GTA 6 release date, locations, and rumors for Rockstar's next crime epic

Officially unannounced, yet confirmed in our hearts.

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The GTA 6 rumor mill never stops churning. Rockstar hasn’t officially announced the next installment of its blockbuster Grand Theft Auto series, but there’s always new speculation surrounding it. Offhand quotes from Rockstar and Reddit leaks spring up every few weeks, giving fans something new to obsess over.

Perhaps we’re all just restless from playing Grand Theft Auto V for so many years.

This is where you can find the lowdown on the most recent and persistent rumors. What release date rumors feel most plausible? Do some popular fan theories hold any water? Is “Project Americas” as real as we’re hoping? Let’s dive into the latest rumors, speculation, and predictions.

Here’s everything you need to know about GTA 6.

What could come next?Rockstar Games

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.

As part of an April 2020 report, 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. In a video published in late June of 2021 DualShockers reporter and leaker Tom Henderson estimated a slightly closer release date for the game, in 2024 or 2025.

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:

  • Yan2295 and Tezfun2: 2022 at best
  • Tom Henderson: 2024 or 2025
  • Schreier: 2026 at best

Beyond those leaks, there's a lot of external factors to consider. GTA Online continues to be a cash cow for Rockstar, and the company doesn't seem to be stopping its support for the game. There's also a next-gen version of GTAV in the works, so it's unlikely a sequel will come out before March 2022, when that next-gen overhaul is expected to debut. Then there’s the trilogy of classic GTA remasters, which have yet to even be officially announced as well. Take these stacked releases into account and it seems like GTA 6 is at least two years away, at best.

Rockstar Games

Which GTA 6 release date information should you trust?

It is tough to make any assessment about GTA 6's stage in development without official word from Rockstar, but Schreier has covered the working conditions of major game companies for years.

He’s built relationships with the industry's biggest players, and his reporting consistently peeled back the curtain on video game development, teasing upcoming releases, and shining 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 arguably the best track record out of the bunch. He has accurately leaked information about GTA Online in the past, which proves he has some connections at Rockstar, making made him a fan-favorite insider.

Tom Henderson is a fairly trusted insider particularly when it comes to franchises like Call of Duty, but the DualShockers writer does have a history of occasionally dipping his toes into other franchises as well. Henderson was recently a primary source for rumors that suggested Detroit: Become Human’s Quantic Dream may be working on a Star Wars title. These claims were backed up by fellow insiders like The Verge’s Jeff Grubb, implying this writer appears decently informed as well.

What consoles will GTA 6 be released on?

Considering that the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S are out, the games would almost certainly launch on those consoles, alongside PC. The farther out the game's release date is, the more this past generation of consoles becomes more of a question. It seems like Rockstar would be foolish not to release GTA 6 on PS4 and Xbox One considering how large the install base is, but what if it actually doesn't come until 2026? Cross-generation support generally only lasts a few years, so it's hard to imagine Rockstar holding back the game's tech after a few years. A last-gen release might entirely hinge on the game's release date.

Nintendo Switch owners, on the other hand, shouldn't get their hopes up. 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, especially if it ends up being built with next-gen in mind.

But who knows? That could change if and when Nintendo releases an upgraded version of the Switch.

Where is the Grand Theft Auto 6 location?

Back in mid-2019, a now-deleted enormous swath 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. Trusted industry insider Tom Henderson echoed this idea, saying that “80%” of the Project Americas rumors are smoke and mirrors. He didn’t elaborate on what’s real and what’s fake, but he seems to imply that there’s at least some truth to the leak.

These details might end up being mostly bogus, but there have been some hints in subsequent reports suggesting that there could be something to the Project Americas concept.

A screenshot of the original “Project Americas” leak. Twitter / @crafty_dude

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 suggests 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 will also develop over a decade, as in-game economies surge or crumble and as time progresses. Weather events, like hurricanes and floods, will reportedly change the tropical and urban terrain gamers will traverse.

Outside the Project Americas hype, Henderson has conversely heard that GTA 6 will take place in Vice City and it will be a smaller version of the iconic locale than some leakers may be expecting. To compensate for the more condensed area, though, Henderson believes the map will evolve over time much like we currently see in games like Fortnite Battle Royale. Events, like a comet destroying a portion of the city, for example, will make the setting more dynamic over time.

Rockstar Games

When does Grand Theft Auto 6 take place?

Project Americas leaks indicate that the new game will be sometime between the 1970s and 1980s and be “heavily inspired by Netflix’s Narcos.

Once again defying “Project Americas,” Henderson says GTA 6 will take place in a more modern era to make it better suited for the evolving map features described above.

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.

Who are the Grand Theft Auto 6 characters?

GTA 6 could be the first installment with a central female character. Most leaks mention a character named “Kacey” who is described as a “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 narcotics dealer named Ricardo. It’s possible that, just like GTA 5, which featured three main characters, Kacey and Ricardo could be a playable duo. For his part, Henderson feels GTA 6 will have a playable female protagonist too.

Regardless of who the face of the game is, players will be tasked with turning the characters from narcotics traffickers to kingpins by completing daring missions, developing relationships with other underworld figures, and generally committing crimes, as in the other games. Only this time could be on an international scale.

Rockstar Games

What should I know about Grand Theft Auto 6 gameplay?

The leaks point 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, players may be able to build their narcotics 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.

Henderson hasn’t heard too much about gameplay from his sources beyond the event-based, evolving map. He does say, though, that some form of cryptocurrency might feature in the upcoming title as a mission reward and component to the game’s extensive stock market suite.

Previous versions of this article were written by Danny Paez and Giovanni Colantonio.

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