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GTA 6 release date rumours: A new Grand Theft Auto is in development, says report

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All leaks point to Vice City – here's what we know so far about Grand Theft Auto 6

GTA 6 is pretty much a given at this point: after the staggering success of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar Games is no doubt hard at work constructing the game to end all games.

We're pretty certain that GTA 6 will launch on Xbox's newly named Series X and the PS5 but how will the game carry the series' winning formula forward? Where will it be set? What will the storyline be? And for Pete's sake, when will we get a teaser trailer?

We've already had some clues as to how to answer these questions and more. Read on to find out all the current rumours and speculation about GTA 6's release date, story and setting.

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GTA 6: Everything we know so far

GTA 6 release date: When will it launch?

Work on Grand Theft Auto 6 has officially begun, according to Jason Schreier over at Kotaku. In a report published after investigation into Rockstar's "crunch" culture – that is, a work environment that demands employees work longer hours to hit deadlines – Schreier notes in passing that GTA 6 is in the early stages of development.

This comes straight from the horse's mouth, inasmuch as Schreier received this information from Rockstar managerial staff. That's right: this is a LEGITIMATE scrap of information.

Staff outlined a plan for the next Grand Theft Auto game that involved releasing the title as "chunks" over a longer period of time, rather than all at once – a little like GTA Online's current DLC system. Of course, the initial launch will still (presumably) be a complete game. The point is to reduce pressure on staff.

This is of course just a plan, and may not be how GTA 6 is made in reality. In any event, we can say with almost 100% certainty that you do NOT need to take this one with a pinch of salt. Grand Theft Auto 6 is coming. 


The latest evidence to suggest that development on Grand Theft Auto 6 has begun comes from a tax return (of all places). Spotted by TaxWatch UK, the gist is that Rockstar Games has registered an upcoming game as "culturally British", thereby earning themselves a hefty chunk of Video Game Tax Relief in the process. 

The last time Rockstar did this was during the development of Red Dead Redemption 2, which tells us that at the very least, there's a project in the works. 


Based on everything we know so far, our current best guess is that GTA 6 won't launch until at least 2022. There are a number of reasons why this is likely the case, although obviously our logic here depends heavily upon the accuracy of a whole host of leaks.

Rockstar usually teases its games at least two years before they actually launch, which gives us a solid timeframe within which GTA 6 might be teased. On top of that, most leaks seem to agree on one thing: GTA 6 will be a next-gen exclusive. Most recently, a sizeable Reddit post (transcribed by Technobezz) suggested exactly that, but it's by no means the first to do so – an anonymous Pastebin user said the same thing several months ago.

Given that the PS5 and Xbox Series X are launching in the autumn of 2020, we can assume that this will be the earliest date at which a trailer might drop for the new game; two years from 2020 takes us to 2022, which is when – in our Expert opinion – GTA 6 will launch. 

GTA 6 map: Where will it take place?

Weirdly, the leaks line up pretty nicely on this: GTA 6 will take place in – or at least incorporate – Vice City, the Miami-esque setting of various eponymous PS2 and PSP games. Here are the leaks:

Reddit

The Reddit post mentioned above speaks at length about the core story beats and locations. Apparently, the game will move between Vice City and an unnamed Rio de Janeiro knock-off, and will also – interestingly – include a few short missions in Liberty City (setting of GTA III and IV). As we will see, this corroborates the information shared by our other sources.

Pastebin

A Pastebin post – saved by Dexerto – explains that players begin their journey in Liberty City as a small-time crook, before travelling down the east coast of the USA to Vice City, where they become involved with a notorious gang. Players will also apparently have the chance to visit locations beyond the normal map, as in the opening mission from GTA V.

The Know

Web TV site The Know reports that GTA 6 will jump between two distinct locations: Vice City and an as-yet-undetermined region in South America. Presumably, the continent-hopping aspect will allow players to delve into the world of international drug trafficking.

^ A map of GTA: Vice City

Obviously, there's a little bit of a clash of theories here, but there is a clear trend. All three leaks suggest that Vice City will be a major in-game location, and that we will be jetting off on excursions to locations far outside the standard environment. We're obviously hoping it's all true. All of it.

