When will GTA VI appear? Let’s analyse what premiere date can be
If there is something we can be sure, then it is the creation of GTA VI. It is inevitable, just like a sunrise. The date of the return of the sandbox king still remains secret. However, we can indicate several probable dates.
Schedule in a nutshell
- 2019 – For many different reasons, it is practically impossible. The marketing campaign would already be in motion.
- 2020 – Quite probable. Here we should also remember about the upcoming newest generation of consoles.
- 2021 – Taking into account all the changes on the prestigious vocations in the company and delays caused by it, the date is still likely to be true. However, we do not believe Rockstar is aiming at it.
- 2022 and 2023 – too late! We might even not live that long…
GTA VI is not a Half-Life 3. It has to be released. It is not a game like Duke Nukem Forever – once it is out, it will definitely not be an average production. It will most likely beat some records, because it is being created by the “Rock Stars” themselves. They always surprise us and put a bar quite high when they release something. Red Dead Redemption II was just a confirmation of the domination of the company. Rockstar can do anything they want for as long as they want and with any budget they want, as long as it fits their own requirements. Yes, it takes time. However, we believe that the time will come on 2020 or in 2021.
There are a lot of indications that point the premiere of the game on these years. That is why we will focus precisely on them. However, we will also take some time on other options. A lot happened at Rockstar in recent times. A lot of personal changes happened. GTA V, especially GTA Online, is still taking money from the players just like Michelle Pfeiffer was taking cocaine in Scarface. Meanwhile, Red Dead Online is not doing as well as GTA Online (although the sales are pretty well). Since the giant needs to stay up high in order to develop, we will notice brand new project from them sooner or later. GTA VI is an obvious choice. The only question is: when?
2019 – False Start
Chance for the premiere to happen:<1%
The game needs a bit of time in order to spread its wings. 2019, or its rather second, already shrinking half, is definitely not realistic date. I mention it rather as a courtesy and because the industry saw such miracles before – the example can be the entrance of the dragon – the debut of Apex Legends.
The GTA series didn’t have such long publishing break. It’s been six years since the release of GTA V. It is longer than between two previous parts. The patience of the players has its limits, and they already started to act picky, with their expectations raised up to the sky. The thing is that we are talking about one of the companies that can boast with players’ trust. Especially in recent years, after releasing several megahits that took industry of gaming into new direction.
This is why 2019 seems to be unrealistic date. It is too early. Such title should appear on the market shelves before Christmas, so the marketing campaign and teasing players would begin in the first half of the year, around March or April, alternatively during E3 even if Rockstar does not think of this particular expo very well. It’s simply because such giant needs to gain momentum, even if we are talking about such certainty.
You may not remember this, but first GTA V trailer appeared on November 2, 2011. It was almost two years, of if you prefer, 684 days before the world’s premiere. The first trailer for Red Dead Redemption II appeared on October 20, 2016. The game itself hit the market on October 26, 2018, which is almost two years later.
Besides that, GTA Online is making a lot of money (according to analyst from Niko Partners, it makes up to $700 million every year) and it will make a lot of money in the next year, especially when we notice that there are still a lot of players on the servers who are performing incredible stunts. All their crazy ideas that bend the laws of the physics, logic, or the world of the game itself, are crossing every line! What’s more, they are getting millions of views on YouTube and during streams. Red Dead Redemption II, together with its Internet component, need some space and time to develop and to earn money. Why would they prematurely take away the income from already released projects?
Three quarters of 2020 – the race with new consoles
Chance for the premiere to happen: 30%
This is where it starts to be interesting. There are several factors that indicate that 2020 may be the perfect time for Rockstar to present their latest GTA. It is true that some rumours suggest that the current generation of consoles will sooner grill itself rather than handle the sixth path of the bandit cycle. However, in spite of potential hardware limitations, and taking into account scenarios that already took place, this date makes a lot of sense.
It would seem that aiming at 2021, in order to help the next generation of consoles (new Xbox is expected to appear on the market before the Christmas in 2020, and PS5 will appear nearly at the same time) is a great marketing plan, it may not. Rockstar doesn’t care about the results of new consoles. They care about their own results. This is why releasing potential hit on the new platform at starting catalogue is not ideal. Quite the opposite – it limits the potential client base to those who can afford new, expensive devices to play. And this is not the case.
It would be much better for Rockstar to do everything they can in order to release the game before the appearance of the successors of Xbox One and PS4. It’s simple – thanks to that the game would be in the pockets of 150 million owners of eight generation consoles. Indeed, the game wouldn’t be as beautiful as it would look on the latest generation consoles, but it would be much more available. And since the premiere of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 successors would come, these two would get cheaper, and therefore the potential amount of users would be even greater. Especially if we remember about the fact that PS5 and Xbox, with working title Scarlett, are unlikely to offer revolutionary changes in its hardware (although the performance will be much higher).
For this reason, the end of 2020 seems to be one of the most probable release dates – at least for PS4 and Xbox One versions.
Will they have enough time for it?
