GTA 6 - Release date speculation, map location rumours, and everything we know so far

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Image of a mock-up of the GTA 6 logo.
December 1, 2022: Players have been talking about what they do and don't want to see from GTA 6.

The rumours surrounding GTA 6 are growing even stronger with the arrival of the next generation of consoles. It might be the most anticipated title in history, despite not having been announced yet. So many fans around the world are dying to see what's next for Grand Theft Auto - are we staying in the US or heading back to London? Could we finally get to visit Japan?

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GTA Online is keeping us more than occupied, for now, as it re-releases for the third time on PS5 and Xbox Series X; but there is no doubt players are longing for the next instalment. After such a long time, we've heard that the GTA 6 story has been finished - but there is no news on a release date yet. We know Rockstar likes to take their time. The GTA 6 Map is also subject to the biggest speculation as more and more clues hint at a return to Vice City.

So what do we know about GTA 6's impending release date and new features? Keep reading for everything you need to know. In the meantime, feel free to read up on the latest GTA Online weekly update. For some other game recommendations, check out the best free shooting games, and the best free action games.

GTA 6 latest news

October 6, 2022 -

Over on Reddit, players have been talking about whether they'd like co-op to be part of the GTA 6 campaign, their desire for bowling to return as a way to play with friends, and whether the game should have a brand new online experience or not.

September 20, 2022 -

In some of the biggest gaming news of the year, a hacker managed to expose over 90 images and videos from Grand Theft Auto 6. The hacker reportedly gained access to Rockstar's servers, sharing huge doses of mid-development footage.

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The most significant is a brief look at a heist in action, not only confirming a return to Vice City in this game, but the long-rumoured female protagonist as well. It seems this character, who is yet to be named, works in tandem with a man in a Bonnie and Clyde-style criminal duo.

The leaks have now been wiped from the internet as Rockstar looks to crack down on the footage and preserve the mystique surrounding the game's reaction. As such, you won't be able to find it now. Instead, it's up to Rockstar to share any footage nice they're ready. This is what the studio had to say:

September 9, 2022 -

It seems like Rockstar is saying goodbye to GTA 5, having posted the credits for the game on their website. Hopefully that means GTA 6 is getting closer to a full reveal.

July 27, 2022 -

A new report from Bloomberg's Jason Schreier delves very deeply into how GTA 6 is shaping up. Firstly, we learn that one of the game's two dual protagonists is a Latina woman, with the pair inspired by Bonnie and Clyde.

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The game is codenamed Project Americas, and prior to rewrites was going to span vast swathes of North and South America. The map has been narrowed down since then, now reported to mirror modern-day Miami.

It is said to follow something of a live-service model, with new maps, areas, and missions added over time. Despite that it should still be huge at launch, reported containing more interior locations than any previous GTA title.

You can read the full article here.

Februry 21, 2022 -

We've only just seen this, but it's sure interesting. Could this be an exciting lead on a new GTA 6 actor or someone chasing clout? Let us know what you think...

February 14, 2022 -

So this is pretty insightful. There's currently a post on comicbook.com which suggests that notable Rockstar insider, TezFunz2, has suggested 'GTA 6 will be revealed this year'.

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In fact, that's not the case, but on the GTA Forums, Tez did provide a bit more perspective on when he thinks we might find out more info from Rockstar:

"My post was both an educated guess and based on an inside bit that Rockstar's internal deadline, months ago, was (or still is) a Fall 2023 release. Rockstar announces a new major title the year before the planned deadline.

GTAV & RDR2 had their debut trailer revealed a few days after announcement. If we are lucky, we could see the trailer this month. But Rockstar lately has only been making announcements prior to T2 earnings calls. Safe to say we could expect more updates in May."

So fingers crossed for some more 'official' info in the coming months.

February 4th, 2022 -

Rockstar Games has officially confirmed that it's working on the next Grand Theft Auto game, saying development is "well underway". It wasn't specifically named GTA 6, but here's part of Rockstar's official press release:

"With the unprecedented longevity of GTA V, we know many of you have been asking us about a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series. With every new project we embark on, our goal is always to significantly move beyond what we have previously delivered — and we are pleased to confirm that active development for the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series is well underway. We look forward to sharing more as soon as we are ready, so please stay tuned to the Rockstar Newswire for official details.
On behalf of our entire team, we thank you all for your support and cannot wait to step into the future with you!"
June 28, 2021 -

New rumours from Tom Henderson suggest a 2024/2025 release date is planned for Grand Theft Auto VI, citing how it'll feature two new protagonists and an evolving map. Check out the full story here.

