Where the hell is GTA 6? That's a question that might be rattling around in your head considering it was confirmed in February 2022 with an official comment from Rockstar that development was "well underway".
And, apart from a major leak in September of the same year, we've heard nary a thing about it since. Not from the horse's mouth anyway.
Events like Summer Game Fest and the Future Games Show Summer Showcase have come and gone and there's been not a peep from the stars of Rock.
That's why we've put together this handy guide on Grand Theft Auto VI, based on the leaks and rumours, to keep your appetites well and truly whetted for when an announcement does eventually come. After all, Grand Theft Auto V came out a decade ago and while GTA Online continues to be fun, a bone fide new game is long overdue.
GTA 6: what's happened so far?
"With the unprecedented longevity of GTA V, we know many of you have been asking us about a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series," it wrote.
"With every new project we embark on, our goal is always to significantly move beyond what we have previously delivered - and we are pleased to confirm that active development for the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series is well underway. We look forward to sharing more as soon as we are ready, so please stay tuned to the Rockstar Newswire for official details. On behalf of our entire team, we thank you all for your support and cannot wait to step into the future with you!"
In July 2022, it was then further confirmed (via another blog post) that development on Red Dead Redemption II was coming to an end and resources were being directed more towards GTA 6. Rockstar also noted how it understands "more than ever the need to exceed players’ expectations and for this next entry to be the best it can possibly be".
Later the same month, a Bloomberg report claimed that GTA 6 - codenamed Project Americas - will feature a female lead protagonist for the first time in its history. This juicy bit of news stated that the woman (who will be of Latino heritage) will be one of two leading characters in a story that takes influence from the famous US bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde.
Finally, a major Rockstar leak in September 2022 suggested that the report was correct - one male and one female protagonist were highlighted as being playable. Furthermore, the city looks to be taking inspiration from Miami so rumours that it will be set in Vice City - at least for part of the game - look likely.
GTA 6: release date
While we don't know an actual release date for GTA 6 - it's not even been unveiled yet - we can look at Rockstar's history to give us an indication of when the game could be released.
Breaking it down to the core Grand Theft Auto games, we can see a distinct pattern for release dates later in the year, most commonly October. The anomaly here is GTA IV, however. The game was originally scheduled to launch on 16th October 2007 to spring the following year.
- Grand Theft Auto - 21st October 1997
- Grand Theft Auto 2 - 22nd October 1999
- Grand Theft Auto III – 22nd October 22 2001
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – 29th October 2002
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – 26th October 2004
- Grand Theft Auto IV – 29th April 2008
- Grand Theft Auto V – 17th September 2013
Outside of this, release dates are a bit sporadic but undoubtedly, October is the most frequent month that Rockstar likes to release its next big thing. GTA: Vice City Stories, Bully, Manhunt 2, and Red Dead Redemption 2 all released during this month too.
It's also worth noting that Rockstar released Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition on 11th November 2021. Although, more importantly, the release date of the remaster was announced on 22nd October.
So, considering the company likes the month of October, that games tend to hit stores on Fridays more often than not, and that, realistically, GTA 6 will be coming next year rather than this, we'll take a punt on 25th October 2024 as its release date.
This is echoed by Rockstar Mag founder and well-known leaker, Chris Klippel. He shared that a release date for GTA 6 shouldn't be expected until 2024.
"An important step in the development of GTA 6 has just been reached. Things should speed up (internally at Rockstar)," wrote Klippel on Twitter (translated via Google).
"In any case, I don't see the game arriving before the end of 2024!"
Finally, in 2023, Microsoft also suggested that the next Grand Theft Auto will be coming next year: "The highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto VI is expected to be released in 2024," it wrote in a legal document about its acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
When will we see a GTA 6 trailer?
Even though Rockstar confirmed that GTA 6 is happening more than a year ago, there's still no sign of a trailer.
It premiered a trailer for GTA V on the 2nd of November 2011, almost two years before the final game came out. If it sticks to that timeline, we still have a long way to go before we can get our hands on GTA 6.
Maybe it's just being cautious following the GTA 6 leaks that showed off 90 videos of gameplay in September last year.
Maybe we'll see something around Gamescom 2023 or during The Game Awards presentation in December. Fingers crossed.
GTA 6 – location and map
No details have yet been officially confirmed as to the location of GTA 6, but thanks to the major leak that occurred last year and other convincing rumours since, at least part of the game will be based in Vice City.
GTA 6: other news, rumours and leaks
There are dozens of new rumours and supposed leaks hitting the 'net all the while.
We'll do our best to weed out some of the nonsense and only bring the ones worth giving attention to. Some of which are absolutely bonkers, but still worth including just for a good laugh.
