Take-Two is already hinting at GTA 6 delay to 2026

Take-Two is already hinting at GTA 6 delay to 2026
Image via Rockstar Games

Written by 

Tom Chapman


9th Feb 2024 15:53

Probably because we had to wait a decade for a reveal, but it feels like only yesterday that the next chapter of the legendary Grand Theft Auto series locked in a 2025 release date. After so many years of rumours and false starts, we were hopeful that GTA 6 was finally driving into view.

With 2013's GTA V being the most profitable entertainment product of all time and still being stacked up by the continuing GTA Online updates, the bar couldn't be higher for GTA 6 to perform. Apparently, these lofty expectations could be a contributing factor in it being shifted into 2026.

Take-Two Interactive hints at GTA 6 releasing in 2026

GTA Money Bed
Click to enlarge
Image via Rockstar Games

The latest financials from Take-Two Interactive make for some interesting reading, and as reported by Variety, it's making us uncomfortable. In the earnings call, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked to narrow down the GTA 6 release but explained, "We’re seeking perfection and when we've optimized, that's the time to release."

This has set tongues wagging that the title will go for an "it's ready when it's ready" mentality. Added to this, Take-Two has adjusted its projections. It previously estimated over $8 billion in net bookings for the April 2024-March 2025 fiscal year. Chief Financial Officer Lainie Goldstein has now lowered this to around $7 billion. 

Take-Two is still a company on the grow, with Goldstein reassuring critics, "This amount is still huge growth over this year. Our pipeline is groundbreaking for next year and beyond, and teams are making excellent progress on game development." It doesn't end here, though. 

The really interesting part comes from Goldstein casually mentioning, "We do expect to see growth in fiscal year '26 over '25, so that hasn't changed." The fact that Take-Two expects even more growth has led to speculation that GTA 6 will launch in 2026, as well as the roadmap now mentioning GTA 6 as "calendar 2025," not just 2025. 

A delay into 2026 is coupled with mentions of "significant" cost reductions after a disappointing October-December 2023 quarter. Zelnick assured Variety, "We have no current plans for layoffs," explaining that the biggest expense was marketing, which will be slashed alongside third-party expenses.

GTA 6 could still release in 2025

GTA  Vice City map
Click to enlarge
Image via Rockstar Games

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Others have pointed out that Take-Two financial years mean GTA 6 is still technically on track for a 2025 release, although any form of delay would almost certainly nudge it into 2026. The idea that Zelnick is bracing us with mentions of "perfection" isn't a good sign.

Video game delays are par for the course these days, with Hogwarts Legacy and Cyberpunk 2077 being some of the worst offenders. The latter went down in history thanks to its botched launch and demand for refunds. Cyberpunk 2077 is a completely different game these days, but it felt like CD Projekt Red was backed into a corner by angry fans.

The first GTA 6 trailer wouldn't have said 2025 if Rockstar wasn't confident it could hit that release window, and remember, that's a very loose 12-month period it could slot into. Still, once 2025 is out there, it's all anyone is going to remember. Also, if GTA 6 does release in 2026, you can probably expect a PC release in about 2033. 

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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