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GTA 6 news and rumors: when will Grand Theft Auto 6 be announced?

Is GTA 6 on its way? While the next instalment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise is yet to be formally announced by its developer Rockstar, that doesn't stop those of us hungry for more trying to figure it out.

Now that most of us have traipsed through the gorgeous world of Red Dead Redemption 2 on console or PC and gamers are looking ahead to the next open-world Rockstar game. 

It's been a whole seven years since GTA 5 launched on consoles, meaning an announcement could be imminent, and the latest news and rumors suggest that GTA 6 could be on its way sometime soon – likely landing on the upcoming PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles.

Although 2020 is still in its early days, a release this year doesn't seem likely without any kind of development announcement – especially with Rockstar's Dan Houser leaving the studio. But with the next generation of consoles coming at the tail end of the year hopes are increasing that we might hear something from Rockstar at some point.  

Details may be thin on the ground, but that doesn't stop us gathering together the best pieces of gossip, rumor and fact for your personal pleasure. Here's everything we know so far about GTA 6.

UPDATE: Some new images on the official Rockstar website have set tongues wagging. Read on to find out more.

Check out our video below on GTA VI: predictions on characters, locations, story and GTA Online.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The highly-anticipated next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series
  • When it is out? That’s the internet’s biggest mystery (but we're pretty sure it won't be 2020)
  • Will it launch on PC? Both GTA 4 and 5 made their way to PC (eventually), so fingers crossed
  • Where will GTA 6 be set? Unknown, but some rumors have suggested a move to South America

GTA 6 release date : when can I play it?

GTA 6

Grand Theft Auto (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Red Dead Redemption 2 has now been in the wild for more than a year, which means we're hoping a GTA 6 announcement isn't far away – even though we're likely to be waiting a while to play it.

According to some rumors, we could see the next Grand Theft Auto announced in 2020, with a potential release in 2021, which would make sense considering we're heading into a new console generation at the end of 2020. However, Rockstar has been focused on getting Red Dead Online up and running which may have diverted attention, not to mention the potential delays potentially caused by Dan Houser's departure from Rockstar. 

However, according to reputable industry analyst Michael Pachter, the game's actual release could be as far away as 2022. In an interview with Gaming Bolt, Pachter said that he thinks a 2020 announcement with a 2021 release would be the best case scenario, while a 2021 announcement with a 2022 release or later would be more likely. 

Given 2020 has only just begun, expecting any news of GTA 6 in the immediate future is unlikely. But the Xbox Series X and PS5 are due to launch at the end of the year and if GTA 6 followed the release pattern of its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto 5, it'd be released at the very tail end of the current generation, comfortably released on the new generation and straddle both for the widest install base possible. 

With no announcement thus far that seems optimistic but, hey, anything could happen. 

GTA 6 trailer: when can I watch one?

The thing about Rockstar Games is that it’s an incredibly secretive games publisher. No trailer is getting out of that studio unless someone seriously screws up. 

Just look at what Rockstar did with both GTA 5 and Red Read Redemption 2. It teased an announcement a few days before dropping the first trailer for either game. 

If there’s a GTA 6 trailer, you’ll know about it because the internet will explode – and we'll let you know too, of course. But we're not expecting one anytime soon.

GTA 6 news and rumors: what do we know so far?

Grand Theft Auto (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Below we've collected together all of the latest leaks and rumors that hint at when GTA 6 might be launched – and what we can expect from the new game. As always, take these details with a pinch of salt – some are old, some are from now deleted sources and others might just be keen fans getting carried away. 

Website artwork

It's really not much (though does it ever take much when it comes to Rockstar excitement?) but some recent additions to the Rockstar website have caused excitement amongst fans. The additions (via GamesRadar) are some new pieces of artwork to the site's menus that appear to be unrelated to any of Rockstar's existing games. 

The first piece of artwork is an android hugging a champagne bottle with the year 1998 on it (that's Rockstar's founding year) while the second is a red and blue logo with Rockstar's various slogans on it. 

Like we said, this isn't much at all but any changes Rockstar makes tend to grab the attention of fans hoping for some kind of new game announcement. After all, the announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2 was preceded by a Twitter logo change so it's not like subtlety like this would be off the cards. 

Or this could simply be Rockstar updating its website with some interesting new evergreen imagery—the fact that the images are generally relevant to Rockstar as a company and that they appear in the background of the site's menu suggests that they're not hugely important. Until any kind of official announcement is made we won't know for sure. 

Take-Two plays down AAA releases

In an earnings call for Take-Two Interactive – the publisher that owns GTA developer Rockstar – shareholders were told to expect the "most robust pipeline" in the company's history. However, Take-Two CEO Strauss H. Zelnick also stressed that some years would be thin on releases – which, given the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 last year, doesn't make us hopeful for any new GTA titles in the coming year.

