Grand Theft Auto 5 is almost inconceivably massive. Its sales passed 80 million this year and it regularly finds itself in Steam’s top ten most-played games - largely thanks to excellent and consistent updates to GTA Online. So, naturally, we are thinking about what is coming next: GTA 6.
Related: here is everything we know about Red Dead Redemption 2.
Grand Theft Auto 6 has not been announced yet, but we are very much hoping for some concrete details in 2018. Our insatiable appetite for biting satire and a good carjacking knows no bounds: here we have rounded up all the best rumours in one place with our suggestions for what we would like to see from GTA 6, no matter what form it ends up taking.
GTA 6 release date
When is GTA 6 coming out? If Grand Theft Auto’s typical development timeline of about four to five years between entries is anything to go by, we should be getting GTA 6 in 2018. But, unfortunately, we are expecting GTA 6 to buck this trend - Rockstar are hardly going to want to take the wind out of Red Dead Redemption 2’s sails, which is due out in June 2018.
Perhaps, once Red Dead is out and we have had our fill of the wild west, we might see a GTA 6 announcement towards the end of 2018. However, this is pure speculation at the moment - there is no concrete GTA 6 release date yet. But, rest assured, if our snouts pick any details up, you will find all the info here.
GTA 6 news
Our first nugget of GTA 6 news turned out to be dead on arrival: when stunt actor Tim Neff’s CV surfaced claiming he had credits on GTA 6 and Red Dead Redemption 2, it proved to be a fake.
When we asked Neff for details he said: “That isn't my page, account or résumé. I don't even know that website. I worked on GTA 5 a long time ago and haven't done anything since. Sorry for the confusion. It seems I'm being trolled online really badly.”
We might not have much in terms of confirmed GTA 6 news, but we do have a nice little tease from Rockstar president, Leslie Benzies. Confirming that GTA 6 will exist in some form, he said: “We don’t know what GTA 6 will be, but we’ve got some ideas.”
Whatever idea is chosen by Rockstar, Benzies gave a behind-the-scenes insight into how early ideas transform into the beginnings of a videogame.
“It comes from the idea first.” he said. “Where it is going to be set is the first question. Then that 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.”
GTA 6 story
A GTA 6 story could take any shape. Across the Grand Theft Auto series, its narratives have covered a broad spectrum of ideas and tones - from the cynical critique of capitalism portrayed by GTA 4, to the relatively light and humorous GTA 5.
We are not aware of any specific GTA 6 story beats as yet, but we would love to see GTA 6 herald the inclusion of the series’ first female protagonist. In a 2013 interview with The Guardian, Dan Houser explained why they didn’t do this for GTA V, and how they might be able to in future.
"We didn't really think about it this time [of GTA V]. That's not to say that we couldn't or we wouldn't. This character set is just what came to us: it wasn't, 'we've got X and Y so we need Z,' we weren't trying to do it off a checklist - I don't think that will ever give you something that's believable or engaging.
"In the future, could we do a game with a lead female character? Of course. We just haven't found the right game for it yet, but it's one of the things that we always think about. It didn't feel natural for this game but definitely for the right game in the future - with the right themes, it could be fantastic.”
We certainly agree. If Rockstar could imbue a female protagonist with their typically anarchic sense of humour, she could be one of PC gaming’s greats. And, since we got a three-pronged set of protagonists last time - a first for the series - why can’t we have a little more variety in our lead characters for GTA 6? Who knows, they could even be on the side of the law this time.
GTA 6 map
The rumour mill has been a-churning with talk of a London GTA 6 setting; England’s big smoke is said to be the only non-US setting Rockstar would consider. There is no hard evidence for this, but the speculation has been widely echoed by other outlets. It has been a setting in Grand Theft Auto’s past, though.
Elsewhere in The Guardian’s interview with Houser, he appeared to debunk this rumour, too. He said: "I think for us, my gut feeling is, GTA London was cool for the time, but games were more limited then. 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."
TechRadar, citing an unnamed insider source, asserts that Rockstar were considering Tokyo as a possible Grand Theft Auto setting around the time Vice City was in development. However, on top of the issues posed by setting the game outside of the US, they were also put off by the “problematic” road system.
Another persistent rumour is that GTA 6 will not be restrained to a city, but the entirety of the US. Now, we don't doubt that Rockstar has the ambition or the necessary dollars to make this happen, but that would involve too much driving - and, therefore, not enough heisting - in our book.
There are multiple ways Rockstar could make this a reality for a GTA 6 map. First, GTA 6’s US could be a truncated version of the real-world country, a la The Crew. Or, various cities in America could function as a quasi open world, like the connected, but separate playable environments in The Witcher 3.
Just imagine escaping the police after a high-octane heist one moment, and taking an arty selfie at the Grand Canyon the next? Whatever Rockstar choose for the GTA 6 setting, this rumour is an enticing one.
Regardless of what GTA 6 setting is chosen, you can guarantee that it will showcase Rockstar’s irreverent, cutting sense of humour, populated with plenty of distractions to keep you from the game’s main missions.
So, what would we like to see from a GTA 6 setting? It would be great to see GTA 6 take a trip to Nevada. Like Fallout: New Vegas, except with a little less nuclear annihilation… hopefully. In true The Hangover-style, it would be huge fun to rampage through the casinos and strip clubs of Las Vegas. Just as long as we do not have friends as needy as GTA 4’s Roman to babysit, too.
GTA 6 gameplay
If the rumour that a new game in the series could recreate the entirety of the US hold true, there will be a near-limitless array of activities to choose from. But, the surface area of a location is one thing, whether the GTA 6 gameplay is fun is another.
Thankfully, then, Rockstar have a solid track record with delivering compelling gameplay that keeps us coming back. If the side missions kept us from the main story after many hours into GTA 6’s predecessors, a gargantuan, full-sized US could keep us going forever.
What innovations could GTA 6 gameplay provide? Maybe we will see our new protagonist planning assassinations like we did heists in GTA V? Something like Rocksteady pioneered with Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009, where we channel our sleuthing abilities to catch our foes, ending with a classic Grand Theft Auto car chase?
In GTA V, the side activities ranged from daring bank jobs to wholesome rounds of golf; from hunting down Lindsay Loh celebrities as a paparazzo to triathlons. The sheer popularity of meticulously planned co-op heists from GTA V surely means they will return to GTA 6 in some form, and we can’t wait to see what Rockstar will conjure up.
GTA 6 trailer
There is no GTA 6 trailer just yet. We will have to wait until we get an official announcement first. But, if any details emerge, you know where to find it - that’s right here, by the way.
That is everything we know about GTA 6. What would you like to see from a brand new entry to this famous series? Let us know in the comments below.