Grand Theft Auto 6 (GTA 6) is one of the most highly anticipated upcoming games in development. As the next major installment in Rockstar Games’ blockbuster Grand Theft Auto series, fans are eager to learn when this new open-world action-adventure title will finally be released.
While Rockstar has yet to confirm a release date officially, there are plenty of rumors and speculation about when GTA 6 will arrive. This article looks at everything we know about a potential GTA 6 launch timeframe and details on platforms, settings, stories, and more.
GTA 6 Release Date: When Will It Launch?
The biggest question on every GTA fan’s mind is: when will GTA 6 come out? Here’s a quick overview of release date rumors and predictions:
- Earliest potential release: Late 2023 or 2024
- Most likely release window: 2024-2025
- Release timing: Usually 4-5 years between GTA games
Rockstar has not shared any official target for a GTA 6 release date. However, most industry insiders expect the game to require a lengthy development cycle, especially with the scope of recent Rockstar games like Red Dead Redemption 2.
The earliest predictions expect GTA 6 no sooner than late 2023. However, based on past Rockstar schedules, a more reasonable time frame would be sometime in 2024 or 2025.
There has typically been a 4-5 year gap between major GTA releases:
- GTA Vice City (2002) to GTA San Andreas (2004): 2 years
- GTA San Andreas (2004) to GTA 4 (2008): 4 years
- GTA 4 (2008) to GTA 5 (2013): 5 years
GTA 5 was first launched in 2013. Following a similar timeline puts GTA 6 between 2017-2018. However, Rockstar needed more time to meet ambitions for their latest projects.
The most likely estimate for GTA 6 release points to 2024 or 2025. This matches up with production timelines from recent leaks and allows several more years for polished development.
GTA 6 Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
GTA 6 is expected to launch for the latest console generation and Windows PC.
So far, predicted GTA 6 platforms include:
- PlayStation 5: Sony’s newest console
- Xbox Series X/S: Microsoft’s latest consoles
- PC: Windows systems via Steam and Rockstar Games Launcher
Rockstar aims to provide GTA access to as many gamers as possible. The series has long supported cross-platform releases across console and PC.
There are no indications that GTA 6 would be a next-gen exclusive. Rockstar still supports GTA Online on PS4/Xbox One. The install base remains very large for last-gen systems.
However, to meet high technical ambitions, focusing only on modern hardware allows the newest visual features and gameplay innovations.
GTA 6 Setting: Rumors Point to Vice City Return
One of the most discussed details is where GTA 6 will be set. While unconfirmed, most rumors point to a return to Vice City.
The tropical Vice City setting from the 1980s-inspired GTA Vice City remains a fan-favorite location that Rockstar could explore with modern hardware. It also complements sprawling recent maps by adding a vibrant coastal urban environment.
Here are some of the key rumors and reports that back a Vice City setting:
- Rockstar Games insider teases: Famous industry insider Tez2 claimed GTA 6 will return to Vice City and some Red Dead Redemption 2 locations.
- Miami/Florida setting: Multiple leaks point toward a setting based on Miami and surrounding Florida locations. This matches the Vice City inspiration.
- 1980s timeline: Several rumors indicate that part of GTA 6 may occur in the 1980s timeframe, matching Vice City.
While not confirmed, Vice City is the most likely setting based on current information. The urban coastal city could see a stunning modern overhaul powered by new technology.
GTA 6 Story and Characters
Details on GTA 6’s story and protagonist characters remain tightly under wraps. However, a few believable rumors have emerged:
- Potential male/female protagonists: Reports indicate GTA 6 may feature two main playable protagonists – one male and one female. This could add diverse perspectives.
- Evolving storylines: GTA 6 may have an evolving narrative with different eras. Parts of the game will take place in the past – like the 1980s – before transitioning to the modern day.
- Focused on heists: Early details suggest GTA 6 will center around elaborate heists – similar to GTA 5.
- New protagonists: GTA 6 will likely feature completely new characters rather than existing ones from the 3D or HD universes.
While story details are extremely limited, having dual protagonists and evolving periods aligns with Rockstar’s ambitions for dynamic narratives and varied perspectives.
GTA 6 Map Size
How large and detailed will the GTA 6 map be? Given Rockstar’s track record, expectations are high for their next open world.
Recent leaks suggest the GTA 6 map may be smaller than Red Dead Redemption 2’s at launch. However, GTA maps are much more dense with detail than rural areas in Rockstar’s Western games.
