Truth be told, there has never been a bigger gaming franchise than Grand Theft Auto (GTA).
After its massive hit with the GTA 5, we’re desperately waiting for the release of its next installment — GTA 6. But there are rumors that it may not come out any time before 3–4 years.
With GTA 5 still selling like hot dogs and the delay in the launch of it’s another big game, Red Dead Redemption 2, it can only become obvious that Rockstar seems in no hurry for GTA 6.
Let’s look more into it.
GTA 5 reports 90 million sales worldwide
GTA 5 was launched four years ago, and it is still burning rubbers. We’re not kidding!
It was an immediate hit after its release in 2013 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 by selling out 11 million units in its first 24 hours. It broke all the records by collecting $815.7 million in revenue. In fact, last year in the United States, GTA 5 became the all-time best-selling game in terms of both total sales and revenue. It surpassed the record of 90 million copies.
After the introduction of Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the gamers who upgraded their consoles had to pick up the second copy of GTA 5. And once again, it was leading on the charts of the best-selling game ever released in the United Kingdom.
In 2017, GTA 5 even managed to beat the newer hits like Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Horizon Zero Dawn with its sales record. Between May and November 2017, Rockstar sold over 5 million copies to American gamers. That means it rounds up to a lifetime total of 85 million copies. It’s more than every GTA III, Vice City, San Andreas, and GTA IV combined.
Even after five years of its release, it’s still doing well for its consumers. Why would Rockstar even bother about releasing a sequel?
Grand Theft Auto Online continues to delight with its regular updates
Grand Theft Auto Online or GTA Online is the online multiplayer world of GTA 5. And even after five years of its release, it shows no sign of going down.
It has the same map as GTA 5, but there’s so much more to do in the online version of San Andreas. With over 30 updates and expansions rolled out by Rockstar, it’s never-ending and always more to offer. For instance, players get a variety of new vehicles from southern San Andreas super autos, login unlocks, double rewards on business battles nightclub discounts, and much more. In short, GTA Online can keep its players hooked for years without them getting bored.
GTA Online has also managed to make a good amount of profit for the Rockstar. To buy new vehicles, pieces of jewelry, clothes, and more, you need to pay the GTA currency. They pay you well when you complete complex multiplayer heists with your friends. But that can take hours and sometimes if your friends aren’t available, you have to rely on random players to help finish these heists, which isn’t ideal.
Even then, you don’t have to worry about emptying your wallet as the game is well-balanced. And we can only imagine what the new and revamped GTA Online will look like until the updates come out.
Time is still a limited resource for the studio
We know how eagerly you were waiting for the Single-Player Downloadable Content (DLC) for GTA 5 to continue the adventures of Franklin, Trevor, and Michael in Southern San Andreas. But unfortunately, it never happened.
There were even speculations about how with the success of GTA Online, Rockstar Games decided to skip single-player content and only focus on GTA Online. Or the consumers thought that the Rockstar Games had no longer interest in single-player adds-on and story modes.
But that wasn’t the case. The developers already had enough on their plates to deal with. In an interview with IGN, Rockstar’s director of design Imran Sarwar said, “It was not really a conscious decision, it’s just what happened.”
Firstly, the developers had to spend a lot of time designing the three separate protagonists of the game. Of course, that left the players really content and designers exhausted. They also had to remaster and re-release the game for the upgraded consoles and the PCs — Xbox One and PlayStation 4 — which included many new missions and objects and a game-changing first-person mode.
Secondly, the growth of the GTA Online really took up most of their resources. They had to make sure that the Online really lived up to its full potential with the constant rollouts of updates and expansion.
Lastly, Rockstar Games moved on to create an entirely new game, and why not. After all, GTA isn’t the only franchise they have in their house. And you might already know that the new game was Red Dead Redemption 2.
It’s clearly visible that with so much resource at their disposal, time is still a constraint for them. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise if they are going to take their time with the release of GTA 6.
Red Dead Redemption 2 was delayed until oct’18
Just after the release of South Park: The Fractured but Whole, within the next couple of weeks Ubisoft launched the Assassin’s Creed: Origins too. They did that because those two were completely different games with non-identical concepts. Whereas in the case of Rockstar, who has been in the field of making games since the time you can’t even remember, they aren’t fools to make their own games compete against each other.
Aside from their settings, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto have a lot in common. For starters, the game allows their players to live out their criminal fantasies in the open-world. So releasing a new GTA right after the Red Dead Redemption would certainly cut into the latter’s profits. And we’re sure they wouldn’t want that.
The release of Red Dead Redemption 2, which was set to arrive in fall 2017, was delayed till Oct 2018. It has launched on consoles, and Red Dead Online has launched too. But there is still no news about Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC. However, Rockstar executives basically admitted as much themselves that there might be a little hinge in the rollouts of updates of GTA Online. They want to motivate the players to play Red Dead Redemption 2. Imran Sarwar even said that they want the players to divide time between two incredible worlds, but they will see how things progress.
