Take-Two CEO says the goal with Grand Theft Auto 6 is simple: 'We're seeking perfection'

A screenshot from the GTA 6 first trailer, showing speed boasts travelling fast
(Image credit: Rockstar)

Grand Theft Auto 6 is scheduled for release in 2025, on consoles at least, and even this far out you can easily call it the biggest release of the year if not the decade entirely. Grand Theft Auto now almost stands apart from the industry—the most wildly successful and deeply unusual of big budget titles—with the previous release GTA 5 still going enormously strong 11 years after release, thanks mainly to GTA Online. The anticipation for the sequel seems more white-hot than it's ever been 

That's not just among those who're actually going to play the thing. Take-Two is the parent company of Rockstar Games, and during a recent financial results call you could almost taste the anticipation in the air, with the company's investors positively licking their chops at how well this thing is gonna do. You can't really blame them: on the same call, Take-Two announced that lifetime sales to date of GTAV are an astounding 195 million units sold, all-but-guaranteeing it will eventually break the 200 million mark, while Red Dead Redemption 2 has managed a rootin' tootin' 62 million units.

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked by one investor how the company decides when to release a game like GTA 6 (thanks, GR+). "We're all in this together," purred Zelnick, emphasising that everyone involved from the game's developers to the management suits are incentivised to ensure the game stays on schedule. 

Zelnick wasn't done there, and clearly thinks GTA 6 is going to be both the biggest and the best entertainment product around. Get a load of this: "We're seeking perfection, and when we feel we've optimized creatively, that's the time to release," said Zelnick. "There is inherent tension, potentially, between getting something to market and creating perfection. But this company errs on the side of perfection."

Ooh check you out. Another investor didn't have time for all this airy-fairy talk of quality: how much is it gonna sell Strauss, dammit? "Our sense is that the anticipation [for GTA 6] is much higher [than for GTA V]," soothed Zelnick. "Much, much higher. On the other hand, you know, 195 million units [of GTA 5 sales] to date is nothing to sneeze at. We stop well short of making predictions about how the title will do, but clearly anticipation is running very, very high."

Before the call Zelnick also addressed the leak of GTA 6 footage and even the first trailer (Rockstar responded by almost immediately releasing the real thing). "It's amazing when the trailer announcement is huge news, and then we were very gratified when the trailer broke the internet, so we couldn't be happier or more excited," Zelnick told IGN. "In terms of the leak, that's always disappointing for the team, but ultimately, I don't think it hurt us."

There were also some prepared remarks, in which Zelnick described GTA's momentum as "phenomenal" and boasts that the first trailer "broke YouTube’s records for a non-music video launch and along with partner channels, became the biggest video debut ever." He also mentions the recent partnership that brought the GTA Trilogy to Netflix has resulted in "the highest rate of installs and engagement on [Netflix’s] game platform."

GTA 6 is due for release in 2025, though Rockstar has so far kept tight-lipped on any PC release. Meantime we have the excellent trailer to chew on, and there's plenty of rumours and speculation while we all dream about what awaits in Vice City. 

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."