Rockstar Games officially confirmed that it's working on GTA 6 back in February last year. It snuck the reveal at the bottom of a GTA 5 Community Update, with one single line stating that "active development for the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series is well underway". Talk about playing it down, eh? Since then though, we've had little else from Rockstar in any official capacity.
However, on September 18, an unprecedented GTA 6 leak saw over 90 videos and screenshots from an early, in-development alpha build of the game surface online. Rockstar has acknowledged and authenticated the hack, and is working to scrub the leaked material from the internet. Naturally, this first look at Grand Theft Auto 6 has revealed some new details about the game – including information on the GTA 6 location, characters, and gameplay. So keep on reading to find everything you need to know about GTA 6 so far.
GTA 6 News
GTA 6 announcement: When was GTA 6 confirmed?
The first GTA 6 announcement came in February 2022, when Rockstar Games snuck out the news that GTA 6 is "well underway" as part of a broader GTA 5 and GTA Online Community Update. With word that Grand Theft Auto 6 is in "active development", Rockstar said: "On behalf of our entire team, we thank you all for your support and cannot wait to step into the future with you!"
In August 2022, Rockstar's parent company Take-Two Interactive reaffirmed that GTA 6 development is "well underway" as part of the company's financial results report. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick made some big promises for what GTA 6 will achieve: "With development of the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series well underway, the Rockstar Games team is determined to once again set creative benchmarks for the series, our industry, and for all entertainment, just as the label has done with every one of their frontline releases."
GTA 6 News
There hasn't been any official GTA 6 news since the official announcement in February 2022, but that is classic Rockstar Games. We have, of course, had the massive leak - which you can read about below - and responses to that leak, but otherwise the developer has been pretty quiet on the highly-anticipated sequel.
- No GTA 6 trailer, but the Take Two earnings report all but confirms the GTA 6 release window
- GTA 6 has to do the impossible - "reflect the feeling" of the series while also being "something never seen before"
GTA 6 leaks: Are the new GTA 6 leaks real?
There was an unprecedented GTA 6 leak on September 18, 2022, which saw dozens of videos and screenshots from an alleged in-development build of the game spread online. Are you wondering whether the GTA 6 leaks are real? Well, Rockstar has since issued a statement confirming the hack: "We recently suffered a network intrusion in which an unauthorized third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems, including early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto."
"We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all in this way," the Rockstar statement continues. "We will update everyone again soon and, of course, will properly introduce you to this next game when it's ready. We want to thank everyone for their ongoing support through this situation."
In the 48 hours since the GTA 6 leak first appeared, the GTA Forums have worked to scrub all remnants of the illegally obtained screenshots and videos to avoid being "obliterated by Rockstar". The dedicated GTA 6 reddit has also taken all links, pictures, and videos of the leak offline, and has committed to staying online with one condition: "We will allow discussions related to the leak without attaching the leaks. We don't allow comments that has [sic] download links to the leak."
Since then, Rockstar and parent company Take-Two have spoken out about the leaks. In a recent earnings call, CEO of GTA publisher Take-Two Interactive, Strauss Zelnick said that the leak was "terribly unfortunate", before adding that "we take those sorts of incidents very seriously indeed".
"There's no evidence that any material assets were taken, which is a good thing, and certainly the leak won't have any influence on development or anything of the sort. But it is terribly disappointing, and causes us to be ever more vigilant on matters relating to cybersecurity."
Will GTA 6 be delayed?
In the immediate aftermath of the new GTA 6 leak, there was some concern over how the intrusion would impact ongoing development of the new Grand Theft Auto game. Rockstar has since confirmed in an official statement that the hack will not affect GTA 6 production, or the ongoing security of GTA 5 and GTA Online. "At this time, we do not anticipate any disruption to our live game services nor any long-term effect on the development of our ongoing projects [...] Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto game will continue as planned and we remain as committed as ever to delivering an experience to you, our players, that truly exceeds your expectations."
Release date rumors
GTA 6 release date: When is GTA 6 coming out?
The GTA 6 release date is yet to be confirmed by Rockstar Games. That hasn't stopped internet sleuths from making some educated guesses. Multiple sources have corroborated a rumor that GTA 6 will release in 2025, which was part of a larger info drop which suggested that Grand Theft Auto 6 would be set in a modern-day Vice City. It's always wise to approach this sort of speculation with caution, but with the new GTA 6 leaks appearing to confirm a modernized Vice City setting, perhaps a release sometime in 2025 is right on the money.
