Analyst claims GTA 6 will be 500 hours long; features multiple continents

Yet another reputable sources throws their hat into the ring with contradictory GTA 6 leaks. What is real, what isn't? You decide (for now).

Now that Grand Theft Auto 5 and Online have been natively released on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 with Expanded & Enhanced, and GTA Online split off allowing it to live on even if the main series moves forward, it's high time for the era of GTA 6 speculation to ramp up again in earnest.

Of course, it's been going pretty strong for years already, but that's just how this fandom is. Rockstar Games' recent, first-ever official acknowledgement of the upcoming title also added fuel to the fire, and now a report from an acclaimed industry analyst joins a long list of leaks and predictions that are already circulating about the game.

Anyone who follows industry news and leaks or reports about upcoming titles will be familiar with the name Michael Pachter. The well known industry analyst has been in the business for years, and is generally considered a reputable source - but even so, you still shouldn't take all of this info at face value. It might be accurate now, however things may change by the time GTA 6 actually launches.

According to Pachter's latest reports, GTA 6 - or whatever it will be called - is going to be a massive title and has been under development since 2014, with pre-production wrapping in 2015 when actual code started being put to the screen. Even so, Pachter estimates that a project of this scope would take 10 "or more" years to finish up.

GTA 5 is already pretty huge, but 8 years of content drops have made the map seem almost a little claustrophobic.

This seems to be in contradiction with some statements from developers about how the next release will be of smaller scope, in order to combat prevalent crunch in at the company that was the subject of an investigative exposé covering the development of GTA 5 and RDR2. Since GTA Online is still exceedingly popular and now standalone, GTA 6 can also drop multiplayer entirely, which would further ease off on development time. We'll have to wait and see how things turn out.

If Pachter's reports are accurate, then the next GTA title will outstrip all previous Rockstar games in scope and size, while also rivalling some of the biggest extant games on the market. The analyst estimates that completing GTA 6 will take 400-500 hours. While many game companies like touting long playtimes as a selling point - suggesting that you get more value for your money - it can also seem exceedingly exhausting and daunting for gamers with jobs, or families, or other hobbies, or all of the above.

Another long-standing question fans have about the next entry in the series regards the setting and map. One of the most often repeated and seemingly most reputable leaks consistently suggest that the game will primarily take place in Vice City, with some brief flashback sections set in Liberty City a decade earlier. Pachter on the other hand states that the game will revolve around playing the role of a drug mule between Los Santos (the fictional stand-in for Los Angeles) and London, while passing through the port of Vice City (the fictional stand-in for Miami).

Bigger isn't always better, and it is up to the developers to actually fill it with worthwhile content - something AAA open world titles don't always nail.

London is an interesting prospect, since the GTA series has visited it in the past, albeit only for the course of a 2D era spin-off title called, fittingly, GTA: London. The franchise has gone through a lot of changes since then, such as replacing real-life locations with fictionalized stand-ins, but given the actual city's appearance before might lead Rockstar to reuse it without renaming it to, we don't know, "Lawton" or whatever.

This latest scoop on what GTA 6 may or may not be like jumps into a ring that's already packed with heavyweights throwing track records of legitimate leaks around aplenty, with several reputable sources claiming contradictory things. Pachter's analysis is different yet again from any previously leaked speculation, and at this point too many 'legit' seeming leaks are saying too many different things to properly weed out what could be true and what is hogwash.

Most reliable estimates still imply GTA 6 is years away.

This, undoubtedly, suits Rockstar Games just fine. Leaks have increasingly become standard fare in the video game industry, and it is thoroughly surprising that a game this popular, with a fanbase this ravenous for information, has remained so successfully under wraps - or at least, even if one of the leaks is correct, we have no way of knowing. We wouldn't be surprised if Rockstar themselves are behind disseminating false info to reputable sources in order to muddy the water.

In any case, we'll probably have to wait and see - at this rate a new "reputable" source will wheel out a fresh new GTA 6 leak every couple of months or so, and at this point even including gameplay footage isn't a surefire way to say if something is real.

We'll find out what's true and what isn't when GTA 6 is actually launched, whenever that will be - but it's almost certainly a few years away, accounting for delays and all.

Aron Gerencser
Gaming at least as long as he's been walking, Aron is a fan of all things sci-fi and lover of RPGs. Having written about games for years, he's right at home reporting most of the breaking news in the industry and covering the happenings of the e-sports world. Graduating summa cum laude from Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi with a BA in Media Production, Aron has been a game journalist since 2014. When not writing, editing or playing, Aron is building models which you can find on Instagram.
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