This page will be continually updated as more information about GTA 6 comes to light.
After spending more than eight years in the mean streets of Grand Theft Auto 5, fans have their eyes set on the sequel. GTA 6 has not been announced or officially confirmed to be in development, but this isn't a question of if, rather one of when. The Grand Theft Auto franchise is one of the highest grossing in the industry (if not the highest) and there is no doubt that the record-breaking success of GTA 5 will prompt Rockstar to return to the series.
Being the popular topic of speculation that it is, Grand Theft Auto 6 is also the subject of many rumors and hoaxes. At this point, little is clear beyond the fact that it's going to happen sometime in the next console generation. If we look at past release trends from Rockstar and Take-Two, we can make some educated guesses, discussed below.
And as for whether or not Grand Theft Auto 6 is actually an existing project, beyond common sense and financial data we have several reports from anonymous sources within Rockstar saying that, yes, there is more Grand Theft Auto in the pipeline.
Technically, GTA 6 was sort-of 'confirmed' way back in 2013, the release year of GTA 5, when in an interview Leslie Benzies indicated that the team already had ideas for the next game. While situations change - like Benzies parting from Rockstar - it's not like GTA 5 performed so poorly that a sequel would be canned. In fact, it's done quite the opposite.
In this guide we'll look at everything we know, everything we think we know, and all the rumors worth noting. Until any greater volume of official news regarding the future of the franchise is publicized - you'll have to wait on that a bit longer - this will be your one-stop resource for anything GTA 6 related.
We're tracking every major GTA 6 development here, with the newest details on top!
- 2021/07/05 - Tom Henderson releases a video detailing leaked information about GTA 6's setting, release date and more which contradicts previous leaks, but due to Henderson's reputation has more legitimacy. This is further reinforced by a confirmation from Jason Schreier and Video Game Chronicle indicating Henderson's information is correct. This is essentially the first credible leak in the history of GTA 6.
- 2021/05/21 - A new set of leaks allege that the eventual GTA 6 announcement will happen as a GTA Online in-game event.
- 2021/05/04 - After a longer period of silence a leaker alleges that GTA 6 is still years from launch.
- 2021/02/08 - The largest and most credible-looking GTA 6 leak happens when someone claiming to be a developer but remaining anonymous posted a huge info dump of details about both GTA 6 and the Xbox Series X/S & PS5 native port of GTA 5. This leak contains in-depth information about the setting, story, characters and game mechanics of the game, and while it seems the most legitimate there are some points of contention.
- 2021/01/06 - Fans believe an easter egg hidden in the GTA Online DLC "The Cayo Perico Heist" is a deliberate hint towards the setting of GTA 6 being Vice City.
- 2021/01/04 - An alleged insider report claimed that an in-development sequel to Bully was cancelled to transfer development resources to GTA 6.
- 2020/06/08 - Take-Two officials confirm that the continued success of GTA Online won't affect the release of GTA 6.
- 2020/05/29 - Take-Two addresses SEC filing, clarifying that it is unrelated to GTA 6.
- 2020/05/26 - Huge SEC expenditure filing from Take-Two indicates GTA 6 may launch in 2023.
- 2020/04/16 - Kotaku report reveals that GTA 6 is well under development, and sized moderately to prevent crunch like during the development of GTA 5.
- 2020/03/01 - Rockstar website updated with new art, which fans thought may be related to GTA 6. It isn't.
- 2020/02/03 - GTA 6's protagonist has possibly been present in the franchise since GTA 4, with very subtle teases present in that title, its expansions, and GTA 5.
When it comes to the Grand Theft Auto 6 release date, instead of being able to say when it is, we can only tell you when it isn't. It won't be launching this year, nor will it launch in this console generation (i.e. we'll need for wait for the PlayStation 5 or whatever the next Xbox is called).
Luckily, those two might mean the same thing. Spokespersons from Sony and Microsoft have both hinted at the next console generation starting in 2020, while analysts also peg the next-gen to begin sometime in 2020 or 2021.
We've seen Rockstar tackle console generations in various ways recently. GTA 5 was released right at the end of the previous gen, launching on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It then got ported to the current gen systems when they were released, and eventually to PC. This allowed the developers to spread their product across the widest range of platforms possible, however the game didn't ultimately capitalize on the new hardware of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.
Red Dead Redemption 2, released last October, is the first game Rockstar developed entirely for the current generation of consoles, finally making real use of the improved hardware. The result is stunning, with the game being a technical marvel, but it is only available on two platforms instead of five. A future PC port might push that to three, but it's still a narrower range than GTA 5.
Since we know that GTA VI won't drop this generation, meaning the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are out of the picture, either it will be released in the early-to-mid years of the next gen (following in Red Dead Redemption 2's footsteps), or at the end of the next-gen and on the cusp of the next-next-gen, to be spread across more platforms.