GTA 6 leak with 90 videos of gameplay
On 18th September 2022, Rockstar Games suffered a major leak concerning GTA 6 with 90 videos of in-development gameplay making their way to the web.
This was first posted to the GTA Forums (which we're not linking to). Everything from character animations, location, combat, voice work and more were shown off for all to see - until Rockstar managed to purge most of them and even have the original hacker arrested.
The information revealed seemingly confirmed other reports that the game will star two lead characters, one male and one female. It's claimed that the footage was taken from Rockstar's own Slack channels.
"We recently suffered a network intrusion in which an unauthorised third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems, including early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto. At this time, we do not anticipate any disruption to our live game services nor any long-term effect on the development of our ongoing projects," said Rockstar Games in a statement soon after.
"We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all in this way. Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto game will continue as planned and we remain as committed as ever to delivering an experience to you, our players, that truly exceeds your expectations.
"We will update everyone again soon and, of course, will properly introduce you to this next game when it is ready. We want to thank everyone for their ongoing support through this situation."
Note: We will not be posting any of the leaked videos.
Take-Two CEO on GTA 6
Following the announcement that GTA 6 is now in development, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick commented on the game and why the series needs to look to the future.
"You always have to be willing to be fresh. You always have to be willing to bring consumers what they want. The minute you try to protect the past, you become irrelevant," said Zelnick in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz.
"I'm thrilled Rockstar's working on the next iteration of Grand Theft Auto. I have no doubt it will be just great, and there's every evidence to believe from the past that the Grand Theft Auto catalog will also continue to perform."
First GTA 6 image?
Here's an interesting one. Following the launch of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, players quickly discovered an unidentified house as part of a hanging photo on the wall of the Lil’ Probe’Inn in San Andreas. The house in question is not thought to be part of any current GTA games, according to the sleuths over on the GTAForums, fuelling speculation that this is the first image from GTA 6.
On top of this, to add more fuel to the fire, this photo is part of the "I Want to Believe" wall in Lil’ Probe’Inn, a bar dedicated to UFOs. It was also noted (via Kotaku) that an update to a billboard in the GTA III remaster has changed the words from "See you in Miami" to "See you soon".
It's a great theory as Rockstar, which does have precedence for this, could have been teasing its next entry - especially as many believe it will be set in Vice City (Rockstar's version of Miami).
Another #GTATrilogy mystery hunt. The Lil' Probe'Inn has an unidentified house amongst the UFO photo display... GTAVI? (jk) (or am I, where is this from?) Credit to ArthurZussman, mussefar03 and mrcharhead for these images.Discussion source: https://t.co/F4uXihZS9v pic.twitter.com/1iHP1jiQMLNovember 16, 2021
Rockstar Games co-founder on GTA 6
Rockstar Games co-founder and former vice president of development Jamie King spoke to YouTuber Killaz in an interview about his time at the company, as well as sharing his thoughts on what GTA 6 could look like.
"I wouldn't be surprised if the tone starts changing, and if it's maybe not quite as edgy or quite as funny," said King. "I just think that maybe there's more opportunity for them to do something cheesy because they never do."
King added: "I just look at the success of [GTA] V Online and [Red Dead] Redemption 2 and I'm like they're gonna be fine. I think culturally [and] internally at [Rockstar] North and [Rockstar] New York, missing Leslie [Benzies] and Dan [Houser], there's a difference for sure."
Another rumour stemmed from an official Rockstar job listing that hinted at Rockstar's next project (GTA 6) getting an incredible graphics upgrade. The listing is for a VFX artist position at the studio. The role reads as below:
"The visual effects help to immerse the player in a believable world, from using ambient effects for things like insects around the player and rain dripping off buildings up to large scale destruction events like skyscrapers crashing to the ground.
"Our technology is used to tie the world together; weapons create bullet impacts, vehicles kick up dirt and smoke and leave debris when they crash, objects get dirty when they fall in the mud."
Grand Theft Auto VR?
L.A. Noire: The V.R. Case Files developer Video Games Deluxe shared a post (via LinkedIn) in 2020 that it was gearing up for a new project with Rockstar. This was then confirmed in early 2022 to be Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas VR.
It makes sense considering Rockstar has often pushed the boundaries of what games hardware can do and what else would make more of an impact than being able to play GTA in VR? So, now that PlayStation VR2 is now available, could we also see a virtual reality mode in GTA 6?
Two time periods?
Another GTA 6 leak stated that GTA 6 will be set in two different time periods. The comments surfaced courtesy of Chris Klippel from French publication Rockstar Mag, which were then translated and posted to NeoGAF. While simply uploaded as his opinions rather than official facts he has heard from a Rockstar insider, it's still an interesting morsel of information to consider.
