Grand Theft Auto 6 was already one of the most talked-about, and most leaked upcoming games, but ever since Rockstar Games officially acknowledged it, the reports have been positively flying. A number of leaks, all from credible sources yet possessing conflicting details, are joined by yet another.
This report comes in the form of a brief video from renowned industry analyst Michael Pachter, a name that should ring a bell if you've been at all interested in the happenings of the industry anytime recently. The analyst has covered the development and release of many big projects, and often releases information and predictions.
This latest report concerns GTA 6 specifically, and reveals a lot of alleged details about the game's features and development. One interesting tidbit concerning the game's development reveals just how much of a long-haul project this has been - according to Pachter, GTA 6 has been in development since 2014, and coding has been going on since 2015.
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If true, that means Rockstar Games took their sweet time officially acknowledging the title, but we still have a ways to go before anything more tangible materializes. According to Pachter, the project will take 10 years "or more" to finish, meaning we can't expect a release window before 2024, if even then. Considering how much would need to be constantly reworked as technology advanced over the past decade, and the tendency for delays, that seems like a generous prediction as well.
In contrast to previous statements from developers that the next entry in the series will be a smaller, scaled-back release to help alleviate crunch - a pervasive issue in the AAA industry that notably left its mark on the development cycles of GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 - the report also indicates GTA 6 will be absolutely massive.
With a predicted play-time of 400-500 hours, GTA 6's size and scope will be staggering. Pachter claims that it will take place across multiple continents, and allegedly will concern the player character trafficking drugs from Los Angeles to London via the port of Miami. Pachter likely referred to Los Santos and Vice City as the real-world locations they are based on.
This wouldn't be the first time London has appeared in the GTA series, although its previous outing was in a 2D era spin-off title, and a lot has changed in the franchise since then. It is possible that Rockstar would reference or name-drop a real location, but it does not seem to fit their current approach to outright set a game in London, even partially. Maybe a renamed, fictionalized London?
While the inclusion of the port of Miami would make the report absolvable with the prevalent and repeatedly touted leaks of GTA 6 taking place in Vice City primarily, many reputable sources previously mentioned flashback scenes set in Liberty City, and made no mention of Los Santos, making the water a bit muddy with this new information.
Leaks just are part of the reality of the video game hype trail, with no amount of effort from publishers ever effectively curtailing them - however GTA 6 is a very strange beast. Speculation, predictions and all sorts of fake leaks have been swirling around the internet about the sequel practically since GTA 5 launched, but legitimate-looking ones are relatively new. That said, there are multiple, contradictory leaks that come from different, reputable sources all of whom have strong track records when it comes to reporting legit information.
Being one of the most talked-about and most leaked game out there is actually working to GTA 6's advantage, as far as keeping things under wraps goes. One might even suspect that Rockstar Games has had a hand in disseminating legit-looking information to the right sources in order to induce the current weird situation of conflicting leaks fighting for the spotlight.
Some of the information floating around right now could be right on the money - it could be Pachter's report, or it could be one of the other leaks. Maybe they all have snippets of the truth; maybe none of them are even remotely correct. It's ironic that the fandom's unprecedented and insatiable thirst for info is precisely what fuels this obscurity.
We'll have to wait and see - which in the case of GTA 6 might mean years of waiting.