GTA 6 news and rumors: when will Grand Theft Auto 6 be announced?

GTA 6 news and rumors: when will Grand Theft Auto 6 be announced?

(Image credit: Rockstar)

Is GTA 6 in development? Although Rockstar Games hasn’t officially confirmed that it’s working on another instalment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, there are plenty of reports and rumors suggesting it’s going to happen. 

Believe it or not, it’s been seven years since GTA 5 launched at the tail end of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 generation of consoles. That’s a long time ago, and even though next-gen enhanced versions of GTA 5 are on the way, we don’t think it’s impossible that GTA 6 is in the pipeline.

With the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X fast approaching we’d like to hope that Rockstar might have something to reveal sometime soon, even if an actual GTA 6 release date is likely to be a good while away

We still don’t have an official confirmation and details are thin on the ground but that hasn’t stopped us collating the best bits of gossip, rumor and fact for your perusing pleasure. Here’s everything we know so far about GTA 6.

[Update: Fans hungry for GTA 6 news have been excited by Take-Two Interactive’s recent update of some domain names. Read on to find out more.]

GTA 6: what you need to know

  • What is GTA 6? The highly-anticipated next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series
  • When it GTA 6 coming out? That’s the internet’s biggest mystery (but we’re pretty sure it won’t be soon)
  • What platforms will GTA 6 release on? We’re expecting Xbox Series X and PS5
  • Will GTA 6 launch on PC? Both GTA 4 and 5 made their way to PC (eventually), so fingers crossed
  • Where will GTA 6 be set? Unknown, but some rumors have suggested a move to South America

GTA 6 release date: when is GTA 6 coming out?

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Red Dead Redemption 2 has now been in the wild for nearly two years now and GTA 5 for over seven, 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.

Some rumors have suggested that we could see the next Grand Theft Auto announced this year, with a potential release in 2021. However, this seems highly unlikely. For a start, during the PS5 games reveal on June 11, Rockstar revealed it’s bringing an enhanced and expanded edition of GTA 5 to next-gen consoles in 2021, suggesting that GTA 6 will be released sometime after that. In addition, Rockstar has been focused on getting Red Dead Online up and running – and GTA Online is still raking in the dough – which may have diverted attention, not to mention the delays potentially caused by Dan Houser’s departure from Rockstar and the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic. 

At the more conservative end of the scale, reputable industry analyst Michael Pachter predicts the game’s actual release 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. 

But the most solid GTA 6 release date hint comes from publisher Take-Two Interactive’s marketing budget. Reported by VentureBeat, Take-Two’s 10-K SEC filing (which lays out financial plans for the next five years) shows that the company expects to spend $89 million on marketing between April 2023, and the end of March 2024 – that’s a huge spike and, as the report points out, more than half the marketing budget expected for any other fiscal year over the next decade.

This has led industry analyst Jeff Cohen to predict that this spike is because GTA 6 is expected to release within this period.

In a note to investors, included in VentureBeat’s report, Cohen pointed out that previous marketing budgets have predicted the releases of other big releases from Take-Two Interactive, including Red Dead Redemption 2.

If this prediction is correct then we would expect to see GTA 6 release sometime between April 2023 and March 2024. Originally this spike was expected to take place in the fiscal year 2023, however it’s been pushed back to 2024. If it is GTA 6 that has caused this spike, this would suggest that a delay has incurred – potentially due to Covid-19.

Take-Two Interactive has already revealed it has 93 “full game releases” planned for the next five years. During an earnings call (via GamesRadar), Take-Two president Karl Slatoff said that this line-up is the strongest in the company’s history. According to Slatoff,  63 of these games are “core gaming experiences”, 17 will be “mid-core or arcade” and 13 are casual games. 

However, out of these 93 games, 21 will be exclusively mobile titles – with the other 72 landing on PC, consoles and streaming platforms. But, perhaps the most interesting stat from this meeting is that half of this games line-up are from existing IPs.

This has suggested that we could see GTA 6 in that five-year window, with the highly-anticipated next GTA falling into that “core gaming experiences” category. So a release date sometime in 2023 would definitely fall into that window. 

This is all still speculation at the moment and this marketing budget increase could be due to another factor. Until Take-Two Interactive or Rockstar Games confirms GTA 6’s official release window, or makes an official GTA 6 announcement, we can only speculate about when GTA 6 is coming. Hopefully we won’t have much longer to wait.

