Arguably the biggest annual sporting event in the world, the Super Bowl has become a hotly contested warzone for advertisements. With legendarily expensive slots, companies always fight for a chance to have their content broadcast to an audience that is guaranteed to be immense. As such, many fans are theorizing that Rockstar Games will reveal Grand Theft Auto 6 at this year's event, following what some consider a string of Vice City themed teases.
It's been a while since the launch of GTA 5, and other than GTA Online releasing hot on its trail, the only new content we've gotten in the past seven years is free DLC for the multiplayer. In those years, Rockstar has re-released several older games in the series on new platforms, but that's it. For comparison, 5 years passed between GTA 4 and 5, and the former got 3 major expansions.
It's about time for the series to make some moves. Red Dead Redemption 2 occupied the attention of the company for a hot minute, but even compared to Rockstar's usual slow and stead release schedule things are a bit sluggish. It makes sense then, that with such a long gap and the recent launch of the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 we'd start hearing official murmurs about a new game.
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For the most part, this long wait can be blamed on GTA Online. Were it not as insanely successful as it is, the developers would be looking to release a new source of revenue a bit quicker. That said, with the move to separate GTA Online and keep it running as a standalone later in 2021, leaving the single player world free to continue on, things are looking up.
Since Rockstar has a tradition of skipping major video game events like E3, PAX, and other conventions like SDCC, the Super Bowl would be a perfect opportunity to bag a record-breaking reveal. In 2020, the event was viewed by 99.9 million people, up from 2019's 98.4 million. The event's TV viewership peaked in 2015, at 114.4 million.
This latest fan theory comes after years of rumors swirling online about where the franchise is headed. The rumor/leak/popular hope that best stood the test of time is that GTA 6 will be taking players back to Vice City. 2020 in particular had a high number of alleged leaks as well as minor official homages that led fans even further down this rabbit hole.
With Super Bowl 55 taking place in Florida, it would be very fitting to reveal a return to Vice City at the event. Recently, a piece of in-game clothing released alongside The Cayo Perico Heist DLC also referenced a location found in Vice City games, adding more fuel to the fire.
Many fans have rallied around this theory that's been making the rounds. Several enthusiastic players came to this prediction, including user ItsTreDay on Reddit. Some posts on the topic are a little more muddied with hearsay and wishful thinking than others, though.
Considering we have official confirmation that the next GTA game has been under development for some time now, and will be a more modest project to prevent crunch - most likely afforded by the lack of an online mode - we think there's statistical merit to this theory. It's definitely possible and it makes sense - but keep in mind that this isn't even a leak, or a rumor, just a fan theory. Don't be surprised if Super Bowl 55 comes and goes without a single mention of GTA!