GTA 6: What we know about Rockstar's next crime adventure

by John Stapel

Want some news about GTA 6? The highly-anticipated sequel to one of most successful games of all time has a lot to live up to. GTA 5 sold nearly 110 million copies and crashed the Epic Game Store when it was given out as a weekly freebie, but there's still no official news as to what exactly the sequel is and when we can get it.

Fans of the series have had to subsist on rumors until now and tide themselves over playing the recent GTA Remastered Trilogy, even if it did turn out to be a bit of a trainwreck at launch. But rumours have given us a rough idea of what we can expect in the series' next installment. According to the video from Tom Henderson back in July, corroborated by Jason Schreier, we're looking at a game trying to build on the foundations GTA 5 established, with possible multiple protagonists featured again, and an ever-evolving city.

However, it's worth taking everything said here with a pinch of salt, as no can say for certain until that eventual announcement rolls around. But if you're curious about the rumors, when the game might release, or what the setting could be like, this list of GTA 6 details should give you a decent idea of what is currently known and speculated.

GTA 6: Everything we know

Though GTA 6 hasn't been officially announced, a variety of leaks and rumors give us a bit of a picture as to what the world might be like and when it could release.

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Release date

Trevor from GTA 5 outside a house in the desert

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

GTA 6 release date: when could it be?

We're certainly a long way off guessing exact dates at this stage, but we might be able to start trying to pinpoint a year, at least. 

Back in July, Tom Henderson, a Call of Duty leaker, posted a YouTube video predicating that GTA 6 would be coming out in 2024 or 2025, and this was corrobated by the reporter, Jason Schreier, who stated on Twitter that "Everything Tom Henderson has said about the game matches up with what I've heard." You view the full video below.

This date of 2024 may potentially be further corroborated by an SEC filing by Rockstar's parent company Take-Two from 2020 claims that they're planning a huge spike in advertising spending during the fiscal year 2024, for a total of almost $90 million. Not many games in T2's stable would call in that kind of cash. It's the type of figure you'd expect for their next huge release. A T2 representative has since told Gamesindustry Biz that the marketing spike is related to third-party companies, not an internal studio like Rockstar. 

Altogether, the rumors suggest that a 2024 or 2025 launch is likely, but part of what might be pushing GTA 6 into further off years is Rockstar's efforts to combat crunch culture which has plagued its past launches, notably towards the end of development on Red Dead Redemption 2.

Will it come to PC?

GTA 5 character key art

(Image credit: Rockstar)

Will GTA 6 come to PC?

It's a pretty solid bet. Rockstar's past with PC versions has been a bit erratic, but the immense popularity of both GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC is a great reason for Rockstar to take the platform seriously.

And it seems like Rockstar feels the same, considering it released the Rockstar Games Launcher on PC in 2019. It's hard to believe the studio would release its own games launcher if it didn't plan on hosting its future games there, including an assumed GTA 6. That said, we can probably expect a gap between the release of GTA 6 on consoles and PC. It took GTA 5 a year and a half to come to PC, and RDR2's gap was almost a year as well.

Location

GTA: Vice City - A helicopter flies over a city of skyscrapers at sunset

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

What will the GTA 6 setting be?

Everything flows from Rockstar's choice of city and decade. GTA 5's return to Los Angeles sets us up for a possible return to Vice City. In an interview with Develop in 2013, president of Rockstar North Leslie Benzies referred again to Rockstar's trifecta of preferred GTA cities 

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(Image credit: Rockstar North)

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“We don’t know what GTA 6 will be, but we’ve got some ideas. We’ve got about 45 years’ worth of ideas we want to do. 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."

Speaking of old GTA cities, a few years ago a Liberty City scene appeared on a Rockstar dev's profile, apparently mocked up in GTA 5's engine. This could easily have been a technical test, or perhaps a scene from some scrapped singleplayer DLC, but Rockstar once talked about putting all of their cities into one mega-game. That sounds absurdly ambitious, but Rockstar might well have the resources to do it.

Rumors from July 2021, backed up by a few different sources, point to GTA 6 returning to Vice City. These claims say that GTA 6 will take place in a modern day version of the series analog for Miami. These same predictions also say that GTA 6's map will evolve or expand over time, possibly through DLC or live game updates. With GTA 5's return to LA, it would make enough sense for GTA 6 to be set in Miami. We'll have to wait and see, but the multiple sources backing up the Miami rumors make it the most believable we've seen after years and years of speculation.

GTA 6 Online?

GTA Online - A casino at night

(Image credit: Rockstar)

Will there be a GTA 6 online?

GTA 5's online Los Santos has yet to run out of gas. Rockstar is still regularly adding new activities, content, and events to its big multiplayer world. Given that GTA 4, GTA 5, and both Red Dead Redemption games have had online servers, it feels like a must-have for GTA 6. 

Rumours

GTA 5 character key art of Michael, Franklin, and Trevor looking in the trunk of a car.

(Image credit: Rockstar)

In early 2021 we learned of a patent filed by Take-Two called "System And Method For Virtual Navigation In A Gaming Environment" related to simulated character pathfinding for big outdoor environments. There's no guarantee that this is related to development on GTA 6, but it was attributed to developers at Rockstar. If it is related to the development of the next GTA, it likely means Rockstar is planning some big improvements to simulated behavior in its next open world city.

What other GTA 6 rumors are out there?

There have been more fairly spurious rumours around GTA 6. The Know cites an inside source that puts the GTA 6 release date as 2021-2022. The rumour suggests that the new game will be spread between Vice City and South America. A wild Christian Today rumour round up guesses at a 60s London setting and time travel. Comic Book gave credence to an anonymous since-removed pastebin post claiming that GTA 6 will feature multiple big cities connected by a vast stretch of land featuring smaller towns. In this version the player starts out as a small crook and ends up running a drug-running criminal operation.

An older leak has resurfaced, showing what the poster claims is the map for GTA 6. It appears to be a riff on a cruder-looking alleged leak from 2018. The new post is a bit more convincing, a split island that looks like it could actually belong in a Rockstar game despite the blurry quality. Even so, this could very well be a persistent fake.

An anonymous Reddit post oddly cites one of our writers as a source (if we knew what GTA 6 was we'd tell you). That post suggests that GTA 6 is codenamed Project Americas and will be set in Vice city and a new city based on Rio de Janeiro. It's rumoured to be set between 1970 and 1980 and the main character is mixed up with the drug trade. The game may feature drug empire mechanics inspired by Vice City. This rumour claims that Netflix's Narcos is a major inspiration and your car will behave like Red Dead Redemption 2's horse, in that it serves a mobile storage as well as transport. Visually the game will be more stylised than the photorealistic Red Dead Redemption 2 and characters will speak in their native language with subtitles.

Rockstar updates the gtavi.com domain

In March 2020, some Reddit users noticed that the gtavi.com domain registered to Rockstar's parent Take-Two no longer redirects to Rockstar's own site. It now returns an error instead. Naturally, folks speculated that this meant Rockstar was getting ready to make use of the dormant web address, potentially with some kind of reveal. Nothing has come of it yet over a year later, however.