The anticipation for Grand Theft Auto 6 is at an all-time high a year after being "officially" announced and subsequently leaked online. Desperate fans are scavenging the internet for any sliver of news, legitimate or otherwise, about the next entry in the best-selling franchise.
But recently, a peculiar rumor has taken the GTA community by storm: Joe Rogan, the renowned podcast host and former UFC commentator, might be featured in GTA 6 through episodes of his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.
The rumor started with a report from Audioviser, citing a reliable source close to Rockstar Games. While official details remain undisclosed, the rumor suggests that players may get to tune into a dedicated JRE radio station while cruising through the game's sandbox world.
Incorporating real-world elements like the Joe Rogan Experience aims to offer a more immersive experience. But let's be real, the GTA series isn't exactly a beacon of realism. Known for its parodies and satire, GTA has often poked fun at various aspects of American life, from politicians to celebrities. Notable past instances include the franchise's take on popular US cities like Los Santos and Vice City, mirroring Los Angeles and Miami respectively, and the Dr. Dre cameo as part of The Contract DLC for GTA Online. Dr. Dre's appearance might have been a precursor to a more celebrity-studded GTA universe, but adding Joe Rogan to the mix is a different ball game.
For one, GTA is a largely progressive, left-leaning experience, notorious for lampooning conservative movements in its in-game radio stations and plotlines. Joe Rogan's inclusion, unless satirized or self-deprecating, seems off-brand for the series. Besides, Joe Rogan himself has been notably distant from the gaming industry. While he isn't a billionaire, Rogan is doing very well for himself, and his sour experience with video game voice acting (he didn't enjoy doing multiple takes for UFC commentary), makes it hard to see him venturing back into this sphere just to lend his voice to a crime simulator.
Then again, weirder things have happened in the past. Death Stranding and its bevvy of cameos is an example of out-of-left-field celebrity working out if done right.
The prospect of blending the real and the virtual is thrilling and very in line with GTA. Since GTA 6 is set in the modern times, what better way to "upgrade" the immersion by featuring podcasts on top of radio stations. A satirized version of Joe Rogan's podcast featuring bizarre conspiracy theories would be a perfect GTA addition. That's more like GTA's style, right? Lampooning American absurdities rather than embracing them wholesale? You can only imagine how funny it would be listening to this podcast as you drive through what we can only presume is a modern-day version of Vice City.
Unfortunately, similar to many other GTA 6 leaks, it's difficult if impossible to verify its authenticity. Distinguishing truth from fabrication becomes a precarious endeavor as far as GTA 6 is concerned. And let's not forget the franchise's history of elaborate hoaxes and leaks. So, as with all things GTA 6, this rumor should be taken with a grain of salt. At this point, we can file this away as another intriguing possibility.
In the end, whether or not we'll hear Joe Rogan's voice dissecting everything from neuroscience to the Bigfoot while we embark on high-speed chases remains to be seen. But one thing's for sure: the next GTA game, even in the absence of any official confirmation, continues to be a magnet for some of the most outlandish, fascinating, and polarizing discussions.
In a way, GTA 6 is already providing the quintessential GTA experience, even if it's not out yet.