Pre-orders have gone live for GTA6, pre-order now with Kinguin
Game key retailer Kinguin has already started taking preorders for Grand Theft Auto 6, letting eager customers lock in the preorder price today.
We know very little about Grand Theft Auto 6 at this point, with notoriously secretive developer Rockstar currently busy working away on the next entry in their blockbuster open-world crime simulator, but there are some early hints about what we might be able to expect from Grand Theft Auto 6.
Grand Theft Auto 5 has been a mighty cash cow for Rockstar over the last decade and with over 100 million copies of GTA 5 selling worldwide. It originally launched back in 2013 for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, before getting an updated release on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Rockstar will indeed also be releasing a further updated version of Grand Theft Auto 5 for the Xbox Series S and X, and Playstation 5, making it one of the first ever games of this scale to launch across three consecutive console generations.
Despite Rockstar working on Grand Theft Auto 6 today, Grand Theft Auto 5 is showing no signs of slowing down, still regularly appearing in the NPD charts for best selling video games in the US.
A big part of GTA5’s sustained appeal has been the constantly updated GTA Online mode. This wasn’t the first time the series has had some kind of multiplayer, with GTA4 having introduced basic cooperative and versus multiplayer, but giving players a massive sandbox to play in, and then constantly adding new content, missions, and modes of play, they’ve been able to sustain a huge audience that keeps coming back to the game even after the credits have rolled. Rockstar has not confirmed that Grand Theft Auto 6 will have online multiplayer, but we’d be extremely surprised this isn’t a big part of GTA6, in fact, it’s perhaps likely that they will put increased emphasis on the multiplayer mode of GTA6, considering how pivotal GTA Online has been to GTA5’s prolonged success, and how successful the sales of in-game currency have been.
GTA fans have already been waiting a considerable amount of time for the next release, and it isn’t that surprising considering how well GTA5 has been doing over the last six years.
Fans have been waiting for news since the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, but they could be waiting sometime before Rockstar launches GTA 6 with constant delays on news being a frequent occurrence.
Taking Red Dead Redemption 2 as an example, this game title saw an eight-year gap between both releases leading some to believe that autumn of 2020 could be when we see the all-new GTA 6.
Despite this information, Rockstar isn’t held to release in patterns and with no announcements in 2019, we think the game could come out even as a late as 2021!
Kinguin are taking pre-orders today, but it’s unlikely that they know better than anyone else the precise release date or price for the game. Still, by pre-ordering today, you’ll be locking in the price ahead of time, and who knows what price Rockstar will set for GTA6 between now and release. We’ve already seen other games from Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive increase to $70 in the case of their latest NBA2k game, and they’ve said that precise game pricing will vary on a “Game by Game basis”, but as perhaps their most hotly demanded game, we would not be surprised one bit if GTA6 was another game that they decide to increase the price on.
Rumors always surface before the announcement of a new GTA game, and it is always on where the game will be set.
One of the more exciting rumors was the game being set across America as a whole – that’s right all states in one game! A game that includes the whole of the USA could suit every GTA fan as Los Santos, San Andreas, Liberty City, and Miami would surely feature.
There is always talk of a British themed map with London often taking the bookies favorites if it was to feature. This rumor never seems to be more than just that even though the game was originally created in bonnie wee Scotland.
My personal favorite rumored map is the chance of going back to Vice City. I can’t imagine what an updated version of that glorious game would look like, but with the added rumors of missions to South America, I am eager to see!
Other rumors include the possibility of multiple protagonists, but like most of these rumors, we just have to wait and see for the release of more information from Rockstar themselves. The only thing we can pretty much be certain of is the fact this game won’t be released until late next year as a minimum.
