GTA 6 Leak Hints at a Surprising Cost-Cutting Measure

Is it just penny-pinching or a smart decision?

Originally Published: 
GTA 6 Vice City beach background
Rockstar Games

Grand Theft Auto 6 is on track to become even more successful than its groundbreaking predecessor, but that could change if the online component falls short of fans’ expectations. A recent leak hints that Take-Two could be considering a surprising cust-cutting measure for the latest game in the GTA franchise.

On GTA Forums, leaker Tez2 reported that Take-Two rejected a proposal for dedicated servers a few years ago because it was “cost-prohibitive.” Tez2 also noted that “explosion shenanigans” might still happen in GTA 6 as a result. Rockstar is reportedly doing its best to combat these explosions, but there’s no guarantee its effort will pay off in the final product. Understandably, some commenters expressed that holding off on dedicated servers was an unnecessary, cheap strategy that could hurt development.

GTA’s success makes it difficult to believe that the company would really be struggling to cover the costs for dedicated servers. In its 2023 annual earnings report, Take-Two reported that GTA 5 had sold over 180 million copies worldwide since its release in 2013. It shouldn’t have trouble paying to stabilize the game’s online component, considering it’s generated billions of dollars for the company at this point. GTA 5 is one of the most successful games of all time, enough that any leak (like this one) causes a hubbub whenever it hits mainstream media.

“Dedicated server usage was pretty well established a few years ago, but they're now an expected part of the package of any online game,” one fan complained. “If [Take-Two and Rockstar] are still refusing to fully adopt them for GTAO2 then that is just a really bad look honestly.” For the record, Valorant, Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, FIFA, and Rocket League are just some popular games with their own dedicated servers.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. One commenter pointed out how games like Destiny 2 don’t use dedicated servers and still manage to keep their fanbases happy. One Destiny fan wrote a full GitHub report dedicated to Destiny 2’s complex networking system based on developers’ comments in the past. (As per the commenter, Destiny 2 in particular uses an authoritative server type instead of a dedicated one.) If GTA 6 ends up with an equally complex system that works just as well, then the lack of dedicated servers shouldn’t be an issue.

It’s important to note that Take-Two has yet to announce anything official regarding whether or not GTA 6 will have dedicated servers. GTA 6 is still years in the future, so it has time to either find a solution that minimizes the risks or change its strategy to include dedicated servers.

Based on the Rockstar CEO's statements during the latest Take-Two earnings call, it seems possible that GTA 6 will be released sometime between October 2024 and September 2025.

“In Fiscal 2025, we expect to enter this new era by launching several groundbreaking titles that we believe will set new standards in our industry,” said Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick. “We expect to sustain this momentum by delivering even higher levels of operating results in Fiscal 2026 and beyond.”

Summer Game Fest and other gaming showcases are just over the horizon, so there could be more concrete GTA updates just around the corner. Hopefully, Take-Two and Rockstar err toward the side of caution for stabilizing servers.

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