Everything We Know About GTA 6 - Release Date, Trailer, Setting, Characters And More


Grand Theft Auto 6 may not have been officially announced or confirmed yet, but we know it's coming. Official statements have acknowledged it without direct confirmation, credible sources have reported on its development - and even if we didn't have anything concrete like that, GTA 6 is inevitable.

We're talking about one of the biggest AAA franchises in the market, and considering the immense degree of success achieved by GTA 5 and GTA Online, no company would ever even dream of leaving the series without further entries.

As a result of that overwhelming success and popularity, GTA 6 is also one of the persistently hottest topics in the gaming world - and has been for years now. Pretty impressive for a game that doesn't officially exist, huh? With all these eyes turned towards GTA 6, the inevitable slew of leaks and rumors have followed - most fake, some possibly legitimate, and each more and more elaborate than the last.

The story of GTA 6 reaches back years, and can be tough to unravel. Here, we've complied one huge exhaustive resource of every rumor, leak and fact about the upcoming GTA 6 that we know. We're keeping it up to date too, so as new info comes to light, we'll add it to the list. Release date, trailers, screenshots, story details, characters and all the rumors, leaks and theories will be found here.

Stay up to date

New GTA 6 leaks and rumors seem to crop up almost every day (clickbait!), but most are not worth bothering with. We've put together a timeline of the most relevant and credible information as it came to light over the years, so you can stay on top of whatever is the latest scoop on the game.

  • 2021/05/21 - Leak: GTA 6 will be announced via Fortnite-style "live events" in GTA Online, according to a new set of leaks. Multiple events are planned, with marketing for GTA 6 continuing in-game after the initial announcement.
  • 2021/05/04 - Leak: GTA 6 still years from launch if another anonymous report is to be believed. 2023 is technically "years away" and is often thrown around, but nothing concrete is known - and the game is probably going to see some delays if you ask us.
  • 2021/02/08 - Leak: The most in-depth GTA 6 leak gets posted to 4Chan by an anonymous source claiming to be a developer at Rockstar. The info dump contained details about both GTA 6 and the Xbox Series X/S & PS5 native port of GTA 5. A large number of details about both games are seemingly revealed, including a confirmation of the Vice City setting, a storyline set in the past - mainly the 80's - with at least two protagonists across two timelines, and more. This seems to be the most legitimate-looking GTA 6 leak to date, but some of the alleged features seem like potential red flags. If nothing else, the persistence of the Vice City rumor give it some credibility.
  • 2021/01/06 - Rumor: What is believed to be an easter egg in the GTA Online DLC "The Cayo Perico Heist" is considered by many fans to be a hint that GTA 6 will be set in Vice City. This theory lines up with most leaks, as almost every rumor reported notes Vice City as well.
  • 2021/01/04 - Rumor: An alleged insider report posted online apparently reveals the existence of a cancelled sequel to Bully - the project was scuttled to shift resources to GTA 6. This narrative is in stark contrast to the previous theory of the project being deemphasized.
  • 2020/06/08 - Update: Take-Two acknowledges the existence of GTA 6 for the first time as officials confirm that GTA Online's successful microtransaction business model won't affect the release of GTA 6. A common theory among the fandom has been that Take-Two is funneling resources into Online to live off Shark Card purchases and thus is putting off GTA 6.
  • 2020/05/29 - Update: Following the theories running rampant, Take-Two addresses SEC filing - it is unfortunately not related to GTA 6 at all. Sure, this doesn't rule out 2023, but we have nothing to base that claim on.
  • 2020/05/26 - Update: 2023 implicated as possible launch year for GTA 6 after Take-Two Interactive posts a SEC filing with immense expenditures for that year. Fans assume this is for the marketing of GTA 6.
  • 2020/04/16 - Leak: Frequent source of credible video game leaks Kotaku posts a report indicating that GTA 6 has been in development for years, and will be a less ambitious project than GTA 5 was in order to minimize crunch.
  • 2020/03/01 - Update: New artwork is posted on the Rockstar Games website as background for various pages. It quickly becomes clear that the art is not related to GTA 6, but fans thought so nonetheless.
  • 2020/02/03 - Rumor: The protagonist of GTA 6 allegedly may have been present in the franchise since GTA 4, and has had minor references dropped throughout GTA 5 and Online - however, later leaks do not seem to corroborate this, and some contradict it.

Release Date

The million dollar question - release dates have always been fickle things, but after more than a year of just about every major launch getting one or more delays, we've learned just how mutable they really are. Since as of this writing, GTA 6 isn't even officially confirmed or announced, expecting anything along the lines of a concrete release date would be outright lunacy.

As such, the main area of speculation regarding the launch window of GTA 6 focuses on the year. This is also a tricky business - GTA 5 launched in 2013, and speculation about a sequel flared practically instantly. With rumors, leaks, and hype for GTA 6 being hot for around 8 years now, some of the years that have been pegged as a release window have actually passed us by already. One of the most popular takes was GTA 6 launching alongside the Xbox Series S/X and PS5 - rather funny, in retrospect.

