GTA 6 release potentially delayed until 2026 as development is ‘falling behind’

GTA 6
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

GTA 6 has been a long time coming, and one of the biggest questions in gaming right now is "When is GTA 6's release date?” So far developer Rockstar has been tight-lipped on the matter, only teasing a 2025 launch in its first GTA 6 trailer. But even that vague launch window may change as production woes could push it back to 2026, according to the latest rumors. 

According to a new Kotaku report, the studio's current goal is to release GTA 6 in "early 2025," as previously rumored, but it's "becoming more and more likely" that a delay will push it to late 2025 or even 2026, sources with knowledge of the game’s development told the outlet under the condition of anonymity. Sources say a Fall 2025 release seems more feasible at this stage of development, but delaying the game until 2026 is also being discussed as a sort of “fallback plan” or “emergency” option if needed.

While it isn't exactly clear from the reporting why production is "falling behind" schedule, it's enough to have Rockstar leadership worried about hitting its Spring 2025 launch window. This production setback is reportedly one of the main reasons Rockstar issued its controversial return-to-office mandate as GTA 6's development enters the home stretch. Rockstar said the decision was for productivity and security reasons, according to an internal email to staff reviewed by Bloomberg

The short notice and drastic policy shift reportedly caught many workers by surprise. In response to news of the mandate, which begins in April, developers at the typically secretive studio spoke out to Aftermath about concerns that Rockstar could bleed talent at a critical time if frustrated remote workers start leaving. Others are worried that Rockstar may backslide into the kind of brutal crunch culture it's been known for in the past. 

Of course, it's important to take all this talk of GTA 6's release with a grain of salt until Rockstar confirms anything. Still, it’s quickly becoming clear that GTA 6’s final year or so of development is shaping up to be more of a headache than Rockstar anticipated. It wouldn't be the first time, either; GTA 5 was famously set to launch in Spring 2013 before being delayed until October of that same year. Its successor could very well share the same fate. 

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment.

Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.


  • eldermaiden
    Likely delayed to coincide with the ps6 release as a launch title. Smart move if u ask me
    Reply
  • n4xu1
    Who did not see this coming. Im glad when i can play it before 2030 on pc...
    Reply
  • n4xu1
    eldermaiden said:
    Likely delayed to coincide with the ps6 release as a launch title. Smart move if u ask me
    Smart? For a 30fps experience on a shitty bigger gameboy? Games are built for 4090s and stuff not ps or xbox. At least the real AAA Titles
    Reply