We’ve had GTA V for well over five years now and, while it’s one of the most amazing games of all time, all good things must come to an end. When Rockstar doesn’t give people any sort of confirmation on the official GTA 6 release date after such a long time, people start to get worried and anxious. And what do the worried and anxious people do? They start spreading rumors.
Let’s face it, GTA 6 rumors from YouTubers hungry for views started circulating barely six months after the original game came out. A quick search for ‘GTA 6’ should reveal hundreds of videos featuring modded GTA V games with amazing graphics and new cars, but nothing else to go by.
The fact of the matter is, there are all kinds of information out there, and it can be difficult to filter through all the noise. We’re curious to explore whether any of them have the slightest bit of validity to them or if it’s all just hogwash. It can’t all be a lie if even major news platforms like GamingBolt and Techradar pick the news story up, after all.
What do the rumors say?
Rockstar has always been very effective at keeping things under wraps, so it would be pretty difficult for information to leak to the outside, even with a proper source. And even if it did, filtering real leaks from the murky mess of attention-seeking Redditors would be a great challenge.
So, let’s just cover the ones that have either gotten the most publicity or sound genuine to a sufficient degree.
The Reddit Leak
In mid-2019, an anonymous Redditor posted a list of features he claimed would be in the new GTA 6 game. With nothing more to go by other than ‘an anonymous friend that works for Kotaku,’ this rumor should have been dismissed before it even started. But what really stood out about it was the amount of detail that went into it.
The now-deleted post claimed the new Grand Theft Auto 6 game is going to draw a lot of inspiration from Netflix’s Narcos and Red Dead Redemption. Following around a small-time drug dealer looking to climb the ranks, the story is going to be set in the US. More specifically, Vice City, GTA’s rendition of Miami.
It supposedly features just one main protagonist you’ll be able to control. All this is according to Forbes, who notes that one of the more interesting supposed features is that you’ll no longer be able to carry unlimited weapons and ammo with you – just as much as can fit in your trunk.
It’s hard to say with absolute certainty that such claims are unequivocally false. Stranger things have happened. The final episode of the Game of Thrones series supposedly had tight security with guards making sure only a handful of people were allowed in or out. Some went as far as to claim the guards were armed. It was impossible to leak any scene since you’d be found out and sued into your grave. And yet…
A good rule of thumb when it comes to Reddit (or any other anonymous message board for that matter) is that if a leak has too much detail, it’s probably false.
The Know report
The most notable GTA 6 release date rumor, however, comes from The Know – a YouTube gaming review channel. According to their sources, the game has been codenamed ‘Project Americas’ and will be released in 2021 or 2022.
The codename is supposedly because you’ll be able to fly to and from South America (Rio, in particular) from the US. Again, not much information regarding sources and Rockstar has, of course, not commented on any of these rumors just yet.
What year is GTA 6 coming out?
Time-travelling Deloreans aside, it’s not like we’re completely in the dark. The closest thing we have to a confirmation date for a GTA 6 release is that ‘we are working on it,’ at least in the words of Rockstar president Leslie Benzies. Keep in mind, this was back in 2013 when GTA V first came out.
More recent industry sources seem to agree that the GTA 6 release date is more likely somewhere at the end of 2021, with more pessimistic estimates stating 2022 as a possible release date. The latter data comes from Jefferies Investment Banking analyst Alex Giaimo.
According to him, people should hold Rockstar stocks because of how far away the supposed GTA 6 date release is. It’s important to note that while he is an industry specialist, he’s not a Rockstar insider. His word is more valuable than an anonymous Redditor’s, sure, but not necessarily be too far.
If anything, anyone that has been following GTA news will realize his claims might not be so far-fetched after all. Rockstar has traditionally released a new GTA game after every five years, but things have changed ever so slightly. First of all, there’s the matter of GTA online.
The game’s online mode proved a massive success and takes in hundreds of thousands of dollars every day for Rockstar. This dampened the need for releasing GTA 6 so fast. Then came the massive success of Red Dead Redemption 2. Again, the online mode introduced into the game makes the company a lot of money. These factors combined mean it might be a while before the game is finally launched.
The second clue to answering the endless barrage of ‘When Is Grand Theft Auto 6 coming out?’ question lies in little details like an artist in India placing GTA 6 on his resume after Rockstar acquired their studio and Rockstar listing hundreds of open positions for game developers. This seems to at least confirm that Rockstar is working on the game if nothing else. Perhaps they may even be speeding up development times assuming all those developers have anything to do with GTA and not some other Rockstar project.
All of this may seem a bit far-fetched, maybe even clutching at straws for some, but not industry analyst Michael Patcher. If anything, he’s in the same camp as Giamio. During an interview with Gaming Bolt, he stated that the GTA VI release date is still a long way away. If anything, it might be released after 2022. Any time earlier is just an optimistic estimate.
What’s taking so long, anyway?
Not to put a damper on people’s anticipation, but game development takes time. Often, it takes so much time people forget it for a few years and enjoy the endless stream of great games already available in the meantime. Just look at Cyberpunk. It may be a bit of an outlier, but the point still stands. Between rendering times, endless corporate bureaucracy, time taken to get the creative juices flowing and debugging time, game development is a tiring, arduous process.
Second of all, the GTA V and RDR online modes may seem like money-gobbling ventures and nothing more, but they also take a lot of labor to maintain. Remember, there’s only so much manpower to go around, and they are often moved from old projects to new and existing ones. The chances are high that they are still using up a lot of time to keep those servers running and new challenges coming.
Next up is an even more far-fetched rumor. Rockstar executives are supposedly waiting out the release of the new next-gen consoles before they give any official information. One source states that it’s because there are memory constraints with current-gen consoles, so GTA 6 won’t be able to run on them. This source claims that GTA 6 is going to be a next-gen console release only.
Considering how massive Rockstar has previously stated the map will be and assuming past trends continue, who knows. There may be some veracity to this, since we already have a 2020 announcement date for the PS5, giving Rockstar a lot of wiggle room.
The second source claims that Rockstar has liaised with Sony so that the game will be a timed exclusive. It will only be available on the PS5 on release and find support on other consoles at a future date. This is a lot less likely to be true, but stranger things have happened.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly is the number of other projects Rockstar currently has in development. The ones we currently know about are Bully 2 and Rockstar Table Tennis 2. The original games were extremely successful in their own rights and it wouldn’t be surprising if the studio decided to release the two games first before releasing GTA 6. Again, it’s very likely a manpower thing, so don’t be too upset if a trailer doesn’t drop by the end of 2020.
All in all, we really don’t know when GTA 6 is going to be released, or at least not officially. With 2020 just around the corner, it’s safe to bet we have three years at most before we’re back in Vice City (or wherever).
So, stay tuned for more updates and in the meantime, read our best RPG games review here.