GTA 6 trailer: when can I watch one?

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The thing about Rockstar Games is that it’s an incredibly secretive games publisher. No GTA 6 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?

Grand Theft Auto (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Below we’ve collected 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. 

GTA 6 and Vice City Online domains updated

It doesn’t take much for GTA 6 rumors to take off so Take-Two Interactive renewing a couple of relevant domain names will certainly do it. A user of Reddit (via GamesRadar) recently pointed out that the publishing parent of Rockstar renewed its ownership of the domain names gtavicecityonline and gtavi. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that companies often claim domain names related to their products even when they have no intention of ever using them, so we shouldn’t take this too much to heart. We won’t know anything for sure until Rockstar starts making some official announcements. 

GTA 5 Online’s continued success won’t necessarily stop GTA 6

GTA 5 Online has been a huge success for a while now and naturally this has left some wondering if that success could hold up any potential GTA 6 release. According to GamesIndustry.biz, in May 2020 Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked in  an interview at the Bernstein Annual Strategic Decisions Conference if the publisher would “think twice” about launching a new game when the live service game is still performing well.

Zelnick could not be persuaded to comment on release plans for a game that hasn’t been announced. However, he did touch on a time Take-Two has faced a similar dilemma with NBA 2K Online. 

According to Zelnick, Take-Two had NBA 2K Online in China and it was performing well but when it came time to update the game and they released NBA 2K Online 2 “it turned out to be a massive hit”. Take-Two found that “the audience was still stable and growing for NBA 2K Online itself, the first title. So we kept them both up and they’re both up to this day.“

According to GamesIndustry.biz, Zelnick went on to say “Any time you look at a business and you take the position, ‘This is great, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. I’m just going to stick with it and I’m not going to worry about innovating because everyone loves what we have,’ you are just moments away from being destroyed by your competitors,” adding “I am not remotely worried about being in a position that we have a great line of live services and a new release and that there’s somehow maybe some internal competition. That to me is the definition of a high-class problem.”

Although Zelnick was not commenting on GTA 6 directly, his comments do suggest that GTA 5 Online’s success wouldn’t necessarily stop Take-Two moving forward with a new instalment in the series. 

The tones of DJ Lazlow Jones shouldn’t be expected in GTA 6

DJ Lazlow Jones has been a familiar voice on Grand Theft Auto radios across many games but it’s been confirmed (via PCGamer) that his voice actor has left Rockstar Games. 

DJ Lazlow Jones was actually voice acted by the real Lazlow Jones who was also a writer and producer on the Grand Theft Auto Series. Jones worked for Rockstar for almost 20 years and contributed to the Grand Theft Auto series from Grand Theft Auto 3, also being a part of Vice City, San Andreas, Vice City Stories, Liberty City Stories, Episodes from Liberty City, GTA 4 and GTA 5.

Jones’ LinkedIn page shows that he left Rockstar in April and his page shows that he is working on several projects “including development of shows for Disney and Netflix, consulting for a video game company and collaborating with a writer/director from Comedy Central and an Emmy winning producer and director formerly of Dreamworks.”

The next step for GTA could be VR

GTA in VR? It could be on the cards if a recent posting on LinkedIn from an Australian development studio is anything to go by. In the post, Video Games Deluxe shared that it’s “now gearing up for a new project, a AAA open world title in VR for Rockstar. 2020 marks our 7th year of working exclusively for Rockstar in Sydney and we are excited to taking on this ground breaking project.”

The studio has history with Rockstar, having worked on the VR adaption of L.A. Noire for PC and PSVR so this doesn’t seem unlikely. 

The question is what game will be getting the VR treatment. We can say right away we don’t think it’s likely that GTA 6 will be coming out of the gates in VR. An older title seems more likely and GTA 5 is the lead contender. 

The game seems to be perpetually popular and an expanded and enhanced version has already been confirmed for PS5, which could mean PSVR 2 involvement. 

The good news for GTA 6 hopefuls is that this project is with an entirely different studio so if GTA 6 is in development, this VR project isn’t likely to derail anything. 

GTA 5 enhanced edition

GTA 5 is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X in the second half of 2021, Sony has announced. The game will be enhanced and expanded, and feature a range of visual upgrades and improvements to performance that will take full advantage of the next-gen beefy hardware. 

