Grand Theft Auto VI is reportedly in the works but Rockstar Games has yet to even mention the sixth installment of its crime adventure series. Fans received what appears to be an unexpected update about Rockstar's future plans for the franchise on Wednesday that may indicate a retro setting for GTA 6. Could we be looking at a full-on Vice City revival?
New evidence has emerged that GTA 6 might see the revival of Rockstar's 2002 release, GTA: Vice City. This information comes via synthwave musician Pete Brian Rice, who tweeted that "music rights clearing people" affiliated with Rockstar had approached various synthwave artists for a "radio station." (Most GTA games have a number of radio stations within the game that players can cycle through in their vehicles.) Rice's tweet has since been deleted but GTA fans on Reddit snapped a screenshot of it before it was taken down.
Synthwave is a music genre that is predominately associated with films and video games of the 1980s, which is exactly when GTA 6 has been rumored to take place according to the most circulated rumors about the Rockstar's eventual release. The original Vice City game had iconic retro music, and the pursuit of synthwave artist could be an indication that GTA 6 will head in a similar direction.
The so-called "Project Americas" leaks claim that GTA 6 will take place in the series' most iconic settings, perhaps across several different cities, including Vice City. None of the details in this alleged leak have been confirmed, but there has been a steady trickle of hints throughout 2020 to suggest that these rumors could be legitimate.
Back in April, Jason Schreier published a report for Kotaku digging into Rockstar's efforts to combat its crunch culture that had employees working "100-hour weeks" during the development of Red Dead Redemption 2. Schreier also mentioned that one way Rockstar is planning to reduce crunch is by launching a "moderately sized" initial release of a new GTA installment and increasing its size with regular updates.
His report never directly grappled with Project Americas directly, but the globetrotting premise lends itself all too well to the tentative release schedule Schreier laid out. Rockstar could begin GTA 6 in Vice City and expand it to cover Liberty City and new Latin-American inspired locations to fit the theme as time goes on. This would also fall in line with the games-as-a-service approach Rockstar has taken with GTA Online.
But there's also the strong chance that GTA Online could end up being the nail in the coffin for any hope that Wednesday's leaks actually involve GTA 6.
The Inverse Analysis — During an August 3 earnings report, Rockstar's holding company Take-Two Interactive revealed that it will continue to update Grand Theft Auto Online well into the lifespan of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
Rockstar could be reaching out to synthwave artists to update the existing radio stations in GTA Online. The company has regularly added new songs to its in-game iFruit Radio featuring tracks from modern artists.
It's far more likely that Rockstar is working on getting new music for a throwback GTA Online playlist, since GTA 6 hasn't even been announced yet. We'll need to wait and see if Rockstar announces a synthwave track list for GTA Online. If not, then maybe those Project Americas rumors might not be so farfetched after all.