June 8, 2021 -

A recent rumour from professional leaker Tom Henderson has suggested that GTA 6 could feature some sort of Bitcoin or Cryptocurrency feature integrated with the game.

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Henderson, known best for leaking info about Call of Duty and Battlefield, told his followers on Twitter:

"I heard recently that in GTA 6, some missions will reward you in bitcoin instead of cash for completing some missions. The stock market feature will return, with the addition of a broker for different cryptocurrencies. If GTA 6 incorporates this right, it's huge for crypto.
Just so there's no confusion, I mean in-game payments of bitcoin. These payments will come from the more higher up characters that needs to transfer high amounts of "untraceable cash and fast".
Just so there's even less confusion - I'm not joking. This is what I heard from a someone that I trust and it will likely not be called "Bitcoin" per se - But it will be a cryptocurrency. That being said - Always take info like this with a bit of salt :)"

For the time being, this is just a rumour, and as Tom says, take it with a pinch of salt (or a truck worth).

That being said, Tom Henderson has a good track record for leaks and based on his past history we've little to no reason not to at least give him the benefit of the doubt.

We can't wait to see whether this particular rumour has got any legs to it.

April 14, 2021 -

Netflix's French Twitter account tweeted that GTA 6 is coming soon in a seemingly innocuous joke, and the internet ran with it.

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The account promises it'll arrive “Between today and the end of the world, let’s see.”

Maybe someone should let them know April Fools was a while back?

April 13, 2021 -

Longtime industry insider Tom Henderson has poured cold water on the rumour of an eighties-themed GTA 6. Find out more here.

March 28, 2021 -

As noted by RockstarIntel.com, the developer's career website has recently started asking for candidates for several positions which suggest they're looking to tackle GTA Online's ongoing cheating problem.

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One such position for 'Associate Cheat Operations Analysis' involves "monitoring multiple sources of information to identify cheaters and online mods," as well as "taking appropriate action on that information".

Another role for a 'Senior Cheat Software Analyst' will also be responsible for "reverse engineering malicious code" and "supporting security/anti-cheat measures for the game client".

With any luck, GTA 6 could finally fix the longstanding issue with griefers and cheats.

March 19, 2021 -

You probably know Tom Henderson as a well-known industry insider and leaker, but more for his information on the Call of Duty franchise.

He has invariably been right on with his info on more than one occasion, but every now and then he'll reveal a few details outside of his normal Call of Duty comfort zone.

More recently, Henderson decided to address some of the known leaks about GTA 6, particularly those around 'Project Americas'.

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Henderson commented that "80%" of the GTA 6 'Project Americas' leaks so far are nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

Of course, this would suggest that at least some of the details have some credibility to them.

The question now is, based on all the leaks we've had, which ones are the 20% that we can trust?

Image of a woman being arrested in GTA 5.

When Will GTA 6 Release?

The game could launch anytime between 2023-2025 based on multiple conflicting rumours and some theory crafting based on the evidence we have at hand.

Job Advert Indicates Release Window

job advert, which was posted on recruitment website Monster, states that Rockstar Leeds are looking for an "Environment Artist".

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The listing also reads "Join our team to create next-generation worlds". Naturally, one would have to assume they are talking about Sony's PS5 and Xbox Series X.

The job spec requires that those who apply will be responsible for "creating and texturing environment assets for the biggest and best open-world environment in the industry".

Rockstar Leeds have been well known for their supporting work on the GTA PlayStation Portable titles such as Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Vice City Stories and Chinatown Wards.

They have also assisted Rockstar North with the development of GTA 5. It wouldn't be unreasonable to assume this role will work directly with the development of GTA 6, given the studio's history.

Marketing Budget Indicates 2023 Release

A marketing budget for publisher Take-Two may indicate that GTA 6 is set for a 2023/24 release (according to Venture Beat).

They intend to spend $89 million on marketing during the 12-month period ending 31st March 2024 - this is more than double the marketing budget for any other discal year over the next half-decade, according to the company's recent 10-K SEC filing.

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But, Take-Two has played down speculation about that the unusually high marketing commitments for the 2024 fiscal year being related to GTA 6 and is in fact due to external parties.

GTA 6 Could Take 4+ Years To Develop

Regardless, Shawn Fonteno aka Franklin has spoken to fans about GTA 6 and has asked players to be patient.

Lots of GTA fanatics are complaining about the lack of information on the new title and have been calling out Rockstar for "milking" GTA.

Shawn has explained that GTA 5 took 4 years to film and complete, meaning it's no easy task to get the job done, especially if the game is set to expand even further.

GTA 6 Could End Up Arriving In 2024/2025

However, leaker Tom Henderson suggest a 2024/2025 release date is planned for Grand Theft Auto VI, though this information is certainly liable to change.