GTA Online will also continue, with additional content that’s exclusive to Sony’s new console. A standalone version of GTA Online will also be made available for free, exclusively for PlayStation 5 players during the first three months.

While this is welcome news for GTA 5 fans, it suggests we probably won’t see GTA 6 release until at least after mid-2021 and makes those reports of a 2023 or 2024 release seem more likely.

GTA 6 release date might have just been discovered – and it’s bad news

Reported by VentureBeat, Take-Two’s 10-K SEC filing (which lays out financial plans for the next five years) shows that the company expects to spend $89 million on marketing between April 2023, and the end of March 2024 – that’s a huge spike and, as the report points out, more than half the marketing budget expected for any other fiscal year over the next decade.

This has led industry analyst Jeff Cohen to predict that this spike is because GTA 6 is expected to release within this period.

In a note to investors, included in VentureBeat’s report, Cohen pointed out that previous marketing budgets have predicted the releases of other big releases from Take-Two Interactive, including Red Dead Redemption 2.

“We are not sure how much we should be reading into this shift, but we would note that this disclosure accurately predicted the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 prior to that game’s announcement,” the note reads. “Management has spoken very confidently about the pipeline over the next five years and existing live services execution has been excellent. However, the timing of the next Grand Theft Auto remains top-of-mind for investors, particularly with the stock near all-time-highs.”

If this prediction is correct then we would expect to see GTA 6 release sometime between April 2023 and March 2024. Originally this spike was expected to take place in the fiscal year 2023, however it’s been pushed back to 2024. If it is GTA 6 that has caused this spike, this would suggest that a delay has incurred – potentially due to Covid-19.

Take-Two Interactive has 93 games in the works

Grand Theft Auto publisher, Take-Two Interactive, has revealed it has 93 “full game releases” planned for the next five years – and we’re hoping GTA 6 is one of them.

During an earnings call (via GamesRadar), Take-Two president Karl Slatoff said that this line-up is the strongest in the company’s history, but what can we expect? Well, according to Slatoff, 63 of these games are “core gaming experiences”, 17 will be “mid-core or arcade” and 13 are casual games. 

However, out of these 93 games, 21 will be exclusively mobile titles – with the other 72 landing on PC, consoles and streaming platforms. But, perhaps the most interesting stat from this meeting is that half of this games line-up are from existing IPs. Suggesting we could be seeing GTA 6 in that five-year window, with the highly-anticipated next GTA falling into that “core gaming experiences” category.

“This is a larger pipeline than we’ve had before, we’ve been talking about this for quite some time. Our expectation is that we’d like to keep up this velocity,” Slatoff said. “It’s really important for us to build scale, and this is one way that we’re doing it. We need more at-bats.”

CEO Strauss Zelnick explained that the publisher plans to smooth out its financial results with “a handful or greater of new significant releases every year”. And it looks like the company believes it may have some big successes in the pipeline.

“With our strong catalog, with our live service offerings, and with our annual releases, we can have great strength, even in a light year, even though it’s not our goal to have a light year, and then do even better in the year when we’re able to launch a number of titles, which is our strategy, and even better than that if we’re fortunate enough to have a blockbuster title. And we have some of those as well,” Zelnick said.

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Story reportedly finished

The story for Rockstar’s GTA 6 is apparently finished, if a supposed insider is to be believed. 

Chris ‘Liberty93’ from Rockstar Mag (a French fan site) claims the story for Grand Theft Auto 6 was wrapped up prior to the departure of Rockstar’s head writer, Dan Houser, and that the next GTA entry will still have the “soul” of a typical Rockstar game.

Although a finished story might suggest a release date for GTA 6 is close, Chris did point out that many changes were made to Red Dead Redemption 2’s story during development, despite it being ‘completed’ way back in 2012.

“They still made changes in late 2017, early 2018, and many little details were modified,” Chris explained.  

GTA 5 voice actor calls for fans to stop believing ‘leaks’

After a fairly calm stretch, rumors around Grand Theft Auto 6 have been creeping up more often over the past month. Very recently there were serious suspicions that an actual game announcement was imminent and fans are hungry for new information. 

GTA 5 voice actor for the character Michael de Santa, Ned Luke, has been getting questions about the series’ next steps for a long time and he’s taken to Instagram Stories (via GameSpot) with Franklin Clinton voice actor, Shawn Fonteno, to tell fans to stop believing “clickbait” rumors and leaks, saying “if you hear it from Rockstar, then you know.”

