While we know GTA 6 is officially in development, Rockstar has given us basically nothing about the game's setting, characters, features and more. The reason for that, we now know, is that the company wants the unveiling of the game to "exceed players' expectations" and requires a little more time in the over to get there.
Those plans went a tad awry recently when a hacker illegally accessed and downloaded confidential data from Rockstar's servers that included over 90 videos of unfinished gameplay. The breach was confirmed by Bloomberg's Jason Schreier (opens in new tab) who spoke to a confidential source who says the event is a "nightmare for Rockstar".
A Message from Rockstar Games pic.twitter.com/T4Wztu8RW8September 19, 2022
In a letter to the public, Rockstar says that it is "extremely disappointed" with the data leak, but says that work on GTA 6 will continue as planned and that the company will have more to share soon on the game's development.
All that said and accounted for, we still think that GTA 6 is very likely some years away from release yet, but we're hoping to hear more about the game before the end of the year. Until then, we've gathered what we could from various leaks and rumors across the web to put together this article; just bear in mind we've indulged in a good bit of speculation here as well.
GTA 6 News (updated September 26)
- GTA 6 release window may have just been leaked.
- Rockstar suffers major GTA 6 leak — here's what we know.
- Grand Theft Auto 6 is officially in development (finally).
GTA 6 release date rumors
GTA 6 is definitely in development. The only question is when precisely developer Rockstar Games will decide to launch the new installment. Rockstar has said "stay tuned," although off the record, some employees think that 2024 seems reasonable.
However, there are also rumors that GTA 6 could be released in 2023. This is based on publisher Take-Two's large expected marketing budget for the 12-month period ending on 31 March 2024, detailed in a recent financial statement. However, Rockstar has refuted this rumor, telling Gamesindustry.biz (opens in new tab) that those projections are related to third-party commitments.
That's not the only thing we can glean from these financial reports. Take-Two is also expecting a 14% growth rate within its fiscal year ending March 2024 which could be an indication of when GTA 6 will release.
An analyst from Jefferies reacted to the financial reports by saying: “There are only a handful of titles that can provide management with the confidence to put out such a strong guidance; we believe there is at least one Rockstar IP set to be released by FY24.” In all likelihood, this game would be GTA 6.
Of course, adding some confusion to the mix we now have rumors suggesting that GTA 6 is slated for a 2025 release date. This is based on a recent tweet from Adrian Perea, who has a solid track record when it comes to game release predictions.
Finally, a recent job post on Rockstar's careers page for a "Cinematic Gameplay Capture Artist" might be interpreted as a good sign for upcoming news. This position, essentially an individual who will record gameplay trailers, could indicate Rockstar has plans to reveal some GTA 6 gameplay in the near future.
We may at least get some teases before the release date is officially announced. A YouTuber has recently claimed that a GTA 6 trailer could be coming soon. But, it's worth noting that the internet personality in question doesn't provide any evidence to back up their claims, so this should be taken with a large grain of salt.
GTA 6 platforms: PS4, PS5 and more
As for the consoles you'll be able to play it on, the potential 2023/4 release means we'll be firmly into the PS5/Xbox Series X generation. But it's possible that Rockstar will release a version for the PS4 and Xbox One if it's feeling generous.
Rockstar has ported both GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2 to PC after their respective console releases too, so an eventual PC port also seems likely.
GTA 6 characters and story leaks
The GTA series doesn't follow one particular set of characters or even a single location through all its games. So anyone hoping to see more of Michael, Franklin and Trevor should temper their expectations.
The same thing goes for the city and environs of Los Santos too. A recent slew of leaks suggest that the game may be set in Vice City – Rockstar's fictional city that bears some resemblance to Miami, Florida – and that could line up with a rumor from a Twitter user who purports to be an insider claims that the game will be called GTA Vice, with the letters V and I being potentially capitalized to indicate the roman numeral for six.
There have been rumors that Rockstar had been taking an interest in Tokyo, but since Rockstar's vice president Dan Houser has said that he believed "GTA is America", it's unlikely we'll see the game cross virtual borders in that way.
As for the beats of the narrative, there's no doubt you'll be indulging in the usual mix of crimes and heists with the odd look into the strange lives of the heroes and villains.
One leak from last year claimed we would get a story similar to that of Netflix series Narcos, heavily focused on the operations of gangs and cartels on both sides of the US/Mexico border through the eyes of a player character named Ricardo.
The so-called "Project Americas" leaks had fans very excited with claims of a game in development for almost eight years, with three cities to explore; namely Liberty City, Vice City and a new Rio de Janeiro-inspired location, set in the 1970s-80s. However it's become pretty clear that the leaker couldn't back up what they were saying, so while it's fun to imagine what this game would have been like, it's not what we'll end up getting.
More recently, a leak has claimed the story would revolve around a Latina protagonist involved in a "Bonnie and Clyde"-style plot. There's potential that this story could be woven in with the previous leaks, but with this many different alleged plots, we'll either need another multi-character story like GTA V, or some of these leaks aren't going to turn out to be true.
In September 2022 there was a massive leak of 90 videos from a hacker showing early test footage for GTA 6. Rockstar has since confirmed that the footage leaked was authentic. While we did cover the leak, we are not revealing any information from the videos given the manner by which they were obtained.
GTA 6 setting
It was thought that GTA 6 could take place in the 1980s, effectively seeing the game return to Vice City, which is basically Rockstar's take on 80s Miami. But that theory may not come to fruition.
A new job post at Rockstar India hints at a modern-day setting for GTA 6, further backed up by speculation for rather reliable tipster Tom Henderson. What form this modern-day setting will take has yet to be made clear; we're hoping for a London setting.
As it stands a lot is open to speculation rather than hard facts and solid leaks. Either way, you can expect large areas to explore and a lot of satire.
GTA 6 online
GTA V has enjoyed a long life after its original release in 2013 thanks to the regularly updated GTA Online mode. This lets you play a large variety of game modes or to just free-roam around the map with other players, gaining money you can then spend on cars, clothing, weapons and player housing.
It's therefore very likely we'll see a sequel arrive alongside GTA 6. However it's possible that the two experiences will end up separate. GTA Online originally arrived a month after the single player portion of the game launched, and with consoles now capable of installing specific parts of a game rather than the whole package, it's possible Rockstar will decide to separate the two out.
Either way, hopefully there will be some way for long-time players of GTA Online to transfer their in-game earnings and items into the new game. Rockstar has earned a huge amount of money from players spending money on microtransactions in GTAO, and no doubt some players don't want this to all disappear with the move to a new generation.