The gaming industry has long held its collective breath ever since Rockstar Games confirmed Grand Theft Auto 6 exists. As fans eagerly seek out crumbs of information about the next entry in the blockbuster franchise from Rockstar Games, a new leak from a reputable insider is causing a bit of a stir.
Be warned, this isn't the type of news fans were hoping for: it relates to GTA 6's online multiplayer component and potential issues that could carry over from the current GTA Online.
According to insider Tez2, who has a solid track record and frequently shares insights on the GTA forums, GTA 6, like GTA 5 before it, won't have dedicated servers. This implies that GTA Online's long-standing server issues, often the bane of players' experiences, could persist in the game.
This is in line with the stance that Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games' parent company, took a few years ago. At the time, Take-Two rejected the idea of adopting dedicated servers for the game.
This decision could have unintended consequences. As Tez2 notes, the current server setup streams explosive events from the closest player, which results in the infamous "explosion shenanigans." Although Rockstar could find a way to solve the problem by the time GTA 6 is out, the absence of dedicated servers is still a problem. As online play becomes a crucial component of the GTA experience, reliability and uptime are more crucial than ever.
GTA's historic commercial success makes it difficult for fans to wrap their heads around potential server issues in the game that Rockstar could solve just by spending more money. Take-Two most recently confirmed that GTA 5 had sold more than 180 million copies since launched in 2013. The game, which is still Rockstar's main profit generator, could easily cover the costs of dedicated servers But, then again, Rockstar isn't the only company that does this.
Bungie, the developers of Destiny and Destiny 2, has managed to maintain a relatively happy fanbase without using dedicated servers. Instead, the developers use a complicated networking system to help balance online play and make it an enjoyable experience for all that's involved.
If Rockstar can implement an equally effective system (or hire someone to make it happen), the lack of dedicated servers won't be a big problem.
GTA 6 is projected to come out anytime between April 2024 and March 2025 based on statements made by Take-Two's big boss, Strauss Zelnick. This gives Rockstar plenty of time to either find a solution to reduce server-related issues in GTA 6 or make the necessary financial adjustments and adopt dedicated servers.
While the prospect of continued servers problems in the sequel to GTA Online is disappointing, we'll still have to wait for official word from both Take-Two and Rockstar.