GTA Leak

GTA 6 release date rumor: Why "development hell" may be overblown

Is GTA 6 actually wasted?

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GTA 6 is presumably years away from release, but recent rumors have fans worried about the game’s future. Alleged leaks from a trusted source suggest Rockstar Games’ next project is in trouble and has been for quite some time. But are these negative details truly as bad as they sound? Below we outline the gist of the rumors and provide some wider context to explain what discussions might actually be happening inside the house of the Housers.

How far away is the GTA 6 release date?

Starting with the rumors themselves, the news arrives courtesy of Chris Klippel of Rockstar Mag’. While most insiders should be considered with a heaping helping of salt, Klippel has established himself as a trusted voice within the French GTA community, meaning anything he has to say about GTA 6 is typically taken seriously.

Take-Two will still make plenty of money from Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy in the fall of 2021.

Rockstar Games

According to translated statements made on recent episodes of his podcast, Klippel had some shocking info to share about Rockstar’s upcoming project. The translations, sourced by NeoGAF, suggest GTA 6 has essentially been rebooted since Dan Houser’s departure from Rockstar in early 2020, with several major story changes happening prior to that controversial executive shakeup. While GTA 6 was originally slated to be announced last year, its narrative has allegedly changed so many times that it’s unclear precisely when the game will be ready to show. Given this lack of direction, it’s said that GTA 6 is being discussed internally as Rockstar’s most chaotic project yet.

Is there more to these delays?

That all sounds like terrible news if true, but, despite Klippel’s accurate track record, we’d implore readers to consider the wider context from which these alleged leaks come. For one, while Klippel’s precise words may be correct, they’re also being filtered through a forum member’s translation that hasn’t been officially verified.

While we’re taking the original poster at their word for now, there may be discrepancies that change how these details sound in English. As the internet connects people globally, it’s all too often that statements made halfway across the world are taken out of context. That could be happening to some degree here.

Outside the brass tacks of translation foibles, though, it’s also important to consider the privileged position Rockstar is in as a studio that might impact its corporate decision-making. As much as Rockstar is the crown jewel of the Take-Two publisher portfolio, the company isn’t exactly in a situation where GTA 6 needs to come out in the immediate future. Consider, for example, the opposing situation with regard to CD Projekt RED and Cyberpunk 2077. Unlike Take Two which is bolstered by multiple other developers, CDPR is a single publicly traded entity that told its developers its singular game product would arrive at a specific time. In effect, the studio could only delay Cyberpunk so many times before word from investors indirectly forced it through the pipeline.

Cyberpunk 2077 was rushed due to investor pressure, but that probably won’t happen with GTA 6.

CD Projekt RED

At Take-Two, however, the situation is far different. Not only will games like GTA Online, GTA 5, and the newly announced Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy keep Take-Two solvent for many months to come, but let’s also not forget the additional help from 2K Games, 2K Sports, and Private Division too. NBA 2K in particular is a money-making machine with yearly installments and continual cash flow to keep the expectations of investors in check. In short, there’s enough money coming in from other Take-Two titles that it’s not a completely insane proposition for Rockstar North to reboot GTA 6 if it has to.

As for GTA 6 reportedly being labeled as Rockstar’s most chaotic project yet, it’s unlikely there’s any triple-A game developer that hasn’t experienced a certain level of chaos over the past year and a half. Key development processes like motion capture remain crippled in the face of an ongoing pandemic, and next-gen console hardware fails to meet demand as the chip shortage carries on. Especially if GTA 6 was being built as a premier next-gen offering, why not take the time to fully realize it until consumers can actually get next-gen systems in their living rooms?

We’re not here to necessarily doubt what’s being said, only to clarify that, in a wider context, the situation inside Rockstar may not be as bad as it seems. The situation is such that, when GTA 6 finally does release, it’s more likely to be in a state that is polished and pristine enough to meet the expectations of its rabid fan base. That’s a lofty goal indeed, but Take-Two seems willing and equipped to give Rockstar the necessary time to make it happen.

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