Was it just a dream or did GTA 6 really get announced last week? Incredibly, yes. The next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series is finally underway with Rockstar finally confirming that development is in "active development".
Now the biggest question on everyone's lips is when will GTA 6 release? Grand Theft Auto V launched on September 17th, 2013, so if the next game magically launches later this year (it won't), that would be a whopping nine years in between releases. Naturally, rumours and speculation are in full swing as everyone tries to figure out when the game will actually be made playable.
Going off its history and Rockstar has released six out of its seven mainline GTA games in either October or September, so that's where my head is at. The only exception to this is GTA IV, which launched in April. However, it was initially slated to launch on October 16th before being pushed quite late on to April.
So we've got the potential month nailed down – what about the year? Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier (via Twitter) stated shortly after GTA 6's announcement that he "wouldn't be shocked" to see a "Fall 2023" release date, before seeing it then be delayed to 2024.
Wouldn't be shocked to see Grand Theft Auto VI announced later this year with a fake release date of "fall 2023" that then slips to 2024 https://t.co/PCtS7o6FEeFebruary 4, 2022
Aside from Schreier, who is known for having a reliable history with video game releases and leaks like this, Rockstar's own financials pointed to a similar window. During Take-Two Interactive's acquisition of mobile developer Zynga, the Rockstar parent company revealed in its financial information that its compound annual growth rate will grow by 14% through 2024 (via Axios).
From this, an investment analyst then stated that Take-Two consumer spending would equate to $9 billion in bookings, as a direct result of "a likely GTA 6 launch in FY24." This followed a similar financial target back in 2011 by Rockstar, setting up the launch of GTA V. The financial year for 2024 starts on October 1st, 2023 and ends on September 30th, 2024.
Of course, delays happen. Every industry has been plagued by Covid-19 after all. That brings us to a rumour that points to GTA 6 having big issues behind the scenes, with the leaker behind Star Wars Eclipse suggesting it's in development hell, as of December last year. The first claim of GTA 6 struggling came from Rockstar Mag's Chris Klippel, who shared details on his own podcast (translated via NeoGAF) that a lot of the game was rebooted after GTA creator Dan Houser left the firm in February 2020.
Taking this all into account and If I had to put money on it, I'd say we get an announcement this year (maybe October) with a 2023 release date stated before then inevitably being delayed to 2024. This makes the most sense as we know development has been ongoing since April 2020 (as reported by Kotaku) at the absolute earliest, so if there are issues it still gives it some leeway. While still likely a few years off, it's just great to know that the game exists and we probably won't have to wait another decade to play a new GTA.
To keep up with all the latest news, rumours and speculation, head to T3's official GTA 6 hub.