It’s unclear when Grand Theft Auto 6, if it even ends up being called that, will release. We do know GTA 6 (we’ll call it that for simplicity’s sake throughout this piece) is in active development, as Rockstar Games itself confirmed that news in early 2022. Knowing Rockstar and its intense commitment to quality, however, that doesn’t exactly give us any idea of when we’ll be able to play the game. After all, it has already been nearly a decade since Grand Theft Auto 5 launched, and during the same period between 1999 and 2008, five Grand Theft Auto games launched.
Little, if anything, is concrete regarding Grand Theft Auto 6’s details thus far, but there have been a whole bunch of rumors. These vary wildly, with some touching on who you will play as–possibly including a playable woman for the first time in the series’ single-player mode–to where the game will take place. It doesn’t take a dedicated trickster to make up rumors involving a setting we’ve already seen in the series, like Vice City or Liberty City, but a few others have been mentioned, as well. These are all the rumors we’ve heard about Grand Theft Auto 6 thus far.
Rumor: GTA 6 will star a twin brother and sister
Building on past rumors that GTA 6 will feature a playable female character for the first time in the series (not counting created GTA Online characters) a rumor now says this will be one of two main characters in the game. According to a report from Xfire, the two characters will be twins–one man and one woman–on opposite sides of the drug war. It’s not clear if you’ll be able to play as both.
The report says that the game will take place around 20 years after their parents were murdered by a cartel, and the man has gone on to work for the DOA, a satirical version of the American Drug Enforcement Administration. His sister’s approach is to infiltrate the cartel in order to take revenge on those who murdered their parents in a …less legal way, and the conflict between the twins sounds like it will be at the heart of the story.
Rumor: GTA 6 will feature Manhunt’s Carcer City
There have been a ton of different rumors about where GTA 6 will take place, and several are included in this roundup. One of the more interesting comes courtesy of the same Xfire report that mentioned the twin protagonists: GTA 6 could feature Carcer City as a playable area.
What the heck is Carcer City? It’s the setting of the game Manhunt, which is arguably more controversial than Grand Theft Auto ever was, and it is already confirmed to exist within the same universe as the GTA games. It has been referenced several times throughout the Grand Theft Auto series, including in Grand Theft Auto 5. It’s a rundown and considerably more dangerous city than what we’ve seen in the Grand Theft Auto series to date, and if the report is true, it’s very unlikely it will be the only setting for GTA 6.
Rumor: GTA Online will add Liberty City
We’ve previously also heard rumors, which you can see in this post, that GTA 6 could partially take place in Liberty City. If so, it would make sense for the GTA Online component to also include the setting. The same Xfire report that gave us alleged details on the twin protagonists and Carcer City location also mentioned Liberty City coming to GTA Online. It wouldn’t be the first time Liberty City was made playable for multiplayer, as it was also available in the much less expansive Grand Theft Auto IV.
If this and the rumor about Vice City are true, however, it’s possible players will be able to join their friends on a trip between the two cities. Of course, in real life, their inspirations–New York City and Miami–are hours and hours apart by car, but that doesn’t really matter too much.
Rumor: GTA 6 will feature a female protagonist
In January 2021, rumors about GTA 6 featuring a playable female character began to make the rounds after Tom Henderson (known for his Call of Duty leaks) posted on Twitter, “For the first time ever in a GTA title, GTA 6 will have a playable female and male protagonist.”
Grand Theft Auto protagonists have encompassed a variety of fictional criminal archetypes–Vice City’s hot-tempered Tommy Vercetti, GTA 4’s mature, yet cynical Eastern European refugee Niko Bellic, and the naïve but good-hearted street gang underboss Carl “CJ” Johnson of San Andreas, to name a few. GTA 5 did something new for the series with its trio of playable characters, ranging from a retired career criminal living in luxury to a trailer park weapons dealer to a young gangbanger looking to make it big. And yet, the series has never featured a woman as a playable protagonist beyond the ability to customize your character in GTA Online. If this rumor is true it would be huge for the series.
Promotional art for GTA Online’s Lowriders: Custom Classics content update.
In an interview with The Guardian back in 2013, Rockstar co-founder Dan House expressed the studio’s interest in exploring a female character at some point, stating, “In the future, could we do a game with a lead female character? Of course. We just haven’t found the right game for it yet, but it’s one of the things that we always think about.”
But Rockstar has yet to comment on anything regarding GTA 6’s story or characters in any official capacity, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Rumor: GTA 6 will be set in Miami or Vice City
Back in 2018, an “inside source” allegedly told Inside Gaming that GTA 6 will be set in Miami–likely meaning Vice City, given GTA’s history with fictionalized cities based on real ones. But as Inside Gaming mentions, Miami also technically exists within the GTA universe. Inside Gaming points to a Digital Trends interview with Leslie Benzies, the now-former president of Rockstar North, to further probe this rumor. When asked if GTA will ever return to Vice City, Benzies stated, “It is always a possibility.” Not a lot to go off of exactly.
Rumor: GTA 6 will be set in both the US and South America
Inside Gaming’s “inside source” also claims that GTA 6 is codenamed Project Americas, which refers to a feature that will allow players to fly between two settings, one in the United States, and one in South America. As Inside Gaming points out, the South American drug trade–notably the “cocaine highway” between Colombia and Miami in the ’80s–has been the subject of tons of popular media, so if GTA 6 were to return to Vice City, it would also make sense for it to be a period piece like 2002’s Vice City. According to Benzies, “Vice City, perