Since Red Dead Redemption 2 came out in 2018, one would expect that Rockstar Games would be turning its attention fully towards their leading franchise, Grand Theft Auto.
GTA 5 had come out back in 2013, and many feel that a sequel is long overdue. With the immense success of GTA 5 and the enduring popularity of Grand Theft Auto Online, a sequel is guaranteed. There’s no doubt about that.
However, the question remains as to where the next GTA game will take place, who the protagonist(s) will be, what platforms it will be playable on, and when exactly will it launch.
We’ll address all of those questions in this article, so read on!
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GTA 6 Release Date
At the moment, GTA 6 has no set release date. This is nothing new, as it’s not uncommon to see significant gaps between mainline GTA titles, albeit the gap between GTA 5 and GTA 6 will be the longest one yet.
In September 2020, a total of seven years will have passed since the launch of GTA 5, but there are several factors to keep in mind regarding the estimated release date of GTA 6.
Firstly, Rockstar will want to announce the game ahead of time and build up to the release with a proper marketing campaign to speed up the hype train. After all, GTA 5 had the second-biggest marketing budget in the history of video games – a whopping 128 million dollars, second only to the 200 million spent on marketing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
So, GTA 5 was announced in 2011, two years before its release, so it’s safe to assume that we can expect a similar gap between the announcement date and the release date of GTA 6.
That said, if Rockstar announces the game this year, we could see it drop in late 2021 at the earliest, though 2022 seems a more realistic estimate.
Now, another big question regarding GTA 6 is which platforms it will be available on.
We used to speculate as to whether Rockstar would release GTA 6 for the 8th generation of consoles or if they would wait for the 9th, and at this point, it’s pretty much a given that GTA 6 will prioritize the upcoming PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X.
Now, some are worried about whether GTA 6 will come to PC, but judging by the sales figures, Rockstar would be foolish to leave the game as a console
Granted, it could launch on PC a bit after the initial console release, but seeing as both GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 came to PC, it’s more a question of “when” rather than “if.”
Finally, regarding whether GTA 6 will also be available on the 8th generation consoles is anyone’s guess. Sure, GTA 5 was available on both the 7th and the 8th generation, but it launched only two months before the 8th generation of consoles dropped.
If our estimates are accurate and the game launches in 2021 or 2022, that will already be well into the 9th generation, plus the new consoles will be way more powerful than their predecessors. Still, Rockstar might release a stripped-down version of GTA 6 for the older hardware.
In any case, this is all just speculation, and nothing is sure. As mentioned above, millions upon millions of dollars will go into the development and marketing of GTA 6, and Rockstar will likely want at least 18 months to hype the game up before the release.
So, as mentioned above, the game might launch in 2021 if we’re optimistic, but a 2022 release seems a more likely scenario.
GTA 6 Gameplay and Story
Traditionally, Grand Theft Auto games have been single-player journeys, following a single protagonist across a campaign that could last dozens and dozens of hours.
The formula received a bit of a refresh with GTA 5, as the 2013 title had not one, but a total of three distinct protagonists that the player could switch between. More importantly, it provided Rockstar with a new way to tell a story by intertwining the tales of three very different characters.
So, what can we expect to see in GTA 6?
Rumors have it that the game might have a female lead for the first time, and while Rockstar has expressed interest in having a female protagonist for one of their games, it’s unclear as to whether GTA 6 will be that game.
It also remains unclear as to whether any familiar characters will be making a return and whether the game will feature one or multiple protagonists like its predecessor.
An interesting theory has it that GTA 6 might be the first game in the series to feature a protagonist who is a law enforcement officer of some sort, rather than a criminal.
While it’s difficult to imagine playing GTA as a uniformed policeman, playing as an undercover officer or agent could be very interesting, both from a gameplay and a storytelling perspective.
As far as the gameplay itself is concerned, we shouldn’t expect any significant changes, albeit there’s always room for some degree of innovation in every type of game, as GTA 5 has demonstrated.
GTA has defined the open-world action-adventure game, spawning countless “clones” in the process, but the core gameplay formula hardly changed over the years.
Granted, it did become smoother, more ironed-out, and more advanced from a technical standpoint. Still, it’s unlikely that GTA 6 will feature any groundbreaking mechanics or introduce noteworthy changes to the existing formula.
Speaking of technical advancements, Red Dead Redemption 2 can provide an impression as to how dynamic the world of GTA 6 could ultimately end up being: smarter behavioral AI, realistic environments that feel truly alive, complex weather systems, impactful NPC-player interactions, and an incredible amount of detail.
With the new console generation inbound, Rockstar will have even better technology to work with by the time the game is out. Hence, it’s safe to assume that GTA 6 will genuinely push the envelope when it comes to the sort of realism that we can expect to see in a video game.
GTA 6 Map
Speaking of pushing the envelope, one of the things that the GTA series has always been known for its vast open worlds, and GTA 6 could take things even further when it comes to sheer scale.
However, many fans are more concerned with the exact location rather than with scale. So, where will GTA 6 take place?
Well, as you might expect, countless theories are floating around. Some think that GTA might go as far east as Tokyo, while others feel that the game might revisit London, the only non-US city that the series has explored so far in Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 and Grand Theft Auto: London 1961.
Another viable theory relates to the three of the most famous GTA locations, specifically Liberty City, Los Santos, and Vice City, all of which were featured in the 3D universe games GTA III, San Andreas, and Vice City, respectively.
Moreover, GTA: Vice City is known for its 80s nostalgia, so if GTA 6 does end up taking place there, it could potentially make a jump back in time to that era.
Something else that’s worth noting is that GTA 6 is allegedly codenamed “Project Americas,” suggesting that both North America and South America will be involved. Therefore, the setting could feature not only Vice City but also another South American city inspired by Rio de Janeiro.
The Final Word
And that would be the rundown of what we know about the next GTA game so far. New rumors are surfacing all the time, some with more legitimacy than others, but ultimately, we won’t know anything for sure until Rockstar comes forward with an official announcement.
Until then, tell us about your expectations in the comments. Which location would you like the game to explore, and would you like to see any characters make a return?
We’ll also do our best to keep this article updated with any relevant new info as it comes up, so stay tuned!