Even considering Rockstar's tendency to release their titles infrequently - five years passed between the launch of GTA 5 and RDR2 - it's unlikely that they'll hold out until the end of the next-gen, considering the next-gen only starts next year (at best). We'll likely see the launch of Grand Theft Auto 6 around the middle of the 9th console generation. On that basis you can expect to wait at least another 2-3-4 years.
GTA Online is showing absolutely no sign of slowing down, with player numbers and revenue increasing month over month in spite of its age. In January 2019, GTA 5 was still one of the best selling games and even outsold the newer, but also highly popular, Red Dead Redemption 2. If the game continues to perform that well, Take-Two won't feel a pressing need to rush a new installment out the door. We might even see another 5-year gap between Red Dead Redemption 2 and GTA 6.
In spite of this, video game analyst Michael Pachter is more optimistic. He suggests a 2020 announcement and 2021 release is possible, but even he thinks a 2021 announcement and 2022 release is a more likely scenario. Let's also not forget Rockstar's tendency to delay their games in order to ensure a high standard of quality.
In April 2019, a former Rockstar employee briefly listed Grand Theft Auto VI in their online portfolio, indicating work on the unannounced game between December 2017 and April 2018. This would indicate that the game may have been in development since late 2017. It's very likely that it has been in the works for longer, but an average 5 year development cycle paired with this info makes the later predictions of 2021 and 2022 more likely.
Update #1: An SEC filing has given analysts credible clues to suggest that the most likely release date for GTA 6 will be sometime in fiscal 2024, more specifically in the second half of 2023. Click here for details.
Update #2: With the announcement of GTA 5 hitting the next-gen consoles in 2021, we probably shouldn't expect any official news on the next installment until after that.
Update #3: A brief rumor about a major marketing budget SEC filing for the fiscal period between April 2023 and March 2024 had fans suspecting that is the launch window that Take-Two Interactive is aiming for with the game, since such spending spikes have, in the past, correlated with a major AAA release. However, an official statement denying this was issued soon after.
Update #4: The latest, somewhat credible looking leaks suggest that GTA 6 is still years away from release, countering many of the earlier rumors. With the upcoming release of the Expanded and Enhanced version of GTA 5 on Xbox Series X/S and PS5, it makes sense that Rockstar Games will focus on that for a while yet. Additionally, leaks indicate that fans might get a San Andreas remaster before we get GTA 6.
Right now, since the game isn't officially announced, there isn't any footage available. Once we get an official announcement, it will likely be accompanied by an announcement trailer, which will then be followed by more footage. Rockstar is known for their secrecy though, so don't expect any Grand Theft Auto VI media soon.
The GTA 6 map and its setting is another hot topic, and possibly an even greater mystery than the release date. Analysts have spoken about the latter, and we can take a look at how Rockstar operates to make guesses, but when it comes to the setting - speculation and hopes are all we have. A popular theory is that the game will return to Vice City just like GTA 5 returned to locations seen in San Andreas. However that's all that is - a theory. Reports and rumors, backed by anonymous sources or no source at all suggest it plenty, but then you'll find almost as many rumors suggesting Liberty City or an all new location - maybe even one outside of the USA.
Since the game's location is such a major uncertainty, we took to researching and analyzing major cities in the USA, and also in other countries, to see how eligible they would be for a GTA game. You can check out our city of the week series to learn more about what we've found.
One of the more legitimate-looking reports coming from The Know also indicates that Vice City will be the main location of the game, with additional locations found in South America. The latter sections will make up a smaller part of the game, but will still be significant due to a drug-running storyline. As a result, the game is reportedly being developed under the codename Project Americas and will retain the 80's setting of the original.
The game's setting is among the aspects of Grand Theft Auto VI fans are most interested in. As a result, leaks - mainly fake ones - make a point of addressing it for the sake of attention. Different sources of varying legitimacy have named different locations, with the aforementioned return to Vice City being the most probably. Other options include the entire USA, portions of the USA including multiple cities, Tokyo, a return to London or a futuristic sci-fi metropolis. We'll have to wait and see.
Update #1: The most famously cited major leak from a source that claims to be a developer seemingly confirms that Vice City is indeed the setting of GTA 6. Easter eggs discovered in GTA Online lend further legitimacy to this claim.
Protagonist and Characters
GTA 5 introduced an iconic three protagonist system allowing players to switch between Michael, Franklin and Trevor whenever they chose. Most games don't feature this dynamic, and while it was executed well in GTA 5, it has the potential to backfire by diluting content and disrupting focus. With Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar returned to the standard single-protagonist system.