Rockstar has always pushed the envelope for open-world graphics and complexity, all of the GTA games have been reasonably demanding for computers at the time of release, and GTA6 is likely to follow this trend. If they’re going to be increasing the size and scope of the world for GTA6, building more complex physics interactions and simulations, utilizing cutting edge visual effects like ray tracing, and using speedy solid-state drives to minimize load times, you’re going to want a high-performance gaming PC to experience GTA6 as intended.
You’ll at the very least want to consider a new GPU if you want to explore the world of GTA6 with the highest visual fidelity possible. At the very least, you’ll want to optimize Windows 10 to get the optimal gaming performance out of your existing hardware.
If we look at the schedule of the release for the mainline GTA games, particularly looking at the 3D era since the release of GTA3, the timeline looks like this:
The trend here is clearly that as the series progresses, Rockstar is spending more and more time on each entry. There could be a variety of reasons for this. One would simply be that the series has increased in sales with each entry, making an increased development schedule and budget more viable as the series progresses. There’s also the fact that GTA3, Vice City, and San Andreas were all initially released for the same system, the Sony Playstation 2. Whilst there were some significant iterative improvements with each of these entries, they didn’t start again from scratch or wait until more powerful hardware was available. Whereas subsequent entries were much more significant upgrades compared to previous versions, with both GTA4 and GTA 5 being major upgrades requiring massively reworked technical underpinnings. Finally, with the PS2 trilogy of games, once the game was completed, they for the most part moved on to the next project straight away. Whilst they did have some staff work on bringing those games to other platforms, there were no new post-release content or expansion packs. GTA however had two expansions in the form of The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, and GTA 5 has had major updates like the first-person mode added for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions, and the constant flow of new weapons, vehicles, missions and other content to GTA Online.
All these factors lead us to believe that the gap between the initial release of GTA5 and GTA6 will be the biggest gap the series has seen between entries to date. Rockstar has put out games like Red Dead Redemption 2, L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files, and the mobile port of Bully, but it’s the Edinborough based Rockstar North that leads the development on the Grand Theft Auto series, whereas other Rockstar releases in the interim have been handled by separate teams.
The question does remain of what systems GTA6 will target. With new systems from Sony and Microsoft representing a significant step up in processing power and hard drive speed, Rockstar could be tempted to focus primarily on these new consoles and high-end PC systems, to push the technology underpinning the game further than possible if they were working within the confines of the technical limitations of last generation consoles. The flip side is that the install base on the older consoles is still absolutely huge, and it’s going to be many years until the PS5 and Xbox Series S and X can achieve the same kind of userbase. GTA is a sales juggernaut, but releasing for consoles that are still only in the hands of early adopters would potentially seriously limit the sales potential of a new Grand Theft Auto. These kinds of decisions have a lot of complicated factors to take into account, and either approach involved some kind of compromise, so we’re interested to see which direction Rockstar goes in.
Rockstar is infamously a game developer that does things their own way, and they know that whatever release date or strategy they take, players will show up for a new GTA no matter what.
Be sure to check out our guide to all of the GTA games in order if you want to revisit the earlier entries in the series.
We know precious little about what is going on behind the scenes at Rockstar North, or exactly how far along progress is on developing GTA6.
There was this report from Kotaku earlier in the year, primarily focussing on working conditions and staff practises at Rockstar. The report highlighted improvements that Rockstar have made to better take care of their staff, to avoid excessive periods of crunch as game release dates approach, and to give their staff a better work/life balance. This change in management approach is also possibly going to change the nature of how Rockstar approach releases for games like GTA6:
“One plan that management has laid out for the next game, a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series, is to start out with a moderately sized release (which, by Rockstar’s standards, would still be a large game) that is then expanded with regular updates over time, which may help mitigate stress and crunch.
But there’s a catch: Rockstar’s next big project is still early in development. When production ramps up and the game gets closer to launching, will overtime come with it? Will Rockstar’s employees then face the pressure of months of crunch in order to finish all of the ambitious work it takes to make a Rockstar game? “The changes have been good enough for me to stay and give them a chance but let’s see what happens down the road when the pressures of delivering a final product become reality,” said one developer.””
