The GTA 6 rumor mill never stops churning.
The next installment of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series hasn’t even been announced, but it feels like there’s always some new speculation on it. Little 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.
While there still isn’t any official news, it’s a good time to stop and take stock of the current info dump. What release date rumors feel plausible? Do some fan theories hold any water? Is “Project Americas” as real as we’re hoping? Let’s dive into all the latest round rumors.
Here’s everything you need to know about 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.
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. 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
Beyond those leaks, there's a lot of external factors to consider as well. 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 before that. Take those factors into account and it seems like GTA 6 is at least one year away, 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. Considering that we're in 2021 now and there hasn't been so much as a teaser trailer, you can safely write this off.
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 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. Trusted industry insider Tom Henderson echoed that 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 “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.
Who are the Grand Theft Auto 6 characters?
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.
A previous version of this article was written by Danny Paez.