While many theories are optimistic, those leaks that peg GTA 6 as being years away seem the most likely. 2023 is often touted as a likely release year despite Take-Two debunking any relation between their immense marketing expenses reported to the SEC. Some estimates predict the game will launch even later.

Best keep playing GTA Online - 6 is still a long way away

On the one hand, significantly more time has already passed since the launch of GTA 5, compared to the five years in between it and GTA 4 - so any correlation to that is already out the window. Now, GTA 5 was announced in 2011, two years before its eventual release, though there were some delays along the way. Considering the state of the industry and the scope of the project, saying that the game's first release date will be a year from announcement, plus one year of delays still seems awfully optimistic - but let's roll with it for now.

This means that GTA 6 would likely launch 2 years after it would be announced. Even if the game would be revealed literally tomorrow, that would mean a summer 2023 launch date. We'd hedge out bets on 2024 as the most likely release year for GTA 6. The moment anything more concrete comes to light, we'll be adding it to this section.

Word of warning: it really shouldn't fool anyone this prematurely, but even in the future if you ever see any sort of "GTA 6 beta test" offer steer clear - it's a guaranteed hoax, and one that phishing sites and scammers tried using back before the launch of GTA 5 as well. Rockstar simply doesn't roll like that.

Trailer

This is where we'd put our GTA 6 trailer - if we had one!

It should come as no surprise that an unannounced game has no trailer yet, but that doesn't stop hordes of hungry and impatient fans from somehow keeping it one of the most consistently searched terms on video hosting sites. We'd also wager that it's a bit early for one to leak, no matter how much of a holy grail it would be.

GTA 5 has a very expansive video creator built into the game known as Director Mode, and many enterprising fans have created custom "trailer" videos of how they personally envision a sequel, but none of these are official in any capacity.

Story

Many different tales about what the GTA 6 plot will look like have been spun by leakers, with some wildly different takes out there. "Official" leak sources that usually have real, legitimate scoops - looking at you, Jason Schreier - haven't said anything on the matter, but some shared patterns have emerged among reports and rumors that seem to be our best bet.

As of this writing, the most likely leaked scenario involves a mafia storyline spanning the 70's and 80's. The latter decade will be the main timeline, while the 70's will appear as flashbacks. Some characters from previous GTA games set in these decades will make returns and cameos, but what the overall plotline will be is anyone's guess. Expect the typical satirical and social themes that we've come to expect from the series, however.

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Setting

It's probably almost certainly definitely Vice City. Maybe.

Now, the usual "if it isn't official news then take it with a grain of salt" disclaimer applies, but this seems to be the one thing everyone agrees on. Leakers, insiders, theorists and fans all pegged Vice City as the setting of GTA 6, with an appropriate new-generation rework like what Los Santos saw in GTA 5 compared to San Andreas.

Itching to return to Vice City?

Rumors and leaks have indicated that a return to Vice City is on the menu for the franchise years ago already, but more recently players have been finding what they believe are hints and easter eggs in GTA online that also point to the fictionalized version of Miami.

If the leaks end up panning out, we'll be treated to two different versions of Vice City, too - one set during the 80's, and another seen during brief flashbacks depicting the face of the city as it was during the 70's.

Characters

The question of who will be the protagonist/s of GTA 6 has been one of the biggest questions on the mind of fans ever since the speculation and the leaks started popping off. For years, sites kept parroting a dual-protagonist setup pulling major Hollywood talent with Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendez lending voices and likenesses to the characters - but this stuck out as clickbait even back then. Rockstar Games doesn't like tapping huge names - other than for the occasional cameo - as this works against the protagonists being relatable to the audience.

GTA 5 featured three protagonists concurrently.

Leaks and rumors have mostly come to align on the assumption that the three-protagonist system seen in GTA 5 is being abandoned. Even if there does end up being more playable characters in the game, you won't be freely popping from one over to the other whenever you wish. At one point a three-protagonist leak did appear and even went into some detail - the characters would have been Walther Wallace, a smuggler called Thomas Branigan with a custom plane called The Raven, and Marcus Burke - but this was soon proven to be a hoax.

The current, most likely scenario, paints a two-protagonist game where players will control one of them for the vast majority of the game, while briefly taking control of the main character's father during flashback sequences that are restricted compared to regular open-world gameplay.

As any official news sheds light on what kind of characters to expect, we'll update this section.

GTA 6 VR?

Several fan-made VR modes for GTA 5 exist already, but nothing official - however, this is allegedly set to change soon. Leaks suggest that GTA 5 Enhanced & Expanded, the name of the upcoming native port of Xbox Series X/S and PS5 will include native VR support. While this is unconfirmed as of yet, recent forays into VR by the devs as seen in L. A. Noire VR Case Files, it is definitely plausible.