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GTA 6 Development

Early Development Started Between 2012-2015

Recently, we received information that a new GTA game is in "early development". This contradicts a lot of what has been rumoured due to the 

GTA 6 has reportedly been in development since 2012 but wasn’t in the production line until the middle of 2015 - developed under the codename, PROJECT AMERICAS.

In a now-deleted Reddit post, Chris Liberty revealed via livestream that the next Grand Theft Auto game has been in pre-production since 2014.

Thanks to a recent TaxWatch UK report, a job listing was posted for a potential GTA 6 role at Rockstar Leeds, suggesting that it won't be long before Rockstar's official announcement.

Dan Houser Leaves Rockstar

Additionally, fans of the game who played the new Diamond Heist mode in GTA 5 delved deep into the rabbit hole and may have found more clues as to when GTA 6 will be released as well as a possible Vice City-esque setting.

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No official word has been released, but leaks have suggested its impending announcement as we continue to speculate what will be included.

Dan Houser's departure from the studio earlier this year will have no doubt hampered the development of GTA 6. He had written for Red Dead Redemption, Bully and Max Payne 3. He was also a significant part of the writing team on Red Dead Redemption 2.

According to Liberty93, the story for GTA 6 was completed before Dan Houser left. Often the script is the first thing to be finalised in a Rockstar game.

Motion Capture Finished?

Jorge Consejo's CV appears to indicate that Rockstar finished the motion capture and possibly the storyline in 2018; before Dan Houser left.

Rockstar Games have advertised positions for Game Testers since the start of June 2020, so the game could be in the later stages of development right now.

Image of a character robbing a store in GTA 5.
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GTA 6 Map

Vice City and Liberty City

A leak emerged a while ago from the GTAForums, where once again the notion of working across Vice City and Liberty City came up; focusing heavily on drug smuggling and Cartels across multiple time periods.

According to another leak, Vice City won't be the only Florida location we'll be heading to.

The leaker also stated that the map in the next GTA "is set to be the size of GTA V & RDR2 combined."

The game will supposedly take players on a short trip to another country, also at some point in the campaign, players will head to somewhere in Central America.

The locations that the game is rumoured to be set in are:

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  • Liberty City (Limited Area) 
  • Vice City (Main City) 
  • Rio de Neve, South America (Rio de Janeiro, Main City) 
  • The Republic of Castellano, South America (Mix of Bolivia and Colombia, Main City) 
  • Minor Cities 
  • People's Republic of del Castro, Central America (Fictional Central American island based on Panama and Cuba, Island) 
  • Mexico (Mexico, Limited Area)
  • Prologue: 1978 
  • Main Story: 1980s 
  • Epilogue: Present Day

Back To The 1980s?

While early rumours had suggested that the franchise could go back to the 1980s, a la Vice City, it appears that the game will be focused around the modern day.

Find out more here.

South America

As caught on Reddit, the latest teaser for GTA Online's next update has prominently highlighted South America.

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As it's the only such region to get the treatment, expectations are that we may very well be headed to the criminal underbelly of Columbia for the next instalment!

This sounds plausible as around Christmas time Rockstar employees, as well as YouTubers, were gifted badges that could indicate the location of the next GTA game - including Jamaica and Colombia.

Off the back of the recent "early development" rumours, GTA 6 is potentially going to feature a medium-sized map and expanded over time.

London

There are rumours that it could be set in London or returning to a familiar location in the USA. 

The last time a GTA title was based outside of the United States was all the way back in 1999, when it was actually set in London!

Since we, of course, have visited locations such as Vice City, Liberty City and Los Santos which are all based upon the three biggest cities in the States; Miami, New York, and Los Angeles. 

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So, is it time for Rockstar Games to go back overseas? London has been the home of numerous open-world games, Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Watch Dogs Legion is captivating the London scenery.

It appears to be a hot location to base a game in as of late, and with how well Rockstar can captivate a city this would be amazing to see!

Although on the surface it seems to be a good idea, Dan Houser, the ex-head writer at Rockstar Games said this to The Guardian

"GTA London was cool for the time,” he said, referring to the original Grand Theft Auto game. He continued, “But games were more limited then. These days I think we would love to set a game in the UK, set in London, whatever, but I don't know if it would be a GTA game.”

Rockstar leaks reveal setting

After a series of prolific leaks due to a hacker gaining access to Rockstar's servers, we know an awful lot more about GTA 6's setting. It's now confirmed to take place in the neon-inflected sunny Vice City, though in the present day rather than the 80s, as some rumours suggested.

