The long-awaited Grand Theft Auto 6 release date seemed to have been teased by Rockstar Games’ parent company, Take-Two Interactive on Tuesday. A major uptick in marketing spending between 2023 and 2024, led an industry analyst to forecast that GTA 6 could be released around that time. Take-Two quickly nixed any hope of that being the case Wednesday, but fans still have a reason to hope.
Analyst Jeff Cohen released a briefing Tuesday after Take-Two filed financial paperwork revealing the company's plans to spend $89.2 million on marketing between April 2023 and March 2024, more than double any other year in the next half-decade. This led Cohen to assume that this was the sign of a marketing push for GTA 6. While that's a sound conclusion to jump to, Take-Two told GamesIndustry.biz on Wednesday that this was not the case.
“The table in the 10-K reflects marketing commitments made to third-party companies,” summarized GamesIndustry.biz’s Brendan Sinclair. “As Rockstar is an internal Take-Two studio, that undermines the notion that the reported marketing commitments would be related to the next Grand Theft Auto."
So that means GTA 6’s release date is still up in the air, but gamers shouldn’t lose hope just yet. There’s still a chance that Rockstar could announce the game's release for some time even before 2023.
When could GTA 6 be announced?
There are two GTA 6 release date timelines with the most credence: One was from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier who broke the news in April 2020 that Rockstar was actively developing GTA 6, and the second comes from a duo of popular Rockstar leakers, Yan2295 and Tezfun2.
Schreier’s sources told him that the greatly-anticipated sequel to GTA 5 is in “early development” and is still “years away.” While both Rockstar leakers pushed back on that timeline, claiming that the game is more than halfway complete.
It took Rockstar eight years to make Red Dead Redemption 2, so Schreier’s piece makes it sound the GTA 6 release date could happen around 2025 or 2026 at best. While the leakers have suggested it might arrive as early as 2022, which would be a year ahead of the 2023 rumor.
The Inverse Analysis — While Take-Two was quick to squash any excitement that came with Cohen’s financial briefing, the analyst also mentioned a reason why Take-Two and Rockstar might feel the need to begin hustling on releasing GTA 6.
“Management has spoken very confidently about the pipeline over the next five years and existing live services execution has been excellent,” he wrote. “However, the timing of the next Grand Theft Auto remains top-of-mind for investors, particularly with the stock near all-time highs.”
This suggests that investors are banking on Take-Two to continue pushing its financial momentum with the monumental release of GTA 6. Before this, there was no real rush for Rockstar to crank out GTA 6 give how widely popular and lucrative GTA 5 and GTA Online have been for the developer.
Now it appears that with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, investors want to ensure that Take-Two and Rockstar can keep those same levels of engagement as gamers transition to next-generation hardware. So a GTA 6 announcement might not be too far away after all.