We could perhaps see Rockstar adopting some version of the early access model for GTA. It’s hard to imagine exactly how they would schedule that out. Could they perhaps launch with one set of locations, and put out free updates that expand the world on a regular basis? Could they perhaps first release a multiplayer version of GTA6, later updating it with a traditional single player narrative campaign? Any of these approaches would potentially suit the series, and as long as the day one version of the game was still a compelling and reasonably expansive experience, it’s likely that players would happily jump in even to a partially finished game. This would be a radical departure from the traditional mode that Rockstar have used for GTA in the past, but it’s certainly not impossible to imagine. We all want to play GTA as soon as possible, but it’s going to be easier to enjoy if we know that Rockstar have altered their approach to organisational management to better take care of their staff.
Beyond, and perhaps even related to, these structural changes, we’ve also seen some high profile personnel changes at Rockstar. Key figures from Rockstar have left the studio, including the departure of Rockstar founder Dan Houser, producer on every mainline GTA since GTA3, Leslie Benzies, and writer and voice of Radio DJ Lazlow Jones, Jeffrey Crawford Jones. Whether these individuals simply felt it was time to move on, whether their working style wasn’t compatible for the change in company culture Rockstar had embarked on, we don’t really know for sure. There’s still plenty of other staff from earlier games at the studio, and these departures have potentially paved the way for fresh blood to take control of the series. It’s going to be interesting to see how these personnel changes impact the end product.
The biggest question circulating around the release of a new GTA game is where is it going to be set? To date, the mainline GTA games have regularly cycled between several different fictional cities in the US. The very first GTA featured Liberty City, San Andreas, and Vice City, cities that the series has regularly returned to. These are exaggerated caricatures of New York City, San Francisco, and Miami respectively. Beyond these main settings, the series has also dabbled with a version of London, Los Santos (which is based on Los Angeles), and the entirely fictional “Anywhere City”.
There’s always lots of rumors and speculation as to which setting the next GTA will use, and GTA6 is no exception. The last two mainline entries in the series have used San Andreas (GTA5) and Liberty City (GTA4), so there is perhaps some logic to suggest that the next game could be returning to Vice City, but Rockstar doesn’t really operate on any kind of predictable schedule like that.
Perhaps Rockstar couldn’t resist the beautiful coincidence of the Romal Numeral for 6 being VI, and having GTA VI function as a reboot of Vice City. I can picture a title screen or a trailer with GTA VI appearing on screen, only to have the rest of the letters for VICE CITY appearing in neon.
Alternatively, there’s the chance that they could go back to the series roots, and like the original GTA, offer a selection of cities, where some kind of version of Liberty City, San Andreas, and Vice City would all appear in one game. This seems like it would be an absolutely massive undertaking, especially at the level of scale and detail we expect from Rockstar these days, but maybe they’re crazy enough to try it.
There’s also no guarantee that Rockstar will use one of the cities that they’ve previously based GTA games around. There’s nothing to stop Rockstar exploring settings outside of North America, or perhaps creating a new fictional city that is an amalgamation of multiple real-world metropolises. Or perhaps we could see Rockstar build the first 3D incarnation of a GTA version of London.
GTA has explored a variety of different time periods throughout the years, and has itself been around for over 20 years. We’ve seen them stick to a roughly present day setting, explore near-future timelines, and explore period settings.
There was GTA Vice City which used a 1980s setting, and is beloved for it’s fashion, cars and music from that time period. GTA: Vice City came out back in 2002, and 2002 itself would now be an appropriately retro period setting.
It’s anyone’s guess exactly what approach Rockstar will take. With everything that’s going on in the world today, they might think that returning to a period setting might be what the world needs now. 90s nostalgia is at its peak, and early 2000s nostalgia is starting to set in too. Maybe Rockstar would find inspiration in that kind of time period.