Shawn Fonteno is back again with another cryptic Grand Theft Auto related post, but this time it seems to be more legitimate than his usual antics - the voice and motion capture actor for Franklin Clinton has messed with the community in the past. However, amid the current tumult of GTA news, he's shared what may be his most tangible tease yet.
It's a busy time for GTA fans, in more ways than one. Not long off the heels of the Definitive Edition's release and subsequent controversy, Rockstar Games confirmed officially for the first time ever that GTA 6 is indeed in development. Additionally, the March 15 release date for Expanded and Enhanced was also announced - that's also when GTA Online is going standalone.
Meanwhile, ever since The Contract DLC brought back Franklin with a story-focused Online DLC, fans have been eager for more - and Rockstar revealed plans to oblige. Apparently, the storyline introduced in The Contract is set to continue with Franklin continuing to play a major role, as a stronger narrative element is being enforced in the multiplayer game.
With everything going on, the timing for Fonteno's latest stirring of the pot couldn't be more perfect. With a track record of riling up the community with GTA related teases and hints over the years, some might regard any of his posts with some suspicion, but this time it's pretty tangible - a screenshot of a work-in-progress character model for an updated Franklin.
The character model seems like a graphical refresh for the GTA 5 protagonist, who has mostly gone unchanged since 2013 aside of some customization options and updates that came with the game's rereleases. The post sparked its fair share of speculation about what it could be for.
The clearest and most logical conclusions is that it's either for Expanded and Enhanced, for upcoming Online DLC with Franklin, or both. We know that Expanded and Enhanced will bring brand new story content alongside graphical and technical improvements, which might warrant a new model.
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Alongside that, the continued adventures of our Online character as part of Franklin's agency will have us interacting with the story mode protagonist a lot more in the immediate future of GTA Online, possibly on the long term depending on what kind of plans the devs have for this new direction. That too seems like the sort of role that would warrant such an update.
As obvious as these conclusions seem to be, especially considering the development cycle and expected release of such content coupled with Fonteno's caption of "almost finished", some fans have taken their speculation further - apparently some people think this is for GTA 6, which will include a re-appearance for Franklin.
Of the options available, this seems to be the least likely in our opinion. Leaks about GTA 6's setting, story and characters have been vague and contradictory, so the possibility is technically there, but it would seem like an uncharacteristic move on Rockstar's part considering how past GTA sequels related to one another.
It isn't yet clear what kind of new content Expanded and Enhanced will be adding to the single player experience - it could be anything ranging from just a few additional collectibles or side missions to full blown, voice acted story content. We'll just have to wait until launch and see. As for The Contract 2, or however that will be called, we know nothing so far.
GTA 5 Expanded and Enhanced launches on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 on the 15th of March. Meanwhile, we do not have a release date for the next big GTA Online DLC, but based on past release patterns, we can expect it to drop during the summer.