Many rumours have suggested that the location (see above) of GTA 6 is a modern-day Vice City. Could we, therefore, see players jump between an '80s Vice City and whatever a modern-day version of that would look like?
GTA 6 paid subscription
With the launch of GTA Online across PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S in March 2022, Rockstar shortly after announced a new subscription service known as GTA Plus. At $5.99 (approximately £4.54), it's more surprising that something like this didn't come any sooner.
While it gives us no details on whether a subscription service will be included in GTA 6, it does give us an idea of how Rockstar is thinking, from a business perspective. Could this just be the testing ground for GTA 6 subscription, for instance?
Rockstar making new GTA engine
In April 2022, Rockstar Mag founder Chris Klippel claimed that a new graphics engine from Rockstar Games - known as RAGE9 - is expected to be utilised for the next GTA with the technology described as "ahead of its time". The aim is reportedly to challenge and "outperform" Unreal Engine, the current industry standard.
"Obviously, the new version of the graphics engine of #RockstarGames (RAGE9) which will be used for #GTA6 is likely to be quite incredible," wrote Klippel (via Google Translate) "I was able to get very positive feedback, we really shouldn't be disappointed on this point. We are talking about an engine ahead of its time."
Visiblement, la nouvelle version du moteur graphique de #RockstarGames (RAGE9) qui sera utilisée pour #GTA6 risque d'être assez incroyable. J'ai pu avoir des retours très positifs, on devrait vraiment ne pas être déçu sur ce point. On parle d'un moteur en avance sur son temps. pic.twitter.com/v2DVSS4lMJApril 22, 2022
GTA 6 tweet most liked in gaming ever?
Since Rockstar made the official announcement that the development of GTA 6 is underway, the official tweet from the games company is now believed to be one of the most 'liked' on the platform and in all of gaming. Clearly, the appetite for a new GTA is still very much alive and well.
Many of you have been asking about a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series.With every new project, our goal is always to significantly move beyond what we've previously delivered. We're pleased to confirm that active development for the next entry in the series is underway.February 4, 2022
More development trouble?
One rumour that needs to be treated with a grain of salt, is that GTA 6 will take place in Colombia too, and not just Vice City. It came from Watcher.Guru.
This account is not credible though, but the reason we wanted to draw attention is that Tom Henderson (a more reliable journalist whose name is synonymous with more trustworthy leaks) responded to this saying the game was going through a "turbulent" time during the pandemic. It loaned a little more credibility to the original claim.
I still believe the game is releasing in 2024-2025.I'm referring to turbulent because it hasn't been plain sailing just like with every other game in development during COVID etc. People leaving and what-not.June 27, 2022
Four protagonists, three cities
Following the report from Bloomberg that GTA 6 will feature two leads, one of which who will be a female of Latino heritage, Axios revealed that the game had four main leads originally, and three cities. This was scaled back, however, as it was felt too ambitious by Rockstar.
Single-player DLC returns?
"The first wave of 'new cities and missions' we will receive as DLC will definitely be planned out before [GTA] VI releases. And Rockstar will be able to allocate resources towards whatever new title they will work on after [GTA] VI release," they said.
"As for the new cities, I think for the most part we will receive instanced new cities or islands. Like Cayo Perico or North Yankton style. That way, Rockstar can introduce a new heist for the next GTA Online mode with each new DLC. If we are lucky, we could receive a fully-fledged new city from time to time."
GTA 6 leaker investigated by FBI and eventually arrested
The hacker that leaked 90 videos of GTA 6 ended up being investigated by the FBI, with Uber believing him to be from the same group that targeted the company a week prior. It was claimed to be an 18-year-old associated with the Lapsus$, a hacking group that violated Uber's internal systems and boasted about it in the company's Slackchannel.
"There are also reports over the weekend that this same actor breached video game maker Rockstar Games. We are in close coordination with the FBI and US Department of Justice on this matter and will continue to support their efforts." reads an updated statement from Uber (via a blog post)
Rockstar subsequently did its best to remove every clip, screenshot and footage of the leak from the web since. After first appearing on the GTA Forums before spreading to YouTube, the majority were successfully removed with any posting of images or videos regarding the leaks in the official GTA 6 Reddit now banned altogether.
The hacker himself was eventually arrested by the Metropolitan Police in London. The accused teenager pleaded not guilty to the charges.
"On the evening of Thursday 22nd September 2022, the City of London Police arrested a 17-year-old in Oxfordshire on suspicion of hacking, as part of an investigation," said the arresting police department (via Twitter).
"He remains in police custody."
Mission passed. You made it to the end and earned 99 plus respect from everyone at T3. Keep checking back in for the latest details.