Earlier in October, an unverified Grand Theft Auto VI map leak shook the lively community of GTA fans. Now, a few Redditors believe they've figured out which real-life city GTA 6's primary setting might be modeled after based on one convincing piece of the allegedly leaked map. For anyone expecting a drug cartel-themed follow-up to GTA 5 based on the long-rumored "Project Americas" leaks, this might come as a surprise.
The image in question was a photo of an island that many gamers believed to be an updated version of an alleged mock-up of GTA 6's map that began circulating online in 2018. At the time, it was cast aside as bogus because of how poorly drawn it appeared.
A map of an island was posted to the sketchy forum 4chan on October 9, which made it instantly suspicious. But fans who took a closer look at it were struck by how similar it looks to an island in the lower-right corner of the original map mockup.
Speculation began to swirl that this could be a sign of Rockstar making progress on the GTA 6 map. Fans cited the fact that a prototype of Red Dead Redemption 2's map leaked years ahead of its release as further evidence.
All of this chatter has compelled fans to pick apart the alleged 4chan leak even further. Some Redditors have theorized that the island could be a riff on Rio de Janeiro that is destined to be included in GTA 6, all based on the overall shape.
That might not be the first location that comes to mind when you think of the narcotrafficking of the 1980s, however. Countries that have been more historically tied to the international drug trade, like Colombia or Mexico, fit the script a bit better. But Redditor BrainsBonesBalls provided some geographical evidence to suggest GTA 6 might be partially set in Brazil.
They put the 4chan island side-by-side with a Google Earth image of the Brazilian city and pointed out the resemblances they saw. For starters, the image of Rio in this post is inverted which might make it seem like a stretch off the bat, but Rockstar always takes a bit of creative liberty when creating maps based on real-life locations instead of opting for a carbon copy of a real-life city.
From that angle, there are some stunning similarities, most notably the large lake inside the island which could be a riff on either the massive Guanabara Bay or the smaller Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. They also point out a chain of islands off the coast and how there are lush mountains surrounded by a coastal city in the 4chan image, much like real-life Rio.
Other Redditors, like RedFox26-, seem to be on board with BrainsBonesBalls' theory but the island image's fuzziness makes it difficult to actually make out any dead giveaways, like the Christ the Redeemer statue. But that doesn't mean a Rio-inspired island is out of the question.
A laundry list of now-deleted and unconfirmed GTA 6 rumors was posted on Reddit in mid-2019 claiming to reveal crucial details about the setting, plot, and even gameplay for Rockstar's next big release.
The post claimed that the company had codenamed GTA 6 "Project Americas" and it specifically mentioned that a Rio-inspired location would be included.
But is this all wishful thinking or will the be the first GTA that's partially set in Brazil?
The Inverse Analysis — Unfortunately, we won't have any concrete evidence about where GTA 6 could take place until Rockstar reveals what it has in store for the future of its crime series. However, we do know that GTA 6 is reportedly in "early development," which does lend some credence to the crude nature of many of these alleged map leaks.
The images posted across Reddit and 4chan could be an extremely early version of what will eventually be a highly detailed world for GTA 6. Back when the RDR2 map leaked, the image looked like a hodge-podge of colors with a janky legend, which led many to believe it was false, when in reality it proved to be accurate.
We could be looking at an alpha version of GTA 6 's setting, but it could also be the creation of an internet troll that's stringing fans along to the Project Americas rumors. Fans can't be sure until a watershed leak drops or Rockstar drops a teaser trailer.
GTA 6 is in reportedly in early development.