We’re now more than a decade past the launch of Grand Theft Auto 5, and the long-awaited sequel Grand Theft Auto 6 still doesn’t have an official release date yet. It’s been a punish for longtime fans of the series, waiting patiently for news on GTA 6. Now, at last, we’re finally learning more about Rockstar Games’ eagerly awaited crime sim through official channels, instead of waking up to another wave of GTA 6 leaks.
So, while we wait for an official GTA 6 release date, we thought we’d collate the confirmed facts about the game for you in one place.
As mentioned, of the information contained in this piece is thanks to the aforementioned mega-leak from September 2022, which provided details on the game’s setting, characters, and several other tidbits about what we can expect from the next Grand Theft Auto instalment.
Alongside this leaked information, Rockstar Games has also confirmed a small handful of details, most notably when we can expect a trailer for GTA 6—or whatever the studio ends up calling the game. There’s a lot to dig through, and some of it is potentially spoiler-y, so read at your discretion.
With the preamble out of the way, here’s everything we know about GTA 6 and what Rockstar Games is cooking.
Has GTA 6 been officially announced?
Yes, it certainly has.
Rockstar Games officially announced “a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series” on February 4, 2022, via a post on X, which was still known as “Twitter” at the time. It did not comment on any prospective GTA 6 release date — the news was only confirmation that the game was in production.
While we’re sure Rockstar would’ve liked to keep news and announcements on the next GTA game to just the announcement above, that didn’t happen. Still, before we get to the leaks and what happened there, let’s wrap up everything else we’ve learned from official sources.
Has Rockstar Released Any Official Trailers Or Screenshots?
Not yet. The images currently floating around the internet are all leaked screenshots pulled from the various bits of gameplay revealed in the September 2022 leak. But the first official look at the game is imminent. In the embedded tweet below, you’ll see the very first piece of sanctioned, official Grand Theft Auto 6 artwork.
The good news is a GTA 6 trailer is finally on the way. As we’ve previously reported, Rockstar Games will release the first official trailer for GTA 6 this coming Wednesday, December 6, in Australia. Head to our trailer guide for when the trailer will arrive in Australian timezones.
Does GTA 6 have a release date, and which platforms will it be on?
There is still a lot about the game that we don’t know, meaning fans have had their ears to the ground for even a skerrick of GTA 6 news. Big questions still in the Unanswered category: which platforms it’s coming to and its official release date. Our expectation is that GTA VI will be coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S to start with, and PC will follow a year after launch (whenever that may be). That expectation on Rockstar’s preference for this release strategy across both Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2.
GTA 6 appears to be tracking toward a 2024 release date. The most reputable piece of evidence we have to support this comes from Take-Two Interactive, the game’s publisher.
Back in May of this year, Take-Two said it expects to bring in $US8 billion (with a “B”). That’s a lot of money, and while GTA Online continues to do well for the company, Take-Two’s most recent fiscal year only brought in $US5 billion. So, where’s all that extra money coming from? There’s only one game in the world with the potential to bring in $US3 billion in a single year, and that’s Grand Theft Auto 6.
Further information came from the epic saga of Microsoft acquiring Activision. Page 24 of Microsoft’s 2022 response to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) indicates that “Grand Theft Auto VI is expected to be released in 2024.” It turned out Microsoft’s information was (seemingly) not gleaned from internal information — it cited a piece by TechRadar as the source for that info.
As of right now, that’s about all the official information we have on GTA 6.
This means the time has come to talk about:
GTA 6 leaks: What happened, and what you need to know
Let us say up front: this piece will contain no images or video from the Grand Theft Auto VI leaks that appeared online earlier this year. We also won’t be telling you to find them. If you want to see them for yourself, we are sure they won’t be terribly difficult to find.
What we can do is talk about the things the GTA 6 leaks taught us last year, and indulge in a little loose speculation based on what was seen.
The GTA 6 leaks were the result of a major security breach against Rockstar Games. On September 18, 2022, a hacker uploaded around 100 videos of unfinished, in-development footage from Grand Theft Auto 6. Following efforts to have the videos removed from the internet, Rockstar would later confirm their authenticity. It was the world’s first look at the game, and well before it was in any condition to show to the public. It would prove instructive, in some measure, for showing non-developers what the video game sausage looks like as it is being made.
At this point, we’re going to wade into some of the details gleaned from all the GTA 6 leaks. If you don’t want to be spoiled at all before the game’s first trailer drop, I’d encourage you to close this piece now and go about your day. Here, I’ll even drop a spoiler alert in to really hammer it home.
