When is the GTA 6 release date? Given how many years it takes to create open worlds of the same caliber as GTA 5, it’s no surprise that Rockstar Games has already spent years developing GTA 6. However, like most developers, Rockstar prefers to keep its secrets close to its chest until they’re close to the end of development, but we recently had our first real hints about when the game’s coming out.
Early gameplay footage of GTA 6 recently surfaced online, along with lines of source code from the game itself. Rockstar has issued a statement on Twitter that confirms that an unauthorized third party managed to access and download information from their systems, including development footage for the open-world game. However, its statement notes that the developers don’t believe this leak should impact the development of their long-term projects or disrupt their live service games.
GTA 6 release date speculation
The GTA 6 release date will be during the 2025 Fiscal year. We now know the rough timeframe thanks to a recent Take-Two Interactive investors call, where the company said that “active development for the next entry” is “well underway” and that it will enter its “next phase of growth in Fiscal 2025”. It’s possible that this is subject to change.
As a result of the GTA 6 launch details being announced, Take-Two’s stock has seen a massive jump in share price from $125.02 to $136.52, which is a good indication that investors see this as good news.
This release date information is supported by early claims from Tez2, a member of the GTA forums, who says that Rockstar’s “aimed-always-changing-not-set-in-stone deadline is holiday 2024, which has been pushed back multiple times [over] the past few years. Unfortunately, it could slip into early 2025 as well.”
Tez2 also mentions that they “personally see an announcement as a given this year. I don’t think the upper management is in a position to delay further to holiday 2025/2026”. Rockstar could meet this deadline by “cutting more potions of the game to package into DLCs to release later on” as it “may be more sustainable for management than delaying further”.
Other Rockstar insiders say that the GTA 6 launch date is still “two years away” and will be set in a Vice City-style Miami, featuring a Latin female protagonist. Whenever it happens to release, GTA 6 is set to solidify the franchise’s status as being amongst the best crime games available.
While there’s been no official word about the game since the leak, the actor supposedly playing a character named Jason has posted a photo of himself on social media with palm trees in the background and a Hawaiian shirt. There has been speculation that this is a tease at imminent GTA 6 news, especially since the photo was published around the 20th anniversary of GTA: Vice City’s original release date. However, voice actor Bryan Zampella could be trolling the GTA fans as he’s also posted images of him standing on a beach during a sunset.
GTA 6 leaks
On September 18, 2022, 90 videos showing off a total of 53 minutes and 26 seconds worth of test footage were leaked in one of the biggest data breaches in history. In the early test footage, we can see the player taking the role of a male and a female character as part of a Bonnie and Clyde-like duo named Jason and Lucia, as reported by Bloomberg earlier that year. One of the standout clips shows the player controlling Lucia as she and Jason hold up a diner. Other videos show Lucia standing on a street corner, watching the traffic go by in broad daylight, while Jason visits a nightclub.
Since the footage became public, the GTA 6 leaker has been arrested. According to the City Police, the 17-year-old suspect appeared in a specialist youth court and pleaded ‘not guilty’ to two computer misuse offenses, one related to the GTA 6 leaks and two counts of violating his bail. The suspect has also been charged with two counts of breach of bail conditions and two counts of computer misuse. The case is now being referred to a higher court, with a later date to be set for the hearing.
GTA 6 news
Despite the major setback of leaked game footage, Rockstar has said in a statement that while it is “extremely disappointed” that early footage of the upcoming sandbox game, work on “the next Grand Theft Auto will continue as planned”. The developers also assure fans that they “will update everyone again soon and, of course, will properly introduce you to this next game when it is ready”.
At the very least, GTA 6 has been in active development since the community update on February 4, when Rockstar confirmed that “active development for the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series is well underway”. Whatever it is, we can rest assured it will be “special”. As part of the studio’s announcement that it was winding down support for Red Dead Online, Rockstar confirmed that more resources were being diverted to “the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series” and that it wants to ensure the new game “exceed[s] players’ expectations.”
Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick suggests, in a 2019 interview with gamesindustry.biz, that better development tools and bigger teams could shorten the gaps between game releases. It could also mean that “games may be a bit shorter” while still being robustly supported post-launch.
Mitigating crunch time is another reason the next GTA could be shorter. As Kotaku says in its report in 2020, “One plan that management has laid out for the next game, a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series, is to start 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 the scrutiny it attracted following the crunch time over Red Dead Redemption 2. However, there’s still no confirmed timeline for the GTA 6 release date, as it could still be years away.
GTA 6 map speculation
As for the GTA 6 map itself, some fans speculate that if the calculations from the GTA 6 leak were true, this version of Vice City and the surrounding areas could be twice as large as GTA 5’s Los Santos. This is according to a report by Bloomberg which suggests that the crime game will be set in a fictional version of Miami, which many have read to mean that it’s Vice City, as well as the surrounding region.
However, it could be bigger than even this report speculates, as GTA YouTuber MrBossFTW suggests that a listing on Rockstar’s job opening page for a VFX artist that tells applicants that the successful candidate would “help to immerse the player in a believable world from 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”.
Rumors also suggest that the campaign’s map will change through DLC to include new areas or updates to existing ones based on whatever theme the DLC has. It’s not just the campaign map that changes either, as the new GTA Online mode may take place on an ‘evolving map’ that includes alterations and tweaks with every update, much like how the Fortnite map changes with every new season.
GTA 6 story rumors
Some details from the leaks seem to correlate with a few other rumors mentioned in Tom Henderson’s July 2021 video. For example, he discusses the theory that GTA 6 is set in modern-day Vice City and not the ‘80s, as some suspected. This seems accurate, judging by leaked footage of Jason entering a Vice City Metro train.
While the leaks have shown off the new female playable character, rumors were circulating about this long beforehand. Eagle-eyed users from GTA Forums have found some clues, keeping track of some of the voice talent. One actor, Natonia Monet, originally lists on her CV a performance as “Tamara” under a project known by the codename “Fireball”. This profile has since been altered, but as one of their users points out, “Fireball” is the name of a Pitbull song, and he is from Miami – which is telling as the inspiration for the original GTA Vice City was the drug-infested beaches of the 1980s in Miami Vice. As it turns out, this may not be the main character, as she is named Lucia in the footage.
The appearance of a female protagonist in GTA 6’s campaign makes sense, as Dan Houser has answered questions on why there weren’t playable women beforehand in the GTA series. During a 2013 interview with The Guardian, he explained why a woman wasn’t playable in GTA V, and how the team could make it happen in the future. “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.”
GTA 6 gameplay
As for what GTA 6 gameplay we can see from the leaks, there’s not much different from GTA 5. We see Lucia, presumably controlled by the player, holding up a diner while trying to keep the hostages from escaping by shooting them in the back as they run. We also see Jason and Lucia evading the cops by stealing one of their cars and driving around the block. Jason also leans out of a moving car while shooting with an assault rifle.
Driveable vehicles include cars and boats, as you’d probably expect to see, and the Metro mentioned earlier takes players across the city. In addition, the cars seem to allow players to adjust the wheel’s position, chair angles, and other controls.
Some raw test footage shows more about the movement mechanics, including a cover system, crouching, and crawling. The playable character can also cover their face with their hands or weapon to prevent headshots. At one point in the footage, we see Jason looking in a convenience store while using a new vision ability. It looks similar to how Deadeye in Red Dead Redemption works, but right now, we only see it adjust the color of the footage.
And that’s our roundup of GTA 6 rumors and speculation. We still have a long time to wait until the sequel to one of the best PC games is officially revealed. In the meantime, enjoy our list of the best sandbox games on PC if you want to try and scratch that open-world itch some other way.
Still playing Grand Theft Auto V? Check out GTA 5 system requirements and see if you need to provide hardware support for the aging sandbox game in 2023.