We are yet to measure the success of Red Dead Redemption 2 since its launch. We believe that if in any way, it fails to capture the attention of its audiences for long, there are chances we might get to see GTA 6 sooner than later.
Other games like agent and bully are waiting in the timeline too
Described as the “the ultimate action game,” Rockstar announced Agent in July 2007. However, it took them until 2009 to announce more details in a Sony press conference. Rockstar revealed about its 1970’s Cold War setting; the international spy thriller which would supposedly take players on a paranoid expedition into the world of espionage, counter-intelligence, and political assassinations. It also said that it was working on an exclusive PlayStation 3 game, but at the present scenario, it looks a little outdated.
There was no mention of the pending project by Rockstar for long. And so naturally, fans started to believe that they abandoned the project. But apparently, in December 2016, Rockstar renewed the trademark for the game. In fact, on their website, you would also find a page that says “Agent, coming soon,” but nothing more than that.
And if that wasn’t enough, alleged screenshots of Agent game was also leaked online. It was of a snowy landscape with mountains and roads. At the same time, a few images of Bully 2 concept art were leaked as well. Well, that came as a bonus for the gamers.
Rockstar is a major developer, and they make big games. That means they need a lot of time and developers as well. You should know that over 1,000 developers work on Grand Theft Auto 5, and the Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies says that the company only focuses on one project at a time.
So with Bully on the queue and actively working on Red Dead Redemption 2 and Agent, they have a lot waiting in their pipeline. It looks like they don’t have many resources left for GTA 6 now, which means this might again push the release of GTA 6 a little farther.
There’s no confirmed news about the GTA 6 setting
Even before they start designing the mission and other things, they need to be clear of the location. In an interview, Rockstar’s Leslie Benzies went on to say location is what defines a mission. It’s possible that what you do in New York will be a lot different in Miami or LA.
Well, that makes sense. Without the cocaine-laced ’80s vibe of Miami in GTA 5 or the aura of the sun-soaked and smog-ridden city of Los Santos in GTA San Andreas, it may not give you the same feel. You might not witness an immigrant drama as real as anywhere other than Liberty City in GTA 4. For any game, the setting is equally important as the characters.
But nobody knows anything concrete about the setting of GTA 6 yet. In the past years, Rockstar staff were found taking a scouting trip to Tokyo. But they dropped the idea right away. There are reports that say that the initial development on GTA 6 might have begun, but the location of the next Grand Theft Auto has still not been decided.
According to a new report, GTA 6 may take place in two locations — Vice City and South America. Vice city is the Rockstar’s take on Miami and it may happen that a few missions will be in South America. There is news that the developers at Rockstar refer the game as Project Americas.
In addition to this, GTA 6 may include a female protagonist as one of its lead, for the first time. But nothing is for sure yet.
The release of GTA sequels is not an annual thing
If you look at the old records, not much time has passed since the release of GTA 5.
Unlike Call of Duty or Madden, GTA isn’t an annual franchise thing. You can argue that GTA 5 and San Andreas came just one and three years after GTA 3, respectively. However, you wouldn’t call it a full-fledged sequel. Those were just spin-offs, where you wouldn’t find much difference in their engine except for a few new missions. In fact, it’s the same with the mobile installments of Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories. They both use many of the same assets and maps as their console counterparts.
A full-fledged sequel takes a couple of times a decade to come out. It wasn’t before 2008 when GTA 4 finally came out after seven years of GTA 3’s 2001 debut. Yes, the fans literally had to wait for seven years. And then, they released GTA 5 in 2013 — again a five-year gap. The PC version of the game arrived much later, i.e. not before two years.
We doubt that there’s hardly any person out there who hasn’t tried GTA 5, given its sales record. And even after so many years, it seems like people have only played for a couple of years.
There is a chance that we might not see GTA 6 until around 2022, and that’s definitely a long shot.
Players are still busy unraveling new things about GTA 5 everyday
Even after decades of GTA 5 release, it seems like the players are still not done with it yet.
People are still finding new ways every day to have fun with GTA 5. For instance, a group of dedicated conspiracy theorists is busy unknotting the Mount Chiliad Mystery both by searching code for clues and investigating the in-game world. While others are busy making a movie using GTA 5’s filmmaking tools.
You know the PC version of GTA 5 allows the players to time-travel and play the role of a cop to arrest unsuspecting civilians in Pokemon style. If you’re a big Ironman fan, you are in for a treat. You can also fly the sky in Los Santos wearing Tony Stark’s armor. Doesn’t all of it sound so cool?
We don’t think the players are ready to embrace GTA 6 yet. You should take your time with GTA 5 before the next installment comes out so that it doesn’t feel like you didn’t get enough of it.