However, there are a few rumors that GTA 6 could launch in 2024. Initially, a Bloomberg article stated that "current and former Rockstar staff reckon GTA 6 is still at least two years away from release, suggesting a 2024 launch." This was then backed up by Microsoft's latest response to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation into its ongoing acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
In it, Microsoft wrote the following: "The highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto VI is expected to be released in 2024."
So maybe the GTA 6 release date is closer than we expect?
Why is GTA 6 taking so long?
A lot of you are wondering why GTA 6 is taking so long to come out. The truth is that, between the success of GTA 5 and GTA Online, not to mention the scope of Red Dead Redemption 2, it's no surprise that Rockstar is taking its time. The studio said as much when it confirmed that GTA 6 was in development. Rockstar went out of its way to cite the "the unprecedented longevity of GTA 5" – which has been updated and re-released multiple times in the last nine years.
GTA 6 location: Is the GTA 6 setting Vice City?
The GTA 6 location has long been speculated, but it looks like we are indeed heading back to Vice City. Rockstar has confirmed that the leaked GTA 6 gameplay footage is real, which means we have a better sense of the city and the setting. For starters, one screen shows an underground rail system with the words "Vice City Metro" printed on the side, while eagle eyed viewers may have even spotted familiar spots from GTA 3: Vice City like the Malibu Club, Ocean View Hotel, Little Haiti, and Vice Beach.
Naturally, the city looks different compared to when you last visited it. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was set in 1986, and all signs point to the GTA 6 setting being modern day The appearance of NPCs wielding smartphones and modern clothing is evidence enough that Grand Theft Auto 6 is set in a present day pastiche of Miami, Florida, but if that weren't enough eagle eyed social media users believe a character references the death of LifeInvader CEO, who is killed by Michael De Santa – so it would appear that GTA 6 is set after the events of GTA 5.
GTA 6 map
While the final GTA 6 map is yet to be shown, there are some indicators from the leaked video and screens that indicate a play space that stretches beyond the confines of Vice City. Much in the same way Rockstar expanded upon Los Santos between Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and GTA 5, a few of the leaked screenshots appear to show all-new areas of Vice City. As you may know, Vice City itself is loosely based on Miami, and there's now speculation that GTA 6 will push further south toward the Everglades (a wetland) and the Florida Keys (a string of tropical islands). Now, the "Gator Keys" were referenced in the original GTA: Vice City as part of a radio broadcast, but the location was never shown in-game. If the screenshots suggest what we think they are, expect the GTA 6 map to contain a mixture of environment types.
Interestingly, fans are convinced that the GTA 6 map will be much larger than that of GTA 5. Using leaked GTA 6 coordinates, the GTA 6 subreddit fans are trying to map out the map itself, and later started stitching GTA 6's map together using Google Earth and Paint. Clever folks.
GTA 6 characters: Will there be a GTA 6 female protagonist?
It has been rumored for months now that Rockstar was working on the first GTA 6 female protagonist – at least, a first for the series in the 3D era. A Bloomberg report from earlier this year, which explored the changing company culture within Rockstar North, first reported the news – and it has since been corroborated by the GTA 6 leak. In the early development footage, we're able to see two new playable GTA 6 characters.
The in-development names for the characters are Jason and Lucia, and it would appear that the character switching system from GTA 5 is returning in some capacity. One leaked clip showed the pair robbing a diner together, with the player in control of one of the characters while the other was piloted by AI. In another clip, we see character swapping – although it is near instantaneous, rather than the slow perspective shift as seen in GTA 5.
GTA 6 gameplay
As Rockstar is yet to release a GTA 6 trailer, it's difficult for us to say with certainty how this new game will play and how it will innovate on Grand Theft Auto 5. However, it's clear from the early development footage which leaked out that Rockstar is at least investigating and playtesting some new mechanics. For example, it appears that a new series of stealth mechanics are being introduced – with footage depicting characters crawling while prone, and even carrying bodies.
Additionally, the weapon wheel – which was overhauled for GTA 5 – is returning in some capacity, and the leaked footage suggests that Rockstar is introducing new health buff items such as painkillers. We can also see that the Five Star 'Wanted' system is returning, and that the VCPD have improved AI routines for tracking Jason and Lucia after you get on their radar.
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