Grand Theft Auto 6 remains unconfirmed by Rockstar Games despite March’s alleged leaks and rumors that the much-hyped title might finally be unveiled, but Rockstar may have just confirmed a long-standing GTA 6 rumor in an Instagram story.
On Monday morning, Rockstar shared via the company's Instagram story a photo of basketball player LeBron James from 2003 sitting near a copy of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. The image in question was previously shared by the NBA On-Court Instagram account on Sunday. This may have simply been an appreciation post, but a flurry of fans began speculating that it could be some kind of obscure but deliberate teaser for GTA 6’s impending launch.
All of this theorizing stems from the widely circulated but unconfirmed “Project Americas” GTA 6 rumor. A supposed leak from 2019 alleges that the game will primarily take place in Vice City (fictional Miami) and that players will get to travel to a handful of Latin America-inspired areas in the world, along with some other U.S. cities.
The image of LeBron James was almost immediately deleted by Rockstar after fans began to speculate. Did the company do all of this to further fan the flame of hype? Was this actually a hat tip to fans? Or did Rockstar delete the image so quickly for the opposite effect?
Monday’s Instagram story comes weeks after a series of what most fans assume are clues hinting that some kind of GTA 6 announcement might be closer than we all think. On March 24, Rockstar’s parent company Take-Two Interactive updated the website domain “gtavi.com.” That came after Rockstar published a batch of new logos and artwork that many fans took as a sign that the developer is preparing for a monumental GTA 6 announcement.
The Inverse Analysis — Many fans out there seem to believe that Rockstar purposefully teased GTA 6 with this random image, but that says more about the fan community's ravenous appetite for rumors than it does the truth.
The image was more than likely just a repost of NBA On-Court’s original upload with no noteworthy implications attached. Even when Rockstar merely updates the company website, fans take notice and theorize what it could mean for future games. Even though chances are this specific instance is not a GTA 6 teaser, an announcement sometime this year is still within the realm of possibility.
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are months away from launching, and even though GTA 5 remains a widely-played cash cow for Rockstar that's made more than $6 billion already, Rockstare will almost certainly launch a next-generation version of Grand Theft Auto in the coming years.
GTA 5 came out in 2013 and its online mode continues to attract millions of gamers, but it would be unthinkable for Rockstar to not launch a GTA title on the upcoming batch of consoles.
A GTA 6 unveiling in late 2020 or early 2021 is possible, but don’t expect the full game anytime soon. Rockstar first announced GTA 5 in October 2011 and shipped it two years later. The developer could follow the same timeline this time around, so the most likely scenario is that a new game would release sometime in 2022.