Rockstar has confirmed GTA 6 development is "well underway"
GTA 6 is en route. We might not know when or on what platforms, but at least we know that the next Grand Theft Auto game is in development. Back in February, developer Rockstar Games snuck the fact that "active development for the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series is well underway" into the bottom of a Newswire blog post, but has been silent on the subject since.
For years now there have been so many GTA 6 rumors and gossip doing the rounds that it feels surreal to have anything officially confirmed. We've had leaks suggesting elements of the game's story, setting, features, and other details, so it will be exciting to see what's revealed next by Rockstar.
The last bit of info fans got was from a Rockstar job listing, which hints at incredible detail and "large-scale destruction" for GTA 6. That could be quite the upgrade from what you can currently experience in GTA 5 and GTA Online. Plus, interestingly, GTA fans think this San Andreas easter egg is their first look at GTA 6, so potentially some kind of official reveal might come later this year.
But, that's not all. Keep reading for all GTA 6 rumors circulating so far.
When could the GTA 6 release date be?
Long story short: if Rockstar had announced GTA 6 the day after Red Dead Redemption 2 came out (October 26, 2018 - put it in your diary), then based on historical delays between console GTA announcements and release, we’d be waiting around 22 months – so August 2020. Of course, Rockstar didn't do that. It didn't do anything, in fact, until February 2022 when Rockstar confirmed it was working on the game. That makes it difficult to predict any sort of release window. However, a new leak suggests that it won't arrive before the end of 2024.
The latest gossip is that the GTA 6 release date will be sometime in 2025. That comes with the tip that the game is set in a modern-day version of Vice City, that will expand and change over time.
That goes against earlier rumors that stated GTA 6 could launch in October 2023 and be set in Miami. That's from a dubious online source though, but additional details from that leak including a single, male protagonist, with the game being set in the 1970s, with a chaptered story like Red Dead Redemption 2. Combine that with Rockstar teasing fans with the official Rockstar Support account is telling us to "stay tuned" for GTA 6 updates on Twitter and it just keeps getting more exciting.
What will the GTA 6 setting be? Here are all the rumors
There have been several rumors about potential GTA 6 location spots, including heading back to Vice City or being set across the entirety of the US.
The latest rumors that arrived in June 2021 suggest that the GTA 6 setting will be a modern-day recreation of Vice City - a rumor that has been later corroborated by Bloomberg's Jason Schreier.
In March 2021, Tom Henderson, a tipster with a great track record, stated that GTA 6 will be set in the modern-day. When asked by someone on Twitter, Henderson retweeted their question and simply said “It’s not set in the 1980s and is modern”.
This has seemingly been corroborated by an image of a house that has appeared in the remastered edition of GTA San Andreas. The photo of the house was a brand new addition to the game, and caused speculation that it was a tease for GTA 6. However, allegedly someone has been able to verify that it is indeed from GTA 6, which adds fuel to the idea that it's set in modern-day Vice City.
Back in 2020 though, a huge GTA 6 leak emerged via Reddit. User JackOLantern1982 relayed a grand total of 23 details about Rockstar's upcoming game. As well as confirming that it's in development, they say that its codename is Project Americas as the game will take place over multiple countries: namely, Brazil in a fictional city based on Rio de Janeiro and Vice City in the US. The report suggested that the associated narrative would be heavily influenced by Netflix's Narcos (which is a phenomenal series about the origins of the cocaine trade).
The leak suggested that you'll be building up your own drug empire, using a mechanic similar to that of Vice City Stories, but much more in-depth - more akin to, but bigger than, GTA Online. Your vehicle will function like the horse in Red Dead Redemption 2, allowing you to store your equipment in the trunk, rather than stashed on your character. According to this leak, the game will be set in the 1970 - 80s, with buildings changing / degrading over time, and weather being another heavy focus.
Another separate potential leak on Fireden though, suggests it's a modern-day Liberty City setting for GTA 6, with the beginning of the game reminiscent of TV show, The Wire. It does suggest it's also based on a drug ring, making that a consistent theme of all the leaks.
Way back a few years ago, reports of a London setting for GTA 6 originated via Rockstar Games, putting the next game potentially right on the doorstep of its own studio. Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser said the following back in September 2013 in an interview with Polygon:
“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.”
This led many to speculate that GTA may be seeking outside inspiration, or even returning to the UK. However, Houser also said that GTA wouldn’t return to London in an interview with The Guardian that very same month:
"I think for us, my gut feeling is, GTA London was cool for the time, but games were more limited then," said Houser. "These days I think we would love to set a game in the UK, set in London, whatever, but I don't know if it would be a GTA game. I think there are plenty of great stories we could tell about the UK, great environments to showcase, great gameplay mechanics that could have a UK bent to them – I just don't think it would be a GTA necessarily."
