again, but we would love to see GTA 6 herald the inclusion of the first female GTA protagonist. In a 2013 interview with The Guardian, Dan Houser explained why a woman wasn’t playable in GTA V, and how the team could make it happen in the future.

GTA 6 online

“We didn’t really think about it this time [of GTA V]. 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 lead female character? 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.”

We certainly agree. If Rockstar could imbue a female protagonist with its typically anarchic sense of humour, she could be one of PC gaming’s greats. And, since we got a three-pronged set of protagonists last time – a first for the series – why can’t we have a little more variety in our lead characters for GTA 6? Who knows, they could even be on the side of the law this time, like these GTA V modders.

Tom Henderson’s July 2021 rumours video touches on this subject, too – he discusses the possibility of a playable one female character who is the ‘bright one’ in the group, and is adept at using technology and hacking. We like the sound of that.

GTA 6 map

GTA 6 map

The rumour mill has been churning with talk of a London GTA 6 setting.  But, while England’s big smoke is said to be the only non-US setting Rockstar would consider, Houser appeared to debunk this rumour in The Guardian’s interview with him. He said: “I think for us, my gut feeling is, GTA London was cool for the time, but games were more limited then. These days I think we would love to set a game in the UK, set in London, whatever, but I don’t know if it would be a GTA game.

“I think there are plenty of great stories we could tell about the UK, great environments to showcase, great gameplay mechanics that could have a UK bent to them – I just don’t think it would be a GTA necessarily.”

TechRadar, citing an unnamed insider source, asserts that Rockstar was considering Tokyo as a possible Grand Theft Auto setting around the time Vice City was in development. However, on top of the issues posed by setting the game outside of the US, the developer was also put off by the “problematic” road system. Rockstar already has a game set in Tokyo, of course – you can see more of it in the Midnight Club 2 video below.

Another persistent rumour is that the open-world game will not be restricted to a city, but would comprise the entirety of the US. Now, we don’t doubt that Rockstar has the ambition or the necessary dollars to make that happen, but it’d involve too much driving – and, therefore, not enough heisting – in our book.

There are multiple ways Rockstar could make this a reality for a GTA 6 map. First, GTA 6’s US could be a truncated version of the real-world country, as we found in The Crew 2’s gameplay. Or various cities in America could function as a quasi open world – like the connected, but separate playable environments in The Witcher 3, one of the best RPGs on PC.

Rather be a good guy?: Check out our list of the best police games

However, rumour has it that GTA 6 will take place in two locations. First of which is Rockstar’s version of South Florida – Vice City, in other words. The bulk of the game is rumoured to return to the setting of the series’ 2002 classic, but it’s also claimed some missions will see you fly to an unknown part of South America. This information suggests that the GTA 6 map will be a departure from the GTA 5 one, which saw Blaine County Los Santos joined together without loading screens.

GTA 6 bike

Just imagine escaping the police after a high-octane heist one moment, and taking an artistic selfie at the Grand Canyon the next? Whatever Rockstar chooses for the GTA 6 setting, this rumour is an enticing one.

Regardless of what GTA 6 setting is chosen, you can guarantee that it’ll showcase Rockstar’s irreverent and cutting sense of humour, populated with plenty of distractions to keep you from the game’s main missions.

So, what would we like to see from a GTA 6 setting? It’d be great to see GTA 6 take a trip to Nevada. Like the Fallout: New Vegas world, except with a little less nuclear annihilation… hopefully. In the style of The Hangover, it’d be huge fun to rampage through the casinos and strip clubs of Las Vegas. Just as long as we don’t have friends as needy as GTA 4’s Roman to babysit, too.

GTA 6 gameplay

GTA 6 gameplay

If the rumour that a new game in the series could recreate the entirety of the US holds true, there will be a huge number of activities to choose from. But the surface area of a location is one thing, whether the GTA 6 gameplay is fun, is another.

Thankfully, then, Rockstar has a solid track record with delivering gameplay that keeps us coming back for more. If the side missions kept us from the main story after many hours into GTA 6’s predecessors, a gargantuan, full-sized US could keep us going forever.

What innovations could GTA 6 gameplay provide? Maybe we’ll see our new protagonist planning assassinations like we did heists in GTA V? Something like Rocksteady pioneered with Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009, in which we channel our sleuthing abilities to catch our foes, ending with a classic Grand Theft Auto car chase?

In GTA V, the side activities ranged from daring bank jobs to wholesome rounds of golf and hunting down celebrities as paparazzi. The sheer popularity of meticulously planned co-op heists from GTA V surely means they’ll return to GTA 6 in some form, and we can’t wait to see what Rockstar conjures up.

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Ok, so we don’t know much about GTA 6 – trust us, we feel just as bad as you. In the meantime, enjoy our list of the best sandbox games on PC above.

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