GTA 6 story: What will it be about?

Surprise, surprise: it looks like Grand Theft Auto 6 will be about drug smuggling, cartels and other Narcos-themed criminal activities. Let's go through those leaks again, shall we?

Reddit

That crazy Reddit leak claims that you'll play as a guy named Ricardo, who is a "grass-roots level drug-Lord wannabe." The story is apparently set in the '70s/80s and will see Ricardo slowly working his way up the ranks of a major South American cartel. 

Pastebin

According to Dexerto, the Pastebin user claimed that players will start "as a small-time guy in Liberty city doing odd chores and small-time thefts and eventually work your way to Vice city where you will join a famous gang.” The goal, Dexerto reports, is to become a "drug lord." 

The Know

As we've already mentioned, The Know reported that the role of the player in GTA 6 will be that of an international drug smuggler. The site had no further information to share.

It's once more a case of weird coinciding leaks, which suggests one thing: there's a bit of truth in there somewhere. At the very least, the location and story line up very neatly indeed; after all, Miami in the '80s was a neon-drenched haze of drugs and gangs. Right?

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GTA 6 graphics: What will it look like?

An anonymous Reddit user has posted images of what appears to be Grand Theft Auto 6, using an account that has since been deleted. So far, the images have been decried as fake but as always, there's no way of knowing for certain. For that reason, we thought we'd let you make up your own mind. Is this the real game? You decide.

Our first image is of the back of some bloke's head. Not much to go on, other than the fact that the render is of a high enough quality to confuse me into thinking that this was a real person. Oh, and check out the glowing cityscape in the background.

The next one depicts a van/off-road vehicle with what I'd describe as the classic blue-and-red top-mounted lights of a police car. The heavy rain makes it hard to see anything, which is altogether too convenient for my taste. A Youtuber has pointed out that the vehicle looks just like one freely available on a 3D model site. 

This is potentially the heftiest leak yet if, of course, it's actually true. It depicts an airport at night, with a very Rockstar minimap sitting in the left-hand corner. The angle makes it seem as though this screenshot was taken by the player, whilst piloting the plane.


GTA 6 cars: Vehicles we'd like to see

Will GTA 6 have more cars? This seems to be the question burning in the hearts of the gaming public, and for good reason: the game is called Grand Theft AUTO, after all. Vehicles are the foundations upon which the series is built, and GTA 5 saw a tenfold increase in the number of automobiles for you to steal/purchase/blow up.

Our current favourite rumour is that GTA 6 will return to Vice City. If that's going to be the case, just for fun, here's a list of the top 5 vehicles (cars, helicopters, and everything in-between) that we'd like to see make a long-awaited reappearance.

1. Bovver'64

This magnificent beast featured in 2006's Vice City Stories, a revamped version of the classic PS2 game. It travelled equally slowly on land and water, and handled like a drunken ox; a single stray bullet would set the Bovver on fire, and heaven forbid you try and right the thing once it had flipped over. But oh boy, what a looker.

2. Splitz-6 ATV

Another Vice City Stories alumni, the Splitz-6 was a six-wheeled ATV that, like the Bovver, travelled on land and water with equal disdain for speed. With a military green paint job and obnoxiously large roll bars, the Splitz-6 was perfect for wearing tank tops and blaring AC DC.

3. Little Willie

Have you ever dreamed of zipping through the streets of Vice City, causing havoc in a heavily armed, crudely named helicopter the size of a thimble? Little Willie was the pinnacle of vehicular ambition in Vice City Stories, and has never really been faithfully reproduced since.

4. Zebra cab

Nothing says 1980s like a taxi with a lurid paint job. The Zebra cab featured in the original Vice City, and performed even better than it looked (if such a thing were possible). This was a rare vehicle, one of the few unlocked by completing a batch of side quests, and is famous for redefining the phrase "zebra crossing."

5. Polaris V8

This is it. The quintessential GTA Vice City Stories car. The Polaris V8 is the vehicle of choice for your crime family, and as such looks like it has made quite a few un-refusable offers to people using horse heads and other extravagantly violent gestures. It's a real shame that it has never been re-made: I mean, just look at it.

We update this page as more GTA 6 information comes our way, so don't go anywhere.