Which city is GTA 6 set in?
Based on the aforementioned GTA 6 leaks, and the very tropical teaser image accompanying the trailer announcement, the next Grand Theft Auto game will be set in the series’ take on Miami, Florida: Vice City. And based on what’s been seen, it might have a pretty big map, too.
How do we know this? Well, the leaked screenshots not only depicted very Florida-looking scenery, but in at least one of them, it’s literally possible to see the city’s name emblazoned on a train car.
Grand Theft Auto most recently went back to Vice City with the PlayStation Portable title Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, which was based on the map as it existed in the ‘80s-themed Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which starred the late, great Ray Liotta as Tommy Vercetti.
You should not, however, expect these maps to be identical. For one, the old-school Vice City layout was limited by what was possible on the PlayStation 2 and PSP, and starting with Grand Theft Auto IV, the series moved onto a different universe entirely, one that keeps the location names but features different characters and historical events.
That said, as seen in GTA V, Rockstar did include iconic locations from San Andreas in the “HD” universe, such as San Andreas’ Grove Street, so it wouldn’t be out of character for the new Vice City to include a few nods to the old map. Some fans have even gathered likely returning locations based on the leaked footage, which might include spots like Malibu Club, South Beach, and Redhill Forest, to name a few.
Who are the main characters in GTA 6?
While we don’t know their names, the leaks and reporting from Bloomberg indicate that GTA VI will star a crime duo this time around. They are a still-unnamed white man and Latina woman who seem to be inspired by real-life, Great-Depression-era criminals Bonnie and Clyde. Similar to GTA V, leaked footage suggests you’ll use the d-pad to swap between them.
Will GTA VI get DLC in the future?
Rockstar has yet to comment on possible expansions for the next Grand Theft Auto. However, the topic has been a popular area of rumour and speculation. For instance, on the GTAForums fan page, notable Grand Theft Auto leaker Tez2 claims Rockstar will drop new single-player story content for the next GTA in an episodic fashion over the course of the game’s lifecycle, instead of one-off DLC releases like the studio has done with GTA IV or RDR. This, Tez2 speculates, will help reduce worker crunch, something Rockstar Games has been cleaning up for a while, as Bloomberg reported in July 2022.
It’s fair to assume the studio wants people playing the next Grand Theft Auto for a long time, though what form ongoing support will take is still up in the air.
Assorted GTA 6 news and gameplay details
Last year’s GTA 6 leaks were huge news — we learned that the game will star at least two playable protagonists, will be set in Vice City, and roughly how far along the game is likely to be in development, but there’s more.
Based on some videos from the leaks, it’s clear that GTA 6 will feature gameplay very similar to what’s come before, we’ve even got some hints about the possible random events. How these will manifest and unfold in the game is anyone’s guess right now, but event names such as “DUI Test,” “Scarface Crime Scene,” “UFO Animal House,” “Voice in a storm drain,” “warehouse sex robots,” and (of course) “fishing” have all been spotted in the leaks.
The leaks also indicate the presence of a number of GTA staples, and some new additions. There will be night life activities like visiting strip clubs, chances to enjoy nature via scuba diving, and driveable airboats, and animals to encounter, such as dogs, alligators, and raccoons. The leaks also suggest more dynamic interactions with police, with game prompts that seem to indicate that you’ll need to be more mindful of what vehicle you’re driving while evading the cops.
Also, it seems you won’t be pulling guns out of an infinite pocket-of-holding any longer. Characters appear to carry firearms on their person via slings. You also might be able to drop weapons, which, as Halo Infinite demonstrated (before it was patched to match the speed of weapon swapping), can be a neat, potentially faster way to discard empty guns instead of swapping them out for another weapon.
Characters are also able to drop prone in the leaked footage. That would be new to GTA, and as The Last of Us Part II demonstrates particularly well, is a great addition to a third-person shooter, allowing for more dynamic and unexpected actions, maneuverability, and shootouts (and potentially more accurate aim, based on standard video game logic).
And that’s about everything we know about Grand Theft Auto 6, based on both official and leaked information. What are you most excited about? Plant a flag: when do you think we’ll hear about a release date for GTA 6? Do you think Rockstar Games will hold GTA 6 on PC until a year after launch? Get in the comments, let us know.
Update 4/12/23 10:20 AM AEDT: Updated the trailer section to reflect the weekend’s announcement that the first official GTA 6 trailer is imminent.
Image: Rockstar Games