GTA 6 fans think the game is closer to release than we previously thought, as several pieces of evidence suggest that Rockstar has the game in a functional - though not fully playable - state.
The Twitter account GTA 6 News & Leaks 2.0 (opens in new tab) has shared a series of screenshots from different sources, all of which link to one another to claim that GTA 6 is in an advanced state of development. You may remember the huge GTA 6 leak from last year, which saw 90+ videos and screenshots of a build of the game released online and resulted in the hacker later being arrested by police in London, UK.
When the leak began circulating online, it was pretty clear that this was an early build of the game as it looked pretty bare-bones at the time of release. It also led a lot of people to believe that GTA 6 was still a ways off from release due to the unpolished nature of the build in the footage. This week's new claims seem to paint a different picture, suggesting that we could start seeing more official footage of the game as soon as later this year.
Apparently GTA 6's game is finished, is being polished up and getting prepared for final stages before release. R* is fixing bugs. Also the alpha build was made in 2021, not in 2019. R* was probably likely using it to test. https://t.co/dT1JTJ35xy #GTA6 pic.twitter.com/sFFPtwmedjJanuary 30, 2023
The first post shared by the Twitter account is a forum post from Rockstar insider 'Tez2' - who has a history of sharing Rockstar-related news. Tez2's post highlights multiple '.exe' files, pointing towards "bankrelease," "beta," and "debug" builds of the game. Tez goes on to suggest that 'bankrelease' "is a debug build with functionality aiming to reach 'feature complete'," while 'beta' has "extra functionality aiming to reach 'content complete'".
According to another Twitter user, backing up Tez2's claims, the tags imply that the game is approaching completion in terms of its functionality and content; "feature complete" would suggest that the game has full UI functionality, while "content complete" implies all of the game's functions are complete and playable. That suggests that the game is "finished," but Rockstar is moving towards preparing GTA 6 for its "final stages before release."
Another screenshot shows a developer corroborating that they think, based on this information, that the game is fully finished and that Rockstar is just "polishing the game and fixing bugs."
For a game expected to be as substantial as GTA 6, this process of polishing, bug fixing, and optimisation could take a very long time. Red Dead Redemption 2 - a game praised for its astounding attention to detail - was in some form of development for more than eight years. Rockstar is coming up on nine years development on the next Grand Theft Auto, but has also had to contend with several ports, the development of GTA Online, and the release of its cowboy sequel in that time.
Of course, since this news hasn't come from Rockstar officially, you should definitely take it with a pinch of salt. Saying that though, it wouldn't be too far of a stretch to expect GTA 6 to release sometime in 2024, especially since Microsoft also apparently thinks GTA 6 is coming in 2024. For now, we'll have to keep our fingers crossed for more news this year.
While we wait, take a look at our games like GTA list for ideas on what to play next.