The entire state of Florida gives Rockstar plenty of room for scale. They can focus on recreating key urban areas at higher quality first before expanding outward across locations.
To compare map sizes:
- GTA 5 launched with a map of around 50 square miles
- Red Dead Redemption 2 featured a massive map size of nearly 30 square miles
- Early GTA 6 rumors point toward a launch map of around 70 square miles
Considering Florida’s landscape, a condensed map focusing on Vice City, the Everglades, and surrounding regions could provide great diversity and room for future expansions.
Gameplay and Graphics
GTA 6 represents a new era of technical capabilities for the series. The power of new consoles will allow Rockstar to push visual quality and gameplay innovations further than ever before.
Key expectations for GTA 6 include:
- Photorealistic graphics and immersive details
- Advanced physics, animations, NPC AI
- Seamless multiplayer integration
- Ray tracing features like shadows, reflections, and lighting
- Enhanced weather effects and water physics
- Expanded customization and interactivity
- Eliminating load times for seamless gameplay
- Larger crowds and denser traffic
- Better vehicle handling and control
The next-gen hardware will finally allow Rockstar to realize their ultimate open-world vision without technical restraints. GTA 6 should set a new standard for dynamic worlds and exhilarating action.
GTA 6 Online Mode
GTA Online has become a massive standalone experience alongside GTA 5. It continues to receive major updates years after launch. There is no doubt GTA 6 will also ship with its dedicated multiplayer mode.
Rumors suggest GTA 6s online may connect to GTA 5/Online with potential cross-progression features. This could allow activities across maps and shared progress between titles.
Some additional expectations for GTA 6 Online:
- Seamlessly integrated multiplayer within the main game.
- Enhanced character customization and roles
- More advanced interactive businesses and properties
- New competitive and co-op activities
- Living open-world activities beyond structured missions
- Ongoing content updates over many years
With the shared foundation of GTA Online, the next iteration should offer an even deeper multiplayer universe right out of the gate.
Official GTA 6 Reveal Date
When will GTA 6 finally be revealed? Rockstar tends to announce new Grand Theft Auto entries about 1-2 years before launch.
If GTA 6 releases in 2024/2025, an official reveal could happen as early as late 2022 or sometime in 2023.
Here is a potential timeline for an official GTA 6 announcement:
- Teaser announcement: Late 2022 reveal with a brief teaser
- Full reveal: Extended trailer between Spring 2023 and Summer 2023
- Launch marketing: Ramps up in 2024 ahead of release later that year
This would follow a similar pattern to GTA 5:
- The first GTA 5 trailer was released in November 2011
- The full reveal happened in the Spring of 2013
- GTA 5 launched in September 2013
Once Rockstar is ready to showcase GTA 6, they will want to market it extensively. We likely won’t get an announcement until the game is nearer completion in 2023 or beyond.
Will GTA 6 Be Delayed?
Given the ambitious scale of GTA 6 and the pressure for perfection, could the game be delayed past 2024/2025 projections?
While possible, Rockstar is likely giving themselves plenty of leeway already with a 4-5 year development cycle. However, some potential delay risks include:
- Technical challenges: Ambitious new systems could require more time.
- Pandemic impacts: Remote work may have caused some slowdowns.
- Rebooted development: Some rumors claim GTA 6 was restarted in 2020.
- Scope creep: Rockstar may keep adding ideas to implement.
Delays of 6-12 months past rumors could happen if challenges emerge. But with GTA 5 releasing in 2013, anything beyond 2025 seems unlikely.
Rockstar will ship GTA 6 when it meets their high standards. But they know fans are hungry after nearly 10 years since the last numbered series entry.
GTA 6: Most Likely Release Window Summary
While Rockstar has yet to confirm GTA 6 plans, consolidation of insider leaks, rumors, and past timelines point toward a likely 2024-2025 release window.
Key takeaways on the possible GTA 6 launch timeframe:
- Earliest potential release: Late 2023
- Most expected launch: 2024-2025
- Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC
- Setting: Vice City returns from the 1980s with a modern overhaul
- Announcement: Official reveal likely in 2023
- Scope: Massive technical leap powered by new hardware
As Rockstar’s biggest next-gen project, the wait for GTA 6 will be worth it when the expansive new entry finally drops. But fans might have to hold on for at least another year or two before they can freely roam through GTA’s next iconic open world.