"Given that we're a company that depends on our creative teams to make as close to perfect products as possible," said Zelnick, "we have to be willing to live with the vagaries of product deliveries. And that means, sometimes, we will have thin frontline years."

Dan Houser leaves Rockstar
Revealed in a statement by Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive, Houser (who was has been on an extended leave period since spring 2019) will be officially leaving the company on March 11. His brother Sam Houser remains present as president.

Houser, who has variously acted as writer, producer and voice actor at Rockstar, led Rockstar Games to become one of the biggest developers in the industry. It's currently unknown whether this will have an impact on GTA 6's development.

CJ voice actor shoots down rumors
Chris Bellard, the voice actor for GTA San Andreas' character CJ, has debunked rumors that he will be reprising his role in GTA 6. Using Instagram, Bellard posted that he's "not involved in GTA VI at all".

This doesn't rule out the return of CJ as a character entirely (Rockstar could always cast someone else in the role) but it does confirm that Bellard isn't involved and doesn't intend to be if asked. 

Rockstar hasn't commented on rumors and we won't know anything certain about any cast for GTA 6 until it speaks out. 

Steven Ogg at Brazil Game Show
Steven Ogg, the actor known for playing Trevor in GTA 5, was in attendance at the Brazil Game Show in October 2019. According to someone who was at the event, Ogg said that GTA 6 will be coming "soon". 

Ogg's reasoning, rather than any kind of inside knowledge as far as we can tell, is that Rockstar games "take 7-8 years to make, do the math." Doing the math from GTA 5's 2013 release date would mean that GTA 6 could release in 2020 or 2021, right in time for the next generation of consoles. That seems very soon for a game we've seen very little about but, hey, it's not impossible. We'll be watching this space. 

Scouting areas in Florida
Speculation around a Florida setting – even a game that encompassed the whole state – has been brimming after a leaked letter was given legitimacy by a well-regarded Rockstar leaker, @Yan2295. 

The letter was to a Florida store asking permission for Rockstar Games to inspect the premises, presumably for use or inspiration in the forthcoming game – mentioning a location scout Leah Sokolowsky who hinted at a large digital media client in a podcast back in May 2019 (via Daily Star).

GTA 6

Grand Theft Auto (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Edinburgh Rockstar HQ
One rumor that could hint at GTA 6's imminent arrival comes from website Edinburgh Live. According to the team there, Rockstar's HQ in Edinburgh has been tearing down the Red Dead Redemption 2 banner this week. We know, that's hardly proof of anything. But what will replace it? It could well be another game, a redesign or maybe the team just want to let a bit more natural light in.

Project Americas
Another day and another Grand Theft Auto 6 leak (via GamesRadar) is making the rounds, though we'd recommend not getting too excited given it's from a now-deleted Reddit post. Admittedly, some of the things that appear in this supposed leak do corroborate previous rumors but this consistency is no confirmation of what the game will be and we won't know for sure what's in store for Grand Theft Auto 6 until Rockstar itself makes an announcement.

Regardless, it's still fun to get our imaginations going for what the future of the Grand Theft Auto franchise may hold. According to the Reddit poster behind the leak, the game, known as Project Americas, has been in production since 2015 though it was placed on ice while Red Dead Redemption 2 was the focus. GTA 6 could be expansive, set across multiple decades (1970s to 1980s) and locations (one of which is Vice City, another Liberty City and another is a fictional city based on Rio de Janeiro). 

The game will apparently deal with one playable protagonist named Ricardo and play through their story as a rising drug lord with heavy inspiration from Netflix's Narcos series. The story will be told through chapters, with a heavy emphasis on the visuals of changes in time as the story progresses. While there's no estimated release date given, the post says that the plan is to release the game for the next generation only. 

While it's unlikely that the whole report is true (even the poster says that the game's pre-alpha status means things are likely to change) that's not to say some elements are impossible. Certainly a next-gen only release seems entirely plausible. Before you get too excited,though, the post has already been debunked by Kotaku's Jason Schreier.

Another rumor leak?
This is definitely one to take with a big pinch of salt but according to this leak, Grand Theft Auto 6 will return to multiple previous fan-favorite locations, take inspiration from Red Dead Redemption 2, and won't release on current generation consoles. Well, that's according to an anonymous post made on Pastebin, which has since been removed (via Comic Book) .

According to the post, GTA 6 will allow players to travel between several big cities, including Liberty City and Vice City. The poster also claims you start off as a small-time drug runner before joining an infamous gang and kicking it with the big dogs.

In addition, the post claims Rockstar is waiting to see how the new-generation consoles sell (PS5 and Xbox Two) as GTA 6 wouldn't be able to be released on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One due to memory restrictions. The anonymous poster also claimed GTA 6 will feature both major cities along with a vast stretch of highways and Blaine County-like countryside in the middle of it all.

Finally, the post claims that, despite the game being set in a timed era, there will be flashbacks between missions and Red Dead Redemption 2-type stranger dialogues that implement the greet/antagonise format.

While location rumors seem to be leaking in abundance, the anonymous Pastebin post has been backed up by review on Glassdoor by a Rockstar Games QA tester, which has since been removed (via Dexerto). Alongside reading out Rockstar for its institutionalized crunch, the post leaves a cryptic message that sees the first letter of each sentence spelling out 'GTA6LSVCLC'. This may be pointing to the potential locations of Grand Theft Auto 6: Los Santos, Vice City, and Liberty City. 

Wonder what these locations would look like together as an actual map? Graphic designer RealityDesign posted a concept image on GTA Forums, showing what this map could potentially look like. Check it out below:

Image credit: RealityDesign

Job listings
At this point we're probably just clenching at straws, but Rockstar have been hiring for a tonne of programming positions. We're hoping they're preparing to get development underway, but that is probably just hopeful thinking.

The Know report on Vice City
The most significant Grand Theft Auto 6 rumor came from YouTube channel The Know. It stated that an inside source told it that GTA 6 is coming 2021-2022 and is being developed under the code name Project Americas.

The reason for this code name is apparently because players will be able to fly between the US and South America in the game, though the majority of the action will take place in the former. This in combination with the source's assertion that the game will largely be set in Vice City (the Rockstar version of Miami) suggests there could be a focus on drug running which would draw on the popularity of shows and movies like Narcos and Tom Cruise's Made in America. Particularly if Rockstar holds on to that 80s setting.

With no comment from Rockstar, these rumors remain nothing more than, well, rumors. But they do pose an interesting proposition that would seize upon the particular fondness many fans of the series have for Vice City.

GTA 6

Grand Theft Auto (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

GTA 6 is definitely coming and there are ideas
What we do know about GTA 6 is that ideas are being thrown around for development, even if it’s just in the early stages. Rockstar President Leslie Benzies teased the game in an interview back in 2013 with Develop magazine. 

“We don’t know what GTA 6 will be, but we’ve got some ideas,” said Benzies in the interview. 

Okay, so it’s not much, but it’s certainly a snippet of solid information direct from the source. 

Benzies went on to talk about what kind of ideas get the creative juices flowing over at Rockstar. 

“We’ve got about 45 years’ worth of ideas we want to do,” he added. “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.”

We’re just pleased that Rockstar has so many ideas for what it wants to do with GTA 6. We just hope it sorts them into some kind of organised system and gets that game to us sharpish. 

GTA 6 map: where will GTA 6 be set?

GTA 6

Grand Theft Auto (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Although there haven’t been any concrete reports as yet, every online titbit and juicy gossip morsel is pointing towards GTA 6’s map being absolutely massive. We’re even not talking city-size massive, we’re talking potentially the entire of the United States massive. 

Some rumors are suggesting that GTA 6 may end up spanning the entirety of the US, with some kind of teleportation system that cuts down the journey time between cities. 

There are even some incredibly exciting rumours that Rockstar Games might have a ‘70s theme up its sleeve, so crack out those old bell-bottoms and disco balls.

But there’s also another rumor that’s gathering strength, which would put GTA 6 a little closer to Rockstar Games’ British home – a London setting. 

The reports actually started with a comment from Rockstar Games’ co-founder Dan Houser:

“At the moment, it feels like GTA’s DNA is contemporary-ish, American-ish, English-speaking-ish, because that’s what it has been… But that doesn’t necessarily limit it to those, that’s just what we’ve done so far.”

Rockstar Games sources suggest that London is the only non-US location to be whispered as a potential GTA setting.  

For our money, we think a return to Vice City is on the cards, which would tie in to the rumors mentioned above. A recent report from The Know suggests that a return to Vice City in the 80s is actually in the works and that players will explore the rise in drugs at the time through the missions. In this rumored game, players will move between Vice City and South America, which would create a very interesting and entirely new kind of map.

The GTA 3 trilogy was set across three locations, Liberty City, Vice City, and San Andreas. This mirrored the original Grand Theft Auto Game, which was also set across the same three locations. 

The most recent Grand Theft Auto games, GTA 4 and GTA 5, have so far been set in Liberty City and San Andreas respectively, meaning that Vice City is the only location yet to be explored by the recent games. 

The only question now is whether Rockstar will be tempted to complete the set. 

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