There's also speculation that it could extend past just Vice City, expanding the parameters of the are and adding more towns and regions within. Given GTA 5's Los Santos was bigger than the original Vice City, Rockstar will need to up the ante to keep players exploring.

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Missions

It's likely more missions will feature in GTA 6 than any other game previous - here are the missions we want to see return:

  • The Paleto Score
  • Minor Turbulence
  • Friend Request
  • The Big Score
  • The Third Way

As of right now, it's hard to say what missions will be included.

Image of a man riding a speedboat in GTA 5.

New Features

GTA 6 will no doubt bring plenty of new features and although we've yet to hear much in the rumours, we've made a list of the features we want to see return:

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  • A huge map
  • Multiple storylines
  • Heist selection
  • Plenty of planes
  • Car customisation
  • Multiplayer
  • Wildlife
  • Side missions
  • Lots of weapons
  • Role-playing mod

GTA 6 Characters

CJ Not Returning

In a very angry fashion, the former voice actor for GTA: San Andreas character 'CJ' has confirmed he will not return for the next game.

This doesn't necessarily mean that CJ won't appear in some way in GTA 6 - but it's looking unlikely we'd see the same voice actor return, that's for sure.

Franklin, Michael And Trevor Returning?

So the question is - will we see the return of Franklin, Michael and Trevor? It's not out of the possibility as they are still alive in the canon ending of GTA 5.

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Female Lead

Alternatively, rumours and speculation of a female character taking up the leading role have started to catch on.

A July 2022 article from renowned games journo Jason Schreier gives more detail into one of GTA 6's protagonists. She is said to be a Latina woman, forming a partnership with the game's other protagonist in a similar vein to Bonnie and Clyde.

This was then confirmed following the big September 2022 Rockstar leak, though we don't have any more details including her name, or the identity of her partner.

gta 6 characters

Main Characters

The Sun, reported earlier in 2020 that GTA 6's characters have been revealed and the map will have a San Andreas style.

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An alleged former employee has revealed the names of main characters:

"They include a driver called Walther Wallace, a man named Thomas Branigan with a smuggling plane called "the Raven" and a drug dealer named Marcus Burke," reports The Sun.

The "former employee" also claimed, in their Reddit post, that the map will mirror that of San Andreas.

Given we've now seen direct game footage confirming the Vice City setting, this may be a rumour that's not worth paying attention to.

Cris Formage Wants GTA 6 Return

March 5, 2021 - Fred Melamed, perhaps better known as Cris Formage, the cult leader in both GTA 5 and GTA: San Andreas, has expressed an interest in reprising the role in GTA 6,

“I hope so,” Melamed told Inverse. “When you work for Rockstar, it's like making a big-budget feature film. It's almost like working for Marvel. They have a massive studio in New York. And you sign NDAs, they go on for like, oh, like a Bible, they're huge. And they swear you to secrecy.”

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“As to whether or not Cris Fromage will make another appearance, I don't know, but I'm certainly game,” he says.

Cameo Appearances

Who else could feature? GTA 6 is no doubt going to be a HUGE game and there are plenty of real-life people we would like to see make a cameo appearance including Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Lady Gaga, Donald Trump and more.

Cheats

The GTA franchise is known for its amazing cheats - but which ones will likely return?

Here are the cheats we want to see return:

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  • Lower wanted level
  • Drunk mode
  • Bang bang
  • Spawn buzzard attack helicopter
  • Slow motion

Read More: GTA 6 Release: Cheats That Should Be Included In Grand Theft Auto 6

Cars

So what cars will arrive in the new GTA game? Although we don't know this, here is a list of cars we want to see return:

  • The Adder
  • The Caddy
  • The Cheetah
  • The Police Buffalo
  • Rhino Tank

Of course, we'll have to wait and see what Rockstar decides to do with vehicles in GTA 6.

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gta 6 cars

Guns And Weapons

Weapons tend to make a reccuring appearance in GTA - here are some of the weapons we want to see return in GTA 6:

  • AP Pistol
  • Heavy Sniper
  • Mini Gun

Read More: GTA 6: Weapons That NEED To Return In Grand Theft Auto 6 

Soundtrack

A new Rockstar project has been teased for the Summer of 2020, many predicting to be GTA 6, thanks to the American hip hop group City Morgue.

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City Morgue teased on their Instagram story that they will be collaborating with Rockstar Games on an unnamed project in the Summer of 2020.

Mini-Games

Mini-games are a great way to pass the time in GTA - so what ones do we want to see return in GTA 6?

  • Hunting
  • Base Jumping
  • Racing

Read More: GTA 6 Missions: Mini-Games That Need To Return In Grand Theft Auto 6

Updated September 20, 2022 by Luke Hinton. Contributions by Christ Trout and James Wright.