That said, rumors about this particular aspect have been swirling for a long time. The whole single protagonist vs. multiple protagonists debate has fans incensed. The most prevalent rumor, though lacking any sort of proof, indicates that for the first time the game will feature a female protagonist.
Another rumor indicates that the multiple protagonist system will return, but this time with just two characters instead of three, with one female and one male lead. Voice actors have also been rumored, with Eva Mendez and Ryan Gosling reported most often.
This is almost guaranteed to be a hoax, however, the sole goal of which is to attract attention by dropping recognized names. Rockstar is well known for avoiding popular stars in order to maintain immersion. They specifically avoid anyone who isn't obscure, since players hearing the voice of a well-known actor will be less immersed than if they hear a voice which, as far as they are concerned, is unique to this particular character.
A different rumor lines up with the two-protagonist speculation, saying that one character will be a criminal while the other is a cop. Players will control both at different points in the story, and the two protagonists will oppose one another. This aspect is more believable and would give the game an interesting spin.
Similarly unreliable as of now, the possibility of a custom protagonist cropped up. GTA Online already allows us to customize our own playable character, since the multiplayer mode's narrative is more free-form than the story mode. It is possible that an even more in-depth, almost RPG-like character creator may be introduced in GTA 6.
Update #1: GTA theorycrafters are tireless, and a very plausible and well researched idea regarding the protagonist of GTA VI made the rounds recently. The most interesting part of this theory is that the next playable character will be someone we already heard of in-game.
Update #2: An alleged former employee, without any proof of course, took to Reddit and "revealed" that among the main characters of the game are Walther Wallace, a smuggler called Thomas Branigan with a custom plane called The Raven, and Marcus Burke. Take this with a mountain of salt.
Update #3: The previously mentioned alleged developer claims that the game will have one main protagonist, but players will take control of said protagonist's father during flashback scenes, as the storyline will span multiple timelines.
Virtual Reality has, over the course of the past few years, proven that it is more than just a fad or a gimmick, and is a new feature that is here to stay. Its popularity has spread, and an increasing number of AAA games are embracing it, like DOOM, The Elder Scrolls, EVE Online and more. Rockstar has done so as well, having released a VR spin-off for L.A. Noire.
While neither GTA 5 nor Red Dead Redemption 2 support VR natively, GTA 5 has had several VR mods developed for it, allowing you to enjoy the game with a greater sense of immersion. You just need to have an appropriate headset and enough technical know-how to set everything up. RDR2 might something similar, via mods, in the future too.
Rumors indicating native VR support for Grand Theft Auto 6 sprung up after Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick spoke out in favor of the feature, even though he was initially skeptical of it. This new platform would allow players to become even more invested in the game's open world and pay more attention to the finer details the developers have filled it with.
Will GTA 6 Have Cheats?
Cheats have been an integral part of the GTA franchise from day one, and instead of simply giving players an advantage to get past tough sections of gameplay, have traditionally been used to spice up the experience in fun and creative ways.
When speaking of classics like San Andreas, every fan will have fond memories of passing crumpled, hastily copied cheat sheets during recess to their mates. There is no way Rockstar will nuke such an iconic element of their flagship franchise.
GTA 6 Facts
Concrete things we know about GTA 6 are few and far between, and most of the info we have is deduced from hints and related events. This is where we'll collect all the tidbits and smaller trivia that doesn't fit into the bigger categories fans are interest in, like trailers or release dates.
- Lazlow won't be making an appearance - or at least not in the usual sense. Lazlow Jones isn't just a fictional DJ living and performing in the world of GTA, but a real life person who worked for Rockstar Games as a writer and producer for almost 2 decades. Jones has recently left the company, and is unlikely to reprise his role.
- It has been in development for a long time - while the exact date when the project began cooking is unknown, various sources as well as forgetful former employees leaving the project on their portfolios have revealed that Rockstar has been working on the game for several years already. Some estimates place pre-production having begun as early as 2012.
- Without a shadow of a doubt, the game will launch for PS5 and Xbox Series X.
- It will be a smaller release in order to make development more manageable, and to avoid crunch for the employees. If we were to make a guess, this means that the next title won't bring its own multiplayer mode to the table, since GTA Online is hugely popular and going standalone as of the next-gen launch. GTA Online will continue on as its own entity separate from the mainline series, thus adding a multiplayer mode to GTA 6 would lead to one product competing against the other.
- CJ, fan-favorite protagonist from San Andreas, probably isn't making a cameo or any other appearance. His voice actor, Chris Bellard, posted a rather angry Tweet driving the point home that he's done with the franchise, and insulted Rockstar Games in the same sentence. We probably won't ever know what went down in the background, but maybe that's best.
- The voice actor of Cris Fromage, head of the Epsilon cult, is hoping to reprise his role in GTA 6, but is not currently involved with the project.