The video has since disappeared from Instagram but was posted to Twitter:

@SWEGTA @BadgerGoodger Even the man himself said it. #GTA6 pic.twitter.com/NfgCqWSHEUApril 3, 2020

Reports of early development

It seems that Grand Theft Auto 6 is in the early stages of its development if a new report from Kotaku is anything to go by. In the report which is primarily following up on the cultural changes that have taken place at Rockstar after a previous investigation into crunch at the studio, Kotaku has touched on the studio’s future, including the fact that studio management has outlined a plan for “a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series”. 

The report goes on to say that this new instalment is planned to be a “moderately sized release” (so, probably still pretty big) which will be “expanded with regular updates over time”. The hope is that this approach will lessen stress and crunch. 

It’s worth noting, though, that the report emphasises that the game is still in the very early development stages so plans could quite easily change over time as the development process evolves. 

PS5 exclusive?

There are rumors that GTA 6 will be a timed PS5 exclusive upon release. Last year, TweakTown reported on an anonymous post on PasteBin that claimed that GTA 6 will be a timed PS5 exclusive, releasing in “Holiday 2020”. That would mean GTA 6 would launch alongside the PS5 and Xbox Series X. If this happened it would be a huge surprise, as we’re not realistically expecting the game anytime soon – nevermind this year. 

The original poster also claimed that “Sony paid ‘huge money’ in order to secure a 1-month PS5 exclusive”. It’s possible GTA 6 will have PS5-exclusive launch content like Red Dead Redemption 2 did, but a one month timed exclusive release on PS5 seems a bit short.

Rumored “Fall 2021” release date

Twitter user (and known leaker) @PSErebus claims that GTA 6 will release in “Fall 2021”. While we should be speculative of this, @PSErebus previously correctly leaked the release date of The Last of Us 2. This release date would fall into one of the more optimistic windows we’d hope to see GTA 6. It seems more likely, however, that the only GTA release we’re going to see in late 2021 is those enhanced editions of GTA 5.

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Take-Two plays down AAA releases

In an earnings call for Take-Two Interactive – the publisher that owns GTA developer Rockstar – shareholders were told to expect the “most robust pipeline” in the company’s history. However, Take-Two CEO Strauss H. Zelnick also stressed that some years would be thin on releases – which, given the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 last year, doesn’t make us hopeful for any new GTA titles in the coming year.

“Given that we’re a company that depends on our creative teams to make as close to perfect products as possible,” said Zelnick, “we have to be willing to live with the vagaries of product deliveries. And that means, sometimes, we will have thin frontline years.”

Dan Houser leaves Rockstar

Revealed in a statement by Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive, Houser (who was has been on an extended leave period since spring 2019) will be officially leaving the company on March 11. His brother Sam Houser remains present as president.

Houser, who has variously acted as writer, producer and voice actor at Rockstar, led Rockstar Games to become one of the biggest developers in the industry. It’s currently unknown whether this will have an impact on GTA 6’s development.

CJ voice actor dismisses rumors

Chris Bellard, the voice actor for GTA San Andreas’ character CJ, has debunked rumors that he will be reprising his role in GTA 6. Using Instagram, Bellard posted that he’s “not involved in GTA VI at all”.

This doesn’t rule out the return of CJ as a character entirely (Rockstar could always cast someone else in the role) but it does confirm that Bellard isn’t involved and doesn’t intend to be if asked. 

Rockstar hasn’t commented on rumors and we won’t know anything certain about any cast for GTA 6 until it speaks out. 

Scouting areas in Florida

Speculation around a Florida setting – even a game that encompassed the whole state – has been brimming after a leaked letter was given legitimacy by a well-regarded Rockstar leaker, @Yan2295. 

The letter was to a Florida store asking permission for Rockstar Games to inspect the premises, presumably for use or inspiration in the forthcoming game – mentioning a location scout Leah Sokolowsky who hinted at a large digital media client in a podcast back in May 2019 (via Daily Star).

Grand Theft Auto (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Project Americas

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. 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 this 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 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:

Image credit: RealityDesign

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.

Grand Theft Auto (Image credit: Rockstar Games) (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

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,” Benzies said. “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?

Grand Theft Auto (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

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. 

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