Grand Theft Auto has always been a franchise which cultivated a large "leak culture". Whether it's about alleged secret easter eggs in older games, info about upcoming GTA 5 DLC, or in this case, about where the series will go next. The latest leak is a pretty tall tale about supposed multiple eras and locations for Grand Theft Auto 6, including non-American cities.
Let's preface the following first, by saying that this is almost certainly fake and not the direction Rockstar will be taking the series. If some bits of it here and there do turn out to be true, that will be an act of chance. In any case, you shouldn't go expecting the next GTA game to look anything like this.
The leak comes from two sources who posted to Reddit. The two accounts line up for the most part with some small differences in details, and both claim to have learned all this from insider sources working either for Rockstar or for notable gaming news sites like PC Gamer and Kotaku - both of which covered the leaks skeptically. Kotaku, in particular, is known for accurate, major leaks, so if they didn't post this first in spite of being an alleged source, you know it's bogus.
GTA 6, codenamed Project Americas, has allegedly been in development since 2012 and will only be released for the next generation of consoles, the PS5 and whatever Project Scarlett (Xbox) will be called upon release. The game won't be launching on PS4 and Xbox One and won't act as a generational bridge like GTA 5. It's an all hands on deck production involving all studios. There is no projected release window yet.
Of these details, we can see it being a Rockstar Worldwide production and skipping current gen being plausible, but those can easily be guessed without any "insider info". Names change during development, so there isn't really any way to confirm or debunk that.
The game will be set over a longer period of time between the 70's and 80's, with the game world, available vehicles and locations all changing over time to reflect these eras. There will be multiple cities available, including Vice City, a new city based on Rio De Janiero, limited linear missions in Liberty City and an additional location based in Cuba. Since GTA London, this will be the first time any GTA game was set outside the USA in any capacity.
You'll be moving to and fro' between these locations a lot during the storyline, with additional one-off locations appearing in some missions that can't be revisited from the open world, such as a large prison.
The Protagonist and Story
The leak suggests that GTA 6 will ditch the multiple protagonist approach of GTA 5. This time there will be a single protagonist, who will be a male character. Allegedly named Ricardo, the protagonist is a low-level criminal who wants to become a big-shot drug lord and his journey towards that is what the story focuses on. One of the supporting characters is called Kacey.
The story will be told in a chapter structure similar to how Red Dead Redemption 2's storyline was set up. In keeping with GTA tradition, it would place entertainment value above realism in terms of priority, and would be less realistic than Red Dead Redemption 2 is.
Some characters will make a return from the series, such as a younger Martin Madrazo from GTA 5. He would appear as a mission giver in the game. Themes relevant to the era will be explored, such as the communist scare, Castro, and apparently even HIV.
According to this leak, GTA 6 will feature some key gameplay difference from previous titles. One of the main difference will be how weapons work in the game.
As of Grand Theft Auto 5 you carry all owned weapons on your character in a large weapon wheel, allowing you to use any gun at any time. This will apparently be replaced with a more realistic approach of only allowing the use of weapons which your character can physically carry.
This seems like an odd, and highly unlikely, alteration to the gameplay since Rockstar always favored wanton fun and limitless destruction in GTA games, and it also flies in the face of the previous part of the leak which claims that the game will balance arcade elements with realism.
Players will have a personal vehicle which will be a bit like a mobile HQ. It will carry inventory and items, anything not equipped at the moment, as well as body armor. In GTA 6, body armor will actually be visible when you wear it, unlike the mere stat buff it is in GTA 5.
The game will feature realistic voice acting in terms of languages. Regardless of your language setting, all characters will speak in whatever language they'd speak in real life, so you can assume a lot of Portuguese speech with English subtitles and such.
Allegedly, this is currently Rockstar's main project - another thing you don't need an insider scoop to guess - alongside Bully 2. We sure would be glad to get a Bully sequel, but that is another tidbit of info you should take with a mountain of salt.
There are a few elements of this leak we wish were true, like the 70's/80's setting and the multiple locations, and a few things we hope will never mar a GTA game, like the "realistic" approach to weapon capacity. That said, while interesting and somewhat detailed, it's all just a fabrication.
For everything we actually know about GTA 6, check out this post, and wait for official news from Rockstar.