Rockstar Confirms Grand Theft Auto Multiverse

Rockstar Confirms Grand Theft Auto Multiverse

Written by 

Tom Chapman


28th Dec 2020 19:00

While we wait for even the smallest glimmer that Grand Theft Auto 6 is on the horizon, it's time to jump back into Rockstar Games' wide world of pistols, prostitution, and potty mouths with a truly wild look at the GTA series.

Since 1997, Rockstar (then known as DMA Digital) has crafted arguably the biggest gaming franchise of all time. Looking at the acclaimed GTA V alone, the 2013 game went on to become the most profitable entertainment product of all time - meaning it has earned more than any book, song, or movie ever made. 

Even the biggest fans might now know about the existence of the mythical Grand Theft Auto Multiverse, but trust us, it exists. According to those at the top, the GTA franchise can be split into three distinct universes. Each is largely based on when each one was released. The idea is that characters and stories exist within their own separate bubbles and can't crossover into other universes. Vehicles and places can exist in multiple universes, while in-world celebrities like Lazlow can also transcend the Multiverse. 


How does the Grand Theft Auto Multiverse work?

Back in 2011, a lengthy Q&A delved deeper into the complex world of GTA to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of GTA III. When one fan asked about El Burro artwork appearing in the background of GTA IV, they demanded to know answers about life after the series and where all these characters end up. 

Discussing the Multiverse, Rockstar responded, "El Burro is referenced as he was also referenced in GTA 1, so it felt appropriate that he should cross 'universes' – the 'universes' are the worlds interpreted at different definitions, 2d, 3d and high definition.

"We felt brands and radio/background characters would exist in both, but 3-dimensional characters would not. This is the logic (as far as it could be considered logical) behind it – so no, we don’t believe any GTA3 characters could exist in the GTA4 universe". 

So there you have it, that's exactly how the three (current) universes of GTA work. If you want a full breakdown of where each game fits, it goes as follow.

2D Universe: GTA, GTA London 1969, GTA London 1961GTA 2

3D Universe: GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas, GTA Advance, GTA Liberty City Stories, GTA Vice City Stories

HD Universe: GTA IV, The Lost and Damned, The Ballad of Gay Tony, GTA Chinatown Wars, GTA V, GTA Online


What's next for the Grand Theft Auto Multiverse?

Interestingly, things get even more complicated. Games and universes largely fit into a specific era, such as PlayStation 2 GTA titles fitting into the 3D Universe because that's when 3D games really started to take off. However, the period-placed London games are set decades before GTA 2 but still fit into the same universe. Looking at the 2D and HD Universe, they have two "eras" coming together in the form of numbered entries, whereas the 3D era only had GTA III

Juggling numbered entries in the same era has allowed Rockstar a little more leeway in terms of crossover, but speaking to The Guardian, co-writer Dan Hauser revealed its an idea they've tried to avoid. In 2012, Hauser said, "The move to HD created a schism in this fictional universe, rendering CJ, Toni and co, as mythical characters from a bygone era. But will we see stories from the previous game looping into this one? 'I think that might be too mannered'". 

The big question is, what's next? Will the eventual release of GTA 6 fall into a whole new next-gen universe or will things continue as HD? There are already complaints that GTA V has spanned three generations of consoles (PlayStation 3/Xbox 360, PlayStation 4/Xbox One, PlayStation 5/Xbox Series), whereas the PS2 had three GTA games. Whatever the future holds, rest assured that the Grand Theft Auto Multiverse is out there and growing by the day. All we need now is official confirmation Rockstar is working on GTA 6. Who knows what generation of console we'll be in when that's the case? We're guessing it'll be the PlayStation 10 in the year 2077.


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Images via Rockstar Games

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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