You may be confused about when you'll finally get to see Grand Theft Auto 6 from Rockstar Games, and we don't blame you. There have been conflicting rumors about the status and expected delivery date of the game for months now, and in the past few weeks, we've seen those rumors reach a fever pitch. At one point, it appeared that a release date had been set in stone, and then days later, there were reports that the date had slipped again. We'd like to attempt to clear up those rumors as best we can.
Unfortunately, the news we can give to you isn't as definitive or positive as we'd like it to be. For a long time, we all presumed and hoped that the next installment of Grand Theft Auto would arrive shortly after the release of the PlayStation 5, just as GTA 5's release coincided with the launch of the PlayStation 4. It now seems to be almost inevitable that there will be a delay between the console making its appearance, and the game coming along to join it. We can say with absolute certainty that there is no confirmed release date for GTA 6 at the time of writing, and all sources saying otherwise are incorrect. It’s not even certain that we’ll see the game this year. Rockstar and Take-Two still believe they can wring some life out of GTA V, and it seems likely that they’ll carry on doing so until 2020 is over.
If the new game doesn't put in an appearance until 2021, it could be the kiss of death for any hopes of the game making an appearance on current-generation consoles. The outgoing PS3 and Xbox 360 both got their own versions of GTA 5 in addition to the versions that were released for the brand-new machines, but as there's likely to be a gap this time, that might not be the case. Indeed, part of the reason we've seen so little in the way of official information and previews for GTA 6 could well be down to the fact that it's being developed exclusively for new consoles. Neither Sony or Microsoft will want too much about the performance of their new consoles given away prior to launch, and so Rockstar has to keep their work under wraps for now. If correct, that theory would certainly answer a lot of questions. It might even explain why the company can't confirm a launch date for the game. If the platforms the game will be played on haven't announced their launch date yet, the game clearly wouldn't be able to do so either.
Another reason for Take-Two's enthusiasm for sticking with the current version of the game is that it continues to provide an incredible commercial boost to the company. Its holiday season activity and net bookings statistics for the end of 2019 were the highest in the game's history, despite the fact that it's now more than six years old. Those numbers broke a record set by the launch of the Diamond Casino and Resort last July, which is surprising. Despite Rockstar's best attempts to circumvent the issue, the casino aspects of the game ended up banned in every country where casino games and online slots are prohibited. Even though real money can't be won the Diamond casino, the fact that real money can be used to buy chips caused several countries to put the game in the same category as online slots websites and therefore issued it with an outright ban. Rockstar is unlikely to include a similar feature in GTA 6 for this exact reason - although knowing their sense of humor, it wouldn't be a total surprise to include a whole range of integrated online slots just to provoke further controversy and attract more publicity.
In the absence of any solid news to report about a GTA 6 release date - or even any good hints on what we might expect to see from the game - rumors continue to circulate even in mainstream publications. Some 'in the know' websites insist that despite all the official denials, December 2020 will see the game launched. These same websites say that the action in the sixth installment will be split across two different locations - a return to Vice City, and a fictional version of Brazil's Rio de Janeiro. British tabloid newspaper the Daily Star recently outlined all the reasons that they believe the franchise might be returning to London, and they made a compelling case.
Grand Theft Auto did indeed have a London version released in 1999 but set in the 1960s. Back then, Grand Theft Auto was a basic, top-down game that looked almost nothing like the games we see today, and a return to England's capital that took advantage of all the technological advances of the past twenty years would be a surefire hit with European players. American gamers might not be quite so enthused. Even back when the London version was released, it was more of a curiosity for British gamers than a 'proper' entry in the GTA series, and despite it technically being the second game in the GTA franchise, it isn't officially numbered as such. A further expansion pack provided a second 'London' gaming experience but similarly isn't considered to be part of the 'official' series.
While Dan Houser has ruled out a return to London in the past, Dan Houser is no longer working for Rockstar. It’s uncertain at this stage whether his departure happened too late to change the main focus of the next Grand Theft Auto game, or whether without Houser there the developers might now choose to go in a different direction. Given the amount of time that it takes to create a game the size of Grand Theft Auto (we’ve all heard the stories about what it took out of the company’s development staff to create the second ‘Red Dead Redemption’ game), we suspect the former is true. GTA 6 and its location was probably set in stone several years ago, and if it was, it’s probably reasonable to expect that all of the recent rumors are untrue, and Tokyo will turn out to be the location. That was, after all, the rumor that first circulated in 2016.
We hate to end an article about killing rumors with a discussion about another rumor, but that’s the way things are at the moment. Until Rockstar and Take-Two give us something more substantial to work with, rumors are all we have! We’re at least happy to clear up the suggestion that a launch date has been announced. When it finally does happen, you’ll hear about it right here on our website.