So persistent is Grand Theft Auto’s success that it has transcended games culture, name-checked along the way by MPs, judges and talk show hosts. Given its vast cultural and commercial success, a sequel is inevitable. It’s not a question of ‘if’, therefore, so much as ‘when’. But what time frame should we expect to see GTA 6, and what will it look like when it gets here?
No firm details are yet known, and with Red Dead Redemption 2 coming out in 2017, that puts this year off the table for a GTA release. Signs have begun to emerge that that work is underway with a Grand Theft Auto sequel, however. Based on a sparse amount of detail, here’s what we know – and guess – so far about GTA 6.
GTA 6 release date: When can we expect a release?
GTA 6‘s development will be at an early stage, and with GTA Online still active (not to mention Red Dead Redemption 2 on the horizon), it’ll likely be another few years before Rockstar is ready to bring out a full sequel to GTA 5.
There was a four-year gap between GTA: San Andreas and GTA 4, and a five-year gap between GTA 4 and GTA 5. Using that pattern as a rough yardstick, GTA 6 is likely to turn up around 2017/2018. Seeing as its highly unlikely Rockstar will launch in the same year as Red Dead Redemption, 2018 is the soonest possible year to see it surface.
That said, Rockstar probably wont want to push one massive open-world game just after another. We’d wager that there’d be a gap of around two years between RDR2 and GTA 6, which places a launch around 2019.
|GTA: Vice City||2002|
|GTA: San Andreas||2004|
GTA 6: Reportedly in development
Rockstar has allegedly started work a new iteration in the Grand Theft Auto series, although the studio has yet to settle on a location for GTA 6.
This comes according to a report from TechRadar, citing an unnamed insider source that said preliminary work had begun on the sequel. The source claims the studio at one point were considering a GTA game set in Tokyo, but was put off by the “problematic” road system and the difficulties of moving the game outside of the USA.
Rockstar were allegedly considering GTA Tokyo around the time of GTA Vice City, so it’s likely the developers opted for the LA-aping San Andreas instead. That game came out over a decade ago, and all iterations in the series since then have been set in the US. Could Rockstar be tempted to stray outside of North America for GTA 6?
There are no firm details about the next game’s location, but a US-based setting is still the most likely. Aside from an expansion for the original Grand Theft Auto set in London, all games in the series have been based in America.
GTA 6 setting: London calling?
Last year Yibada reported on speculation that the next GTA title could depart American shores in favour of London. Now there’s nothing in the way of actual evidence for this, although several outlets have echoed the speculation. While a London-based return would be brilliant, the GTA atmosphere is very much entwined with its satirical version of the US. Moving location would involve a core shift in tone, let alone car models and fake brands.
Throwing more water on the GTA: London fire is a 2013 Guardian interview with Rockstar’s Dan Houser: “I think for us, my gut feeling is, GTA London was cool for the time, but games were more limited then,” said Houser. “These days I think we would love to set a game in the UK, set in London, whatever, but I don’t know if it would be a GTA game. I think there are plenty of great stories we could tell about the UK, great environments to showcase, great gameplay mechanics that could have a UK bent to them – I just don’t think it would be a GTA necessarily.”
That said, it doesn’t hurt to imagine a new GTA: London – hopefully more Luther than Notting Hill.
While it may be a few months before we hear anything solid about GTA 6, for now you can look over the most promising games slated for release in 2017.