One of the most anticipated games is GTA 6, but fans know there's no chance of much news while Rockstar focuses on Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018. So there was much excitement when players started seeing pop-up messages in GTA 5 stating that "GTA VI. Coming 2019".
Sadly, the whole thing is a hoax. A hacker managed to get the message into Rockstar's Social Club system using one of the GTA V mods. This meant it was visible in GTA Online as well as the single-player Story Mode, with the messages appearing repeatedly every few minutes.
This should have been enough to convince anyone it wasn't genuine, but Rockstar took to Twitter to confirm the hack:
This is a hoax made with the use of mods, and not an official message or statement from Rockstar Games. *OV— Rockstar Support (@RockstarSupport) July 2, 2018
GTA 5 has been a monumental success, selling over 90 million copies since its release in 2013. Rockstar has been churning out regular updates for GTA Online, and there's an argument that it's making plenty of money from players so there's no rush to release a new game.
Ultimately, details about GTA 6 are almost non-existent but we've rounded up every rumour we can find, and we'll update regularly as new revelations come to light. So if you're hungry to know what to expect after the last exploits in San Andreas, read on.
When will GTA 6 be released?
Expected release date: 2020 - 2022
As Rockstar is yet to even confirm the existence of GTA 6, there is no set release date. We do know that Rockstar is working on the upcoming release of Red Dead Redemption 2, and the company is dedicating most of its resources to finishing off that project before fully moving on to the crown jewel itself, GTA 6.
There is no great hurry as the continued development of the GTA Online platform, including regular updates such as Doomsday Heist, means that there is plenty of life (and money) still to be found in the existing worlds.
If anything, we suspect most players would prefer Rockstar not to release an entirely new version, but keep developing GTA Online indefinitely.
Which platforms will GTA 6 be available on?
We expect to see GTA 6 on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, with graphically revved-up versions for the high-end Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. PCs will hopefully see a faster release this time around, after lagging a couple of years behind the consoles in GTA 5.
It's also fair to say that GTA isn't really the sort of title you'll find on the new Nintendo Switch - although we'd love a portable GTA experience. Last-generation consoles are likely to miss out this time around, with the predicted size and complexity of the GTA 6 world proving too much for PS3 and Xbox 360 hardware.
What should I expect from GTA 6 gameplay?
We can't see Rockstar deviating much from the tried and tested formula of an open-world adventure with a strong, and most likely dark, narrative that sees players stealing cars, robbing banks, and pulling down buildings built on stilts. At least we hope not.
Two notable exceptions might arrive with GTA 6 though. One is a first-person mode to replace the classic third-person used on all the major GTA releases since GTA 3. This was actually added as an option in GTA 5 sometime after the game was released, so it makes sense that it could be there from the start this time.
The other is a playable female character in the main storyline. GTA 5 did receive quite a bit of criticism for its depiction of women, so this could go some way to alleviating that problem this time around. Plus it would just be interesting to have a woman protagonist and the storylines that this would open up.
In terms of official comments from the company, Rockstar President Leslie Benzies teased that GTA 6 plans are still up in the air. "We don't know what GTA 6 will be, but we've got some ideas" Benzies said during a Develop interview.
“It comes from the idea first. Where it is going to be set is the first question. Then that defines the missions; you’re doing different things in LA than in New York or Miami. The map and story get worked up together, and the story is a basic flow of how it works out so you can layer the mission in.”
Where will GTA 6 be set?
This is perhaps the biggest question of all. We know from past interviews that Rockstar begins designing the games once its settled on the right location, so the choice of city will directly affect the tone and feel of the game.
In the past, Rockstar has looked at Tokyo as a potential setting, and London has already appeared in one of the older top-down 2D GTA releases.
It's more likely though that San Andreas remains the backdrop for the story, with the possibility that the new generation hardware finally allows Rockstar to do what it's wanted to do for several years - actually have all the previous cities in one game!
In a 2012 Develop interview, Rockstar head Leslie Benzies stated that this was what they wanted to achieve, with players able to fly between locations. It would be an incredible accomplishment and offer gamers a truly enormous playground, but one problem seems a hard one to solve. With Vice City being so intrinsically tied to the 1980s, how would it work in a modern setting?
Another rumour suggests that instead of linking all previous GTA locations, Rockstar is working on recreating the entire United States for the ultimate GTA playground. The fact that the game is still not due for a few years gives us hope that this could be the case. Imagine The Crew but with guns and explosions - who wouldn't want that?
One to ponder, but if Rockstar can solve this conundrum then GTA 6 might sell even more copies than the title proceeding it.
We'll keep updating this feature as and when more information comes to light. So be sure to check back regularly.