On the other hand, Red Dead Redemption II hit the market a few months ago, at the end of 2018. Now, the PC version is most likely to be released. What is more, the plan is to refresh the game for the consoles of next generation. The question is: how many of the 2000 Rockstar workers (as of 2018) are now working on GTA VI and how many of them started even before the premiere of RDR II? Because if the production of the next GTA started only on the day of the debut of RDR II, then there would not enough time. There was a five-year gap between the appearance of GTA V and RDR.II, and yet each subsequent game by Rockstar is bigger and more ambitious than before. Although we are talking about so huge company that they might as well work on two projects simultaneously
The last quarter of 2020 and 2021 – spare date
Chance for the premiere to happen: 40%
The problem with the implementation of the above scenario, namely the premiere of the game before the appearance of ninth generation consoles, might result from the personal changes that occurred in Rockstar in recent years. Although it is gigantic company with many branches, and there are brothers Sam and Dan Houser who look after it, there will be one piece of a puzzle missing now. Not that long ago, Housers’ machine lost one of its key cogs that has been responsible for the large part of a creative process of all GTA parts since the revolutionary “Three”.
In 2016, the lawsuit between Take Two, Rockstar, Housers, and the producer Leslie Benzis was quite spectacular. The latter claimed that he was removed from the company to prevent him from making more profits. The entire thing lasted until February 2019, but the damage to GTA series was done. This man played a very important role during creating the concept of all the editions of the bandit saga from the moment it entered the world of 3D graphics.
Anthem showed how dangerous it is to have no firm leadership and vision. Rockstarwas of course much more aware and they has never made a mistake like this so far. The Housers publicly admitted that selecting the right successor after Benzies takes time, because from this person the vision of the game will be dependent. Even if they can choose one out of hundreds of their own employees, it is understandable that they have doubts. GTA VI cannot be just a good game. It has to exceed expectations and raise the stake.
This is one of the reasons why GTA VI will be late for the potentially the most profitable release date that we described earlier on. Rockstar has mastered the philosophy of “when it’s done” in regard to publishing games to perfection. Many times they have been postponing the premiere – see the case of RDR 2 – and somehow it always paid off. With the position the studio has, they do not need such a comfortable starting place in relation to the debut of consoles to dominate the market and earn another hundreds of millions of dollars. It is the other way around – others adapt to Rockstar.
2022 and 2023 – The last call
Chance for the premiere to happen: 30%
These are distant dates for the players. Postponing the premiere of one of the hottest titles of all times until next decade might a huge test of fans’ patience. This might be the moment when players will simply put GTA VI between Half-Life 3 and Duke Nukem Forever. It always harms the game and can take away some of the potential buyers.
Years later than 2021 can be taken into account mainly due to the fact that newest generation of consoles will already be the main power on the market and it will receive quite a large number of users. As a result, Rockstar would be able to hit with everything they’ve got. What is more, such date would give the company a lot of time to carry out with the production. However, GTA V had its debut on September 2013. 9-10 years is quite a long time for break, even if we received RDR II along the way. It is twice as long as waiting for GTA V (Shareholders are unlikely to forgive such thing, what about the players?).
How many years have we been waiting so far?
- Grand Theft Auto – 1997
- Grand Theft Auto II - 1999 (two years)
- Grand Theft Auto III - 2001 (two years)
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - 2002 (year)
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - 2004 (two years)
- Grand Theft Auto IV - 2008 (four years)
- Grand Theft Auto V - 2013 (five years)
- Grand Theft Auto VI - ??? (already six years)
We can clearly see that breaks are getting longer and it’s not surprising – each consecutive GTA instalment requires more and more work. The question is how great GTA VI will be.
Heist of the century
Every good heist needs a little bit of planning – this is what GTA V taught us. The release of the game is similar, though it turns out to be a venture with millions of variables to consider.
At the moment, the most likely scenario is for the game to appear in late 2020. The leaks indicate that there have been a lot of works on the successor of GTA V. Although Tim Neff, an actor responsible for the leak with unfortunate online CVs, denied the rumours, it definitely looked like covering up traces after a failure. After all, we are talking about a giant company that always plans many years ahead. And even if there are delays, they are the result of the desire to refine consecutive instalment, and not the result of lack of ideas or production efficiency.
We are sure that one of the branches that belong to Rockstar have been developing concepts, or even the prototype of the game for quite a long time now. We all know that until recently, most of the resources were consumed by RDR II and Red Dead Online. In the meantime, others could easily think about other mega hit.
This is why we believe that “Rock Stars” will hit the closing moment of PS4 and XONE, when they will be able to reach the biggest number of players. Later on, there will be a version for next generation and an online component that will provide producers with enormous cash. At some point, we will also receive a PC version of the game. I am quite confident about the PC version because GTA V followed the same road. Seriously, does anyone know at least one good reason why such game shouldn’t be available on PC? Rockstar will have to hurry, but thanks to that, they will be able to sell the game twice – on older and newer consoles. After all, everyone wants to play the new GTA. As soon as it is possible.