Rockstar has sold nearly 110 million copies of GTA 5, so a follow up seems inevitable. With Red Dead Redemption 2 coming to PC, we’re looking ahead to Rockstar’s next move, which will surely be GTA 6. Given that Rockstar’s recent blockbuster games tend to land four-to-five years apart, that puts a GTA 6 release date at 2022/2023, assuming GTA 6 is the next project and not Rockstar Table Tennis 2.
That will be well into the next console generation, so chances are Rockstar is developing their next big game for powerful future tech. At the moment there are very few specifics out there, but the Housers and other Rockstar devs have spoken in roundabout terms about the GTA series generally—maybe we can tease out a few clues.
What evidence is there that GTA 6 is in the works?
It seems that the game definitely exists in some form. Recently GTA 6 was listed on an artist’s resume working out of India. Rockstar has acquired another large studio in India from struggling Starbreeze, which suggests that Rockstar is staffing up on art resources for its next big game. A seemingly official in-game announcement saying that GTA 6 was due out in 2019 turned out to be fake, however.
Rockstar’s UK tax relief filing points to possible GTA6 development
Tax Watch, a UK-based “investigative think tank” that monitors and reports on the taxation situations of large companies and wealthy individuals in the country recently called out Rockstar for its overly-large tax relief filings.
Aside from the claims that Rockstar is taking advantage of a tax program meant to benefit smaller companies, Tax Watch report also speculates that a new Grand Theft Auto game is in the works, stating that “the huge claims being put in by Rockstar are likely related to the production costs of GTA6.”
It’s certainly no confirmation, but it pretty much goes without saying that Rockstar is probably dumping a healthy amount of cash into developing the next game in its mammoth series.
What will the setting be for GTA 6?
Beyond a release date, the most important thing we want to know is where (and when) GTA 6 will be set. Everything flows from Rockster’s choice of city and decade. GTA 5’s return to Los Angeles sets us up for a return to Vice City. In an interview with Develop in 2013, president of Rockstar North Leslie Benzies referred again to Rockstar’s trifecta of preferred GTA cities
“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.”
Speaking of old GTA cities, a few years ago a Liberty City scene appeared on a Rockstar dev’s profile, apparently mocked up in GTA 5’s engine. This could easily have been a technical test, or perhaps a scene from some scrapped singleplayer DLC, but Rockstar once talked about putting all of their cities into one mega-game. That sounds absurdly ambitious, but Rockstar might well have the resources to do it.