GTA 6 Release Date, Gameplay, Features, And Leaks
Having nonchalantly, yet in typical Rockstar fashion, announced that the development of GTA 6 is "well underway", there's yet to have been any news on an official Grand Theft Auto 6 release date. Some nine years after Rockstar Games last raced into our lives with GTA V, patience is running out when it comes to finding out what's next.
GTA 6 is finally official, and from rumours of a female protagonist to a Vice City return, the years of waiting have turned up some interesting snippets relating to the mythical entry. It's important to remember Rockstar hasn't even announced GTA 6 yet, with the developers having worked tirelessly on a divisive re-skin of the GTA Trilogy whilst keeping their cards close to their chest on what's yet to come. We're not buying it though, and with Rockstar's notoriously secretive nature, the GTA 6 release date could be closer than first thought.
With a mountain of leaks to sift through, here's everything we know about GTA 6's release date, story, characters, and more.
GTA 6 release date
The most important question is, when is the GTA 6 released date? Well, just as Micheal keeps his secrets away from the Five-0, Rockstar has yet to reveal a slither of when GTA 6 will arrive. However, there are always murmurs of the shenanigans of a major cartel, and the developers aren't too dissimilar to GTA's characters.
Although Rockstar has a shaky schedule when it comes to regular releases, eight years is a long time to wait for a new game. Claims of a "development hell" and "disappointing" early builds has resulted in delays to the recently-announced title, although other insiders have eyed a possible 2022 announcement.
Arguably the most reputable leak so far comes from developers Take-Two (the parent organisation of Rockstar), who are predicting a huge 14% growth in the fiscal year of 2024 (April 2023 - March 2024) which hints at a massive title being dropped, such as GTA 6. Whilst that window seems the more plausible date for the GTA 6 release date, other less optimistic reports suggest that GTA 6 won't be out until 2025.
A mid-2020s release date for GTA 6 seems the most likely. As we've previously explained, this would give the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S enough time to move well into their life cycles and sell more units. The more consoles sold, the more likely GTA 6 is to become a chart-topping success. Not that it needs much help getting there.
GTA 6 story
"With the unprecedented longevity of GTAV, we know many of you have been asking us about a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series," said Rockstar, during their ever-so-sly game reveal. With an emphasis on being brand-new, the upcoming title appears to be whisking us away to a destination that we've not yet seen before.
One of the more discussed American playgrounds fore GTA 6 is Florida, after a job listing explained that destructible skyscrapers, hurricanes and alligators, and visual insects will all be prevalent. Combined with a typically multi-cultural environment that is hard-rooted into the GTA DNA, Florida could be the newest landscape that falls victim to our heists and reckless driving. Although Flo Rida is being ditched for Dr. Dre.
However, there's still a persistent rumour we'll get to revisit GTA: Vice City. The 2002 game is held by many as the best GTA game there is, with the Miami-inspired Vice City and its '80s soundtrack giving us a pastel-soaked dream for the ages.
Instead of continuing the story of Tommy Vercetti in the aftermath of Vice City, all signs point to a modern interpretation of the city that would allow the franchise to keep its modern mechanics and Online potential. Alongside the main GTA series, the Online component that came with GTA V has helped the 2013 game become the most profitable entertainment product of all time.
GTA 6 characters
Project Americas claimed there would be a lead protagonist called Ricardo, but elsewhere, we're teased with the idea of a female protagonist. Just like GTA V played out with Franklin, Michael, and Trevor, it's likely GTA 6 could also have multiple protagonists. Importantly, the idea of a woman being playable would mark a milestone moment for the franchise that could follow in the footsteps of Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed. It's unclear whether you'd just customise your character as a woman (à la Fallout) or whether it would be a wholly different character.
Away from the main crop of characters, except some savvier NPCs in GTA 6. While we're used to NPCs being mindless drones blundering around, a new patent from Take-Two Interactive has suggested that NPCs will interact with players more than ever, to deliver a truly intelligent game for a new generation.
What has Rockstar said about GTA 6?
Despite keeping its cards close to its chest, Rockstar has (sort of) hinted at what's next. Way back in 2013, former Rockstar president Leslie Benzies told Develop magazine, "We don’t know what GTA 6 will be, but we’ve got some ideas. We’ve got about 45 years’ worth of ideas we want to do. We’ll pick the right ones. It comes from the idea first.
"Where it is going to be set is the first question. That then defines the missions; you’re doing different things in LA than in New York or Miami. The map and story get worked up together, and the story is a basic flow of how it works out, so you can layer the mission in".
Ironically, Benzies also told Digital Trends in 2012 about a "GTA World". His concept was to revisit Vice City one day by connecting all the cities in a giant map that players can fly between. Given the way games have developed in the past decade, it's theoretically a concept that could be logistically possible without clunky loading screens.
Then again, a lot has changed since then. As well as Benzies' departure leaving Rockstar in a rocky state, the developer came under fire around the release of Red Dead Redemption 2. Rockstar was dragged through the mud for reportedly working staff to the bone. Although it's promised to improve staff morale, some claim this is another reason for GTA 6's extended wait.
In terms of official news, a 2021 job listing for a Mixed Media Animator teased a modern setting for GTA 6, which loops back to the tease of a return to Vice City in the present day.
What platforms will GTA 6 launch on?
Away from GTA 6's mythical status, gamers are obviously dying to know where it will release. If speculating about a release date wasn't enough, we're also asking whether it will release on current and next-gen systems. If we're going with the whole 2025 release date, it's likely GTA 6 would be a next-gen exclusive for the likes of PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. The good news is, it means we'd probably see the title be relaunched on whatever consoles come after them.
In terms of a PC release, we can't imagine a scenario where GTA 6 doesn't also come to PC. Remember that Rockstar debuted the Rockstar Games Launcher for PC in 2019. It wouldn't make sense to have your own game launcher without planning ahead to GTA 6. That being said, don't expect to zoom into GTA 6 on PC as soon as it releases. We had to wait 18 months before we could get our hands on GTA 5 for PC.
As the years rumble by, and we still seem no closer to finding out what's really going on with GTA 6, rest assured that those Rockstar devs are presumably hard at work on trying to top GTA V. Considering that particularly title that is still going strong, we're guessing GTA 6's eventual release will keep us busy for many years to come.