Right now VR is only made possible in GTA 5 with mods.

While VR is still struggling to break out of its rather narrow niche as hardware remains expensive, strides are definitely being made with more portable headsets like the Oculus Quest, and opening up accessibility to console users as seen with PSVR. Who knows where the technology will be in 2-3 years?

We're definitely confident that having native VR support baked into GTA 6 is plausible.

Features

One of the most important implications about GTA 6's features are not related to what it will have, but rather to what it won't - that is, a multiplayer mode. The massive and unprecedented success of GTA Online might make you confused by this prospect, but that success is actually the reason for this.

The main way GTA Online has been making money for Rockstar Games is via microtransactions, and the best way to boost microtransaction sales is to boost your player base. As a result, GTA Online will be going standalone later this year when the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S ports of GTA 5 launch, meaning people will no longer have to buy the game to play Online.

Going standalone will very likely boost the player base of GTA Online further, and drastically increase the game's longevity. We'll likely be driving, running and gunning through the virtual streets of Los Santos for many years to come, and it isn't likely that Online will die anytime before the launch of GTA 6.

Rockstar Games would be a fool to pit one of their products against another as a competitor, thus releasing any sort of GTA Online-alike with GTA 6 wouldn't be a prudent move. The smart move would be to allow GTA Online to keep doing its thing while focusing on the single player experience with GTA 6.

The company has the same idea apparently, as according to a Kotaku report the GTA 6 project is much smaller in scale from a workload perspective than the gargantuan GTA 5 was. This is mainly to avoid crunch, which the company is committed to doing. Crunch culture in the industry is a huge problem, and both GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 were major offenders, so Rockstar is trying to solve the issue with this approach.

We also expect GTA 6 to take a more grounded approach in both its story and its gameplay than GTA 5 did. The series has always been humorous, whimsical, exaggerated and over-the-top, but the last entry cranked things up way past anything seen in previous games - and then Online took it a thousand miles further with orbital lasers, submarine cars and flying motorcycles which fire homing missiles.

Don't expect this sort of thing.

With all the insane stunt races and increasingly bombastic opportunities for crime needed to keep hype up around a live service game, GTA Online has arguable drifted away from the roots of the franchise, and GTA 6 seems like the perfect chance for recentering. If the leaks about a 70's-80's setting end up being real, then that already limits the possibility of outlandishly futuristic tech being introduced.

This will also leave its mark on the gameplay. We expect things to tend towards the style seen in GTA 4 moreso than that of GTA 5. The weapons available in this era will also reflect a different approach to combat - no laser guns this time around!

Something we're certain will be featured in GTA 6 are cheats. Cheats have always been a part of the GTA franchise, and as the games evolved the cheats did too - they went from being mere shortcuts that alleviate difficulty to becoming ways to alter the gameplay at your leisure with features and mechanics that didn't fit the 'traditional' design of the game. Cheats really took off in the 3D era, but have a strong presence in GTA 4 and 5 as well. We all have fond memories of passing a worn and scrunched up hand-written cheat sheet for San Andreas around to our friends during recess in school.

Many features don't really need insider knowledge to predict - open world, car jacking, light RPG elements, outfit options, a weapon wheel and so forth. Whenever particularly juicy gameplay features leak or are revealed, we'll make sure to update this section appropriately.

Trivia

With something as major and popular as GTA 6, the slightest pieces of miscellaneous information could be important. This is where we've collected all the rumors, leaks and facts that don't quite fit into any of the other categories.

  • The game is projected to launch on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
  • Franklin Clinton voice actor Shawn Fonteno trolled fans on Instagram with fake GTA 6 hints and references for years, often conspiring with fellow voice actors in doing so. He stopped in recent years.
  • Christopher Bellard, voice actor of CJ in San Andreas, has personal beef with Rockstar and vocally stated that he has no intention of being involved with any GTA games in the future. It isn't clear what caused the falling out, but Bellard took potshots at Rockstar via Twitter in the past.
  • The voice of Cris Fromage in GTA 4 and GTA 5 is hoping to reprise the role in future games, but is not currently involved with any.
  • Lazlow Jones, real-world writer and producer at Rockstar Games and in-game DJ and radio personality who has been a staple of the franchise may not appear in GTA 6, as he is no longer working at Rockstar. Sure, this doesn't mean he can't take on a voice acting role for a cameo, but it isn't the foregone conclusion it was before.
  • GTA 6 has been in some form of development for years, with some sources claiming that initial pre-production could have begun as early as 2012. Current and former employees have routinely posted resumes with the project listed on it - before quickly taking it down after it made the news - stretching back at least that long.

Stay tuned for any and all GTA 6 news right here on Xfire!

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. When not writing, editing or playing, you can find Aron on Facebook.