When Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto V in 2013, it changed what gamers expect out of an open-world adventure, and it continues to a satisfying, chaotic online experience with GTA Online. But GTA 5’s nearly decade-long reign might soon come to an end with the monumental announcement of Grand Theft Auto VI.
There have been rumors, murmurs, and even hints from Rockstar teasing the release of GTA 6 for well over a year now. More recently, GTA 5 was made free on the Epic Game Store which some fans took as a sign that a GTA 6 announcement could happen soon. While GTA Online players have begun theorizing that the unsustainable inflation that’s happening in the game’s multiplayer mode is a sign that a sequel is just over the horizon.
But with no official announcement gamers have relied on piecing together leaks, reading investigations by industry journalists, and looking to Rockstar’s past releases for clues.
Here’s everything you need to know about the release of GTA 6:
When is the GTA 6 release date?
Rockstar has not announced GTA 6 so there is no official release date yet, but Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier confirmed that the long-awaited sequel to GTA 5 is in development and since then three release date timelines have gained traction with fans online.
Schreier’s sources told him that GTA 6 is in “early development” and is still “years away,” while a duo of popular Rockstar leakers — Yan2295 and Tezfun2 — claim it’s more than halfway complete. These estimates were followed by a third, albeit sketchier batch of information that emerged on Reddit suggesting that GTA 6 could arrive as early as October 2021.
It took Rockstar eight years to make Red Dead Redemption 2, so Schreier’s piece makes it sound like GTA 6 might be six or seven years off, while everything the leakers have been saying suggests it could be two or three years away.
Here’s a concise list of when these three timelines estimate GTA 6 will be released:
- Sketchy Reddit rumor: October 2021
- Yan2295 and Tezfun2: 2022 at best
- Schreier: 2026 at best
Which GTA 6 release date information should you trust?
It is tough to make any kind of an assessment about GTA 6's stage in development without official word from Rockstar, but Schreier covered the politics and working conditions of major game companies for years. He’s built relationships with the industry's biggest players and his reporting consistently peeled the curtain back on video game development, teased new launches, and shined a light on just how overworked developers are. Even if he doesn't often name his sources on reports like this, he's still a journalist who attaches his name and reputation to his stories.
Yan2295 is the leaker with the best track record out of the bunch. He has accurately leaked information about GTA 5 Online in the past, which proved he has some connections at Rockstar and has made him a fan-favorite insider.
The Reddit leaker is by far the least trustworthy. The user never provided any proof of their claims to the subreddit’s moderators or Yan2295, which casts an even bigger shadow on the accuracy of their claims — and it also led the mods to label the post as "False" until further proof is given.
What consoles will GTA 6 be released on?
Since both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will launch in late 2020 and there’s no conceivable way GTA 6 will hit shelves before then, it seems likely that the next installment will only ship on next-generation consoles and Windows.
Sorry, Nintendo Switch fans; there hasn’t been a port of any GTA games to the console yet, which doesn’t bode well for GTA 6's case. The hybrid console’s barebones hardware might not even be able to run what is expected to be Rockstar’s most graphically demanding game ever.
But who knows? That could change if and when Nintendo releases an upgraded version of the Switch.
Where is Grand Theft Auto 6 located?
Back in mid-2019, a now-deleted enormous patch of alleged GTA 6 leaks took the internet by storm. The information was posted by a Redditor by the name of JackOLantern1982 who claimed Rockstar had codenamed GTA 6 “Project Americas.”
“Yeah this is fake,” Schreier commented in the Reddit thread, and this supposed leak has gone completely unverified ever since. These details might end up being totally bogus, but there have been some hints in subsequent reports suggesting that there could be something to “Project Americas.”
As the alleged moniker would suggest, the game could be based in various locations across North and South America, but a firm list has not been hammered out, according to the leaks.
The Redditor wrote that it’ll be partially based in locations from previous games, like Vice City (fictional Miami) and Liberty City (fictional New York City). But it will also feature new locations inspired by Brazilian metropolis Rio de Janeiro, and potentially areas based off of Cuba, Panama, and Colombia.
The leak stated that it will be more arcade-y and less realistic than Red Dead Redemption 2, which might suggest players won’t have to eat, sleep, and bathe. But there will still be elements of immersive realism that affect the digital world.
Playable locations will change over the roughly ten years the game is supposed to span. Architecture and vehicles develop over a decade as in-game economies surge or crumble and as time progresses. Weather events, like hurricanes and floods, change the tropical and urban terrain gamers will traverse.
When does Grand Theft Auto 6 take place?
The Project Americas leaks indicate that the new game will be sometime between the 1970s and 1980s and be “heavily inspired by Netflix’s Narcos,” some leaks claim.
Much like Red Dead Redemption 2, the story could unravel through a series of chapters, each of which would likely lead to drastic changes in where the characters are located.
What characters are in Grand Theft Auto 6?
GTA 6 could be the first installment with a central female character. Both leaks mention a character named “Kacey” who is described as a “drug smuggler,” but there’s been some contention about how central of a role she could play in the story.
The Reddit comment claims she will be the protagonist, while another leak claims the story will center around an “up and coming drug lord-wannabe named Ricardo. It’s possible that, just like GTA 5, which featured three main characters, Kacey and Ricardo could be a playable duo.
Regardless of who the face of the game is, players will be tasked with turning the characters from drug runners to kingpins by completing daring missions, developing relationships with other drug lords, and generally committing crimes, as in the other games. Only this time on an international scale.
What should I know about Grand Theft Auto 6 gameplay?
The leaks pointed to two specific gameplay mechanics that will drive the alleged game. The first being that cars will function exactly like horses in Red Dead Redemption 2. So, say goodbye to pulling a rocket launcher out of thin air.
Players will carry their weapons in the trunk of their car when they’re in city areas, or risk being seen on the street with an AK-47 strapped to their back. But they could be free to pack more heat when they’re in rural areas of the game.
Finally, the players may be able to build their drug empire similarly to how the “Crew” system functions GTA 5 Online. They’ll need to complete key tasks across a massive map to amass power and turf.