According to a source speaking to TechRadar back in March 2016, Rockstar visited the Japanese capital as a reference trip for a game entitled GTA: Tokyo several years ago. Apparently the idea for the game was eventually pulled, but before that the studio met up with locals, took a ton of pictures and wanted to get a good feel for the city before embarking on that particular gaming journey.
The source stated that Rockstar was "serious" about a game with a Japanese setting, and even went as far as to trademark the names GTA: Toyko, GTA: Bogota and also, mysteriously, GTA: Sin City back in 2003. That was around the time of GTA 3 and Vice City, but the road system was seen as a problem and was just one of the reasons why the idea was eventually abandoned.
The GTA 6 rumors are pretty far-reaching right now, so let’s start with some historical insight. So far, GTA games have been set in the following locations:
- Liberty City – GTA 3, GTA 4, Lost and Damned, The Ballad of Gay Tony
- Vice City – GTA Vice City
- San Andreas / Los Santos – GTA: San Andreas, GTA 5
If history was to repeat, Vice City or Liberty City feel like the most likely candidates for a return… but it’s possible the game will explore new locations, which feels likelier in light of expectations set by GTA Online i.e. the world won’t get smaller. Speaking to Rockstar’s Leslie Benzies in 2013, via the YouTube GTA show GTAVoclock, he stated that the ambition for GTA Online was “To grow this world until it’s the world. We’re just going to add on new things to it, new places all the time”.
What will the GTA 6 story be?
As for the GTA 6 story, there are plenty of rumors in that department too, from multiple protagonists to a single male hero.
The 2020 Reddit leak suggested it would set in the 1970s/80s and feature a single, male protagonist, who's an up and coming drug lord-wannabe named "Ricardo". Another key character called “Kacey” is a part of the narrative. According to that leak, you'll start off as a grunt doing runs as a cocaine smuggler from Vice City to the new large South American area before making connections with big-time drug lords and making your way up, with the story encompassing multiple cities. Allegedly, a younger Martin Madrazo will make an appearance as will his father who is a big drug lord at the time. You do some missions for the Madrazo family involving hits on other gangs. The story will also reportedly tackle topics like HIV and the immigration crisis as it was in the 1970/80s.
The earlier Fireden leak though said it would feature four main characters - two police and two gang members. That leak states that the main storyline splits after a while, with the criminal side having a sort of a sandbox build-a-crime-empire (think Fallout 4 meets the Sims), while the police side is more of a traditional action game with a little twist of LA Noire.
The latest leaks, from June 2021, state that the modern-day Vice City version would feature multiple playable protagonists, including a "tech-savvy woman", with the game's map growing and changing over time - a la Fortnite. Schreier has since corroborated almost all of those claims, saying on Twitter (via Resetera).
Interestingly, Rockstar itself hasn't ruled out the use of multiple protagonists for future endeavors - mimicking the GTA 5 trio. Speaking after the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, which has only one playable character in Arthur Morgan, Rockstar told jeuxactu.com, "Maybe we will do it again with another game, but in Red Dead Redemption 2, you are this man and you will share his adventure".
What has Rockstar said about GTA 6 on the record?
Rockstar North’s former President teased the next series entry back in 2013 in a four-part interview with Develop magazine, which got the online rumour mill started:
“We don’t know what GTA 6 will be, but we’ve got some ideas,” said Benzies in the interview. “We’ve got about 45 years’ worth of ideas we want to do. We’ll pick the right ones. 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."
Of course, Benzies didn’t give much away about what form GTA 6 will take and left Rockstar North in fairly acrimonious circumstances. However, it’s unlikely that Rockstar will rip up the GTA series’ tried-and-tested development process, where building a world comes first with characters and structures layered on top. GTA 5 was created by 1000+ developers based across studios worldwide, so it’d be a brave move to change the template.
Will there be a GTA 6 PC release?
It's pretty clear at this stage that GTA 6 will be a PS5 and Xbox Series X release, especially in light of the upcoming GTA 5 next-gen post for the console and PC. However, whether a GTA 6 PC port will be released at the same time as its console counterparts isn't quite as straightforward.
GTA 5 and GTA 4 both eventually made their way to PC, so you'd hope that a GTA 6 PC port also happens. It may not have a simultaneous launch, but that extra bit of polish and development time has paid off so far, so hopefully PC fans are willing to wait a little bit again.