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GTA 6: release date and location rumors about Rockstar's next crime adventure

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City key art for protagonist Tommy Vercetti, wearing a blue floral shirt on a magenta background
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Is there any chance we'll get word on GTA 6 in 2021? It seems pretty unlikely, since Rockstar hasn't even confirmed its existence. An announcement is likely the most we can hope for this year, if anything. Now that 2021's summer showcases have come and gone, it's probably time to think about hunkering down until 2022 for Rockstar to make any official mention of the next GTA series game. That said, just because Rockstar isn't talking about GTA 6 doesn't mean that plenty of other people aren't.

There's definitely reason to expect a new instalment, even if it's far away. Apart from anything else, GTA 5 has been massively successful, selling nearly 110 million copies and crashing the Epic Game Store when it was featured as the weekly freebie. So it should come as no surprise that fans are avidly searching for any GTA-related news.

Rockstar's recent history shows that it has a habit of releasing its bigger games four to five years apart. If that trend continues, we might expect to see GTA 6 release somewhere around 2022 or 2023, though of course, that assumes that Rockstar's next big game is indeed GTA 6. Take Two's recent quarterly earnings revealing that GTA 5 Online is still a big earner for the company, so it would seem odd if there wasn't another GTA game planned somewhere down the line.

The relatively recent launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X also ticks one of the boxes that might make a GTA 6 announcement more probable, though it's worth bearing in mind that Rockstar is kept fairly busy with updates for both Red Dead Online and GTA Online. 

If you can't wait and want to find out about GTA 6 without having to wade through all the fake leaks and rumours yourself, read on to discover everything we know about the existence of GTA 6.

GTA 6: Here's what we know

  • Release date: A total mystery right now, but don't expect it for multiple years.
  • Location/Setting: The most credible rumors currently point to a Vice City return.
  • GTA 6 on PC: GTA 4, GTA 5, and Red Dead Redemption 2 have all arrived on PC eventually, so it seems fair to bet on GTA 6 as well.

Release date

Trevor from GTA 5 outside his house in the desert

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

GTA 6 release date: when could it be?

We're certainly a long way off guessing dates at this stage, but we might be able to start trying to pinpoint a year, at least. 

An SEC filing by Rockstar's parent company Take-Two from 2020 claims that they're planning a huge spike in advertising spending during the fiscal year 2024, for a total of almost $90 million. Not many games in T2's stable would call in that kind of cash. It's the type of figure you'd expect for their next huge release. A T2 representative has since told Gamesindustry Biz that the marketing spike is related to third-party companies, not an internal studio like Rockstar. 

The newest round of rumors about GTA 6's release date, backed by multiple journalists, suggests that a 2023 launch is probably premature. These guesses suggest that a 2024 or 2025 launch is more likely. Part of what might be pushing GTA 6 into further off years is Rockstar's efforts to combat crunch culture which has plagued its past launches, notably towards the end of development on Red Dead Redemption 2.

It seems that we certainly have several years of waiting still before GTA 6 arrives, especially for us PC players.

Will it come to PC?

GTA 5 character key art

(Image credit: Rockstar)

Will GTA 6 come to PC?

It's a pretty solid bet. Rockstar's past with PC versions has been a bit erratic, but the immense popularity of both GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC is a great reason for Rockstar to take the platform seriously.

And it seems like Rockstar feels the same, considering it released the Rockstar Games Launcher on PC in 2019. It's hard to believe the studio would release its own games launcher if it didn't plan on hosting its future games there, including an assumed GTA 6. That said, we can probably expect a gap between the release of GTA 6 on consoles and PC. It took GTA 5 a year and a half to come to PC, and RDR2's gap was almost a year as well.

Location

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

What will the GTA 6 setting be?

Beyond a release date, the most important thing we want to know is where (and when) GTA 6 will be set. Everything flows from Rockstar's choice of city and decade. GTA 5's return to Los Angeles sets us up for a possible 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 

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(Image credit: Rockstar North)

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“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.

Rumors from July 2021, backed up by a few different sources, point to GTA 6 returning to Vice City. These claims say that GTA 6 will take place in a modern day version of the series analog for Miami. These same predictions also say that GTA 6's map will evolve or expand over time, possibly through DLC or live game updates. With GTA 5's return to LA, it would make enough sense for GTA 6 to be set in Miami. We'll have to wait and see, but the multiple sources backing up the Miami rumors make it the most believable we've seen after years and years of speculation.

GTA 6 Online?

GTA Online - A casino at night

(Image credit: Rockstar)

Will there be a GTA 6 online?

GTA 5's online Los Santos has yet to run out of gas. Rockstar is still regularly adding new activities, content, and events to its big multiplayer world. Given that GTA 4, GTA 5, and both Red Dead Redemption games have had online servers, it feels like a must-have for GTA 6. 

Rumours

GTA 5 character key art of Michael, Franklin, and Trevor looking in the trunk of a car.

(Image credit: Rockstar)

In early 2021 we learned of a patent filed by Take-Two called "System And Method For Virtual Navigation In A Gaming Environment" related to simulated character pathfinding for big outdoor environments. There's no guarantee that this is related to development on GTA 6, but it was attributed to developers at Rockstar. If it is related to the development of the next GTA, it likely means Rockstar is planning some big improvements to simulated behavior in its next open world city.

What other GTA 6 rumors are out there?

There have been more fairly spurious rumours around GTA 6. The Know cites an inside source that puts the GTA 6 release date as 2021-2022. The rumour suggests that the new game will be spread between Vice City and South America. A wild Christian Today rumour round up guesses at a 60s London setting and time travel. Comic Book gave credence to an anonymous since-removed pastebin post claiming that GTA 6 will feature multiple big cities connected by a vast stretch of land featuring smaller towns. In this version the player starts out as a small crook and ends up running a drug-running criminal operation.

An older leak has resurfaced, showing what the poster claims is the map for GTA 6. It appears to be a riff on a cruder-looking alleged leak from 2018. The new post is a bit more convincing, a split island that looks like it could actually belong in a Rockstar game despite the blurry quality. Even so, this could very well be a persistent fake.

An anonymous Reddit post oddly cites one of our writers as a source (if we knew what GTA 6 was we'd tell you). That post suggests that GTA 6 is codenamed Project Americas and will be set in Vice city and a new city based on Rio de Janeiro. It's rumoured to be set between 1970 and 1980 and the main character is mixed up with the drug trade. The game may feature drug empire mechanics inspired by Vice City. This rumour claims that Netflix's Narcos is a major inspiration and your car will behave like Red Dead Redemption 2's horse, in that it serves a mobile storage as well as transport. Visually the game will be more stylised than the photorealistic Red Dead Redemption 2 and characters will speak in their native language with subtitles.

Rockstar updates the gtavi.com domain

In March 2020, some Reddit users noticed that the gtavi.com domain registered to Rockstar's parent Take-Two no longer redirects to Rockstar's own site. It now returns an error instead. Naturally, folks speculated that this meant Rockstar was getting ready to make use of the dormant web address, potentially with some kind of reveal. Nothing has come of it yet over a year later, however.

Tom Senior
Based in Bath with the UK team, Tom loves strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.