GTA 6 City of the Week is a weekly article series here on GTA BOOM. Every week, we will evaluate a different city in the United States, gauging how well it would fit GTA 6 as a setting.
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This week was a bit of an emotional roller-coaster for the GTA community, or so it would seem. A few days ago, news started spreading that the Transfer feature, which allowed players to migrate their characters, progress, unlocks and cash from a past-gen version of Online over to an enhanced edition version in case they upgraded in the meantime, would be no more.
This fright was initially set off by an update to the wording of the Rockstar Support article regarding character transfers, which was then taken out of context and sensationalized by certain "news" sites desperate for the influx of clicks generated by a new controversy. The story ran in such a way that readers were lead to believe that their GTA Online characters would be stuck on their Xbox 360's and PS3's forever if they don't transfer them within 30 days.
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This, however, isn't the case, as we and some other have elaborated. Rockstar won't be axing the Transfer service anytime soon, and they would make a big announcement of it in any case. While it is inevitable that the service will eventually shut down once all forms of support for the old versions of GTA 5 are ceased, that won't be happening just yet.
On a more positive note, Rockstar has also finally announced the winners of the GTA Online #CEO Editor contest. One grand prize winner, two runners up and three honorable mentions were featured in a celebratory Newswire post. While we thought that one of the runners up deserved the grand prize, all videos showcased were more than deserving of accolades. However, now that there aren't any active contests running, Rockstar really could finally announce that Stunt Race Creator contest they have been teasing for a while now.
With a lack of content updates since the release of the above mentioned creator, the GTA community has once again switched over to "standby mode", which means one thing: speculation. Endless speculation. While the Cunning Stunts update revitalized Online like no update since Heists, the desire for the next main installment in the series is palpable, though if rumors of a new Red Dead game being in development turn out to be true, players will be waiting a long, long time for GTA 6.
However, in the meantime, we might as well analyse yet another potential setting for the next GTA game, right?
Today I learned that the city of Cheyenne and the mountain called Cheyenne, which served as the main setting of extremely popular cult classic sci-fi television show Stargate SG-1 are not next to one another, or even close. Hell, the two things are in separate states! Maybe stuff like this is normal on that side of the ocean, but as a foreigner, I'll never understand American naming tendencies.
Anyway, Cheyenne. You might be curious why we chose such a small and not at all sprawling town for this entry of City of the Week when there are still plenty of large Metropoli in the USA that we haven't covered yet. Well, the answer to that is two-fold. Until now we were hitting all the usual suspects: large, notable cities with a good chance of standing in for the main city on a GTA map.
However this time around we wanted to mix things up with a city that you wouldn't normally think of as a GTA setting. The other reason is that while until now we've been looking at settlements that would stand in as the main city, like Los Santos in V. Today, we opted for a city that could work as a secondary urban area for a GTA Map, filling the role of a smaller city such as Chumash, Sandy Shores and Grapeseed do in V.
The Magic City of the Plains is the capital of the USA's least populous state. In spite of being the tenth largest of the 50 states in terms of area, Wyoming is by far the most sparsely populated, with only about 600,000 people living within its borders. 60, 000 people, meaning 10% of the state's total population live in the city.
Cheyenne lies close to the southeastern border of Wyoming, close to the border with Colorado. There are practically no notable bodies of water anywhere nearby, though there is plenty of wilderness to go around, including the nearby Yellowstone National Park as well as the large mountainous and forested region in central Colorado.
In spite of its relative small size, Cheyenne has a pretty modern skyline and isn't particularly small either. Though not a part of Cheyenne itself from an administrational point of view, neighboring Ranchettes increases the physical size of the urban area greatly.
Cheyenne's economy primarily relies on administrative work, with the Federal Government being the biggest employer. The US Air Force also have a major presence in the city, with a base located west of Cheyenne. The railworks are also a major source of income for the city.
Cheyenne is also frequented by the denizens of other towns in the area, as it is one of only three cities in all of Wyoming to feature an enclosed shopping mall. The city is also something of an energy center, as Wyoming, especially in the plains, is rich in non-renewable energy resources while also being a prime location for renewable energy installations.
The city also hosts the annual Cheyenne Frontier Days, which is a 10 day rodeo event-celebration hybrid with national acclaim. As such, people interested in rodeo and ranch-culture are probably better acquainted with the city than the average joe.
Now, we did approach this city as a potential smaller location, but that would require a nearby larger city to go with it - luckily, this is given. Denver, the capital of Colorado is relatively nearby. Granted, we haven't written about that particular city yet (though we will) but it would provide Cheyenne with the big-city counterpart it needs in order to work well as a secondary location on a GTA map.
Understandably in such a smaller city, crime happens on a much smaller scale than in large metropoli like the ones we've featured previously on this series. With so few people, obviously the stats are lower across the board.
Murder rates are extremely low, as are pretty much all violent crime rates, especially compared to national averages. Property crime rates are closer to the median, but still well below anything we've seen in City of the Week before. While this is definitely a "negative" in terms of the city's aptness as a GTA setting, it is less of an issue than in the case of a primary city, seeing as the towns used as inspiration for the smaller settlements in V also had similar rates.
Yet another category where Cheyenne falls short. The city is probably completely unknown to foreigners and even many people living in the United States. Sure, chances are you've heard of it and even seen a picture or two as an American, but it isn't exactly a city that screams "iconic".
The two most notable locations are probably The Wrangler and the state government building, though the train station which spawned the city in the first place is also pretty important. Ironically enough, the first in this lineup, which is a legendary apparel store might be the best known nationally.
Even though it scores low on recognition, this isn't as big an issue in the case of Cheyenne as it would be for some large city playing a major role in the game, both in terms of story and gameplay. While Chumash may be based on Malibu, a pretty well known location, the other three small towns are either entirely original or based on places that barely anyone knows.
Cheyenne itself doesn't have too much to offer in terms of story potential, but it doesn't really need to if we're looking at it as a secondary location. Due to the whole ranch thing going on, it would be a great thematic location where the player would meet your assortment of wild-west stereotype characters who would fit into a larger storyline based in the nearby city of Denver. Seeing as the success of Cheyenne depends on Denver working as a primary setting for the map, we'll be looking at that city next week.
Cheyenne is a nice little town which is doing well for itself and keeping up with the times. The crime rates are low, the people are friendly and there is a cheery, merry cowboy-wild-west-ranch-yee-haw theme going on that can be felt in the everyday life of the city. Could it carry a full GTA release on its own? Absolutely not. Would it work well alongside another, larger city as a secondary location with a clear and distinct feel to it? Damn right it would.
Would you be interested in visiting a GTA-ified version of Cheyenne?