Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2 developer Rockstar Games updated its website on Wednesday, one new image revealed as part of the update has fans in a tizzy about whether or not it means some kind of Grant Theft Auto VI update is coming.
The image in question appears on Rockstar's website when entering the search bar and is not listed with any of Rockstar's other wallpapers. It features a golden robot hugging Rockstar's R-shaped logo with a full champagne flute resting on the logo's star and a sealed bottle in an ice bucket next to the robot. The neck of the bottle, however, has the year "1998" on the label. The purpose of listing that specific year on the bottle is causing fans to speculate on Twitter.
Could it hint at the time period Grand Theft Auto VI takes place in? Another more practical possibility is that it honors the foundation of Rockstar and the start of the Grand Theft Auto series when the company was founded in 1998.
The widely rumored "Project Americas" leak suggests that GTA 6 is set in the past, though that leak specifies the '70s and '80s, not the '90s. Still, the time period may have changed (or those leaks were always inaccurate) and this image could be our first legitimate clue. If the new game is set in 1998, that would put the game's story right around the events of the original Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2. A private video on Rockstar's channel is also making the rounds among the franchise's fans, with some believing that this could be a GTA 6 reveal trailer.
On the other hand, the "1998" in this image might just be honoring the significance of that year for Rockstar and Grand Theft Auto. While the company has roots going further back, 1998 was the year in which Rockstar was established. March 1998 is also when the first game in the Grand Theft Auto series released in North America. Both GTA and Rockstar will be celebrating anniversaries in the coming months, so the image could just be commemorating the 22nd anniversary of those things.
The Inverse Analysis
Out of the two possible options, I'm a bit more inclined to say it's just honoring the company. Still, it's weird that Rockstar would add this image now, about ten months out from its 22nd anniversary. And what's the deal with the private video on its official YouTube channel? It's fun to speculate about what a Grand Theft Auto game set in the late '90s would look like. Movies like Captain Marvel have recently done interesting things with that time period, and it would be nice to see it explored more in games.
If this image is, in fact, teasing some kind of future GTA 6 reveal, I still wouldn't expect an announcement anytime soon. GTA 5 is still doing extraordinarily well and is consistently updated so Rockstar and Take-Two may not have the financial need to make another game in the series. Even if it is in development, GTA 6 would almost surely be a next-generation title for PS5 and Xbox Series X in order to stand out, and next-gen exclusive games likely won't be shown off until those platforms are closer to release.
Whenever it does finally emerge, GTA 6 is poised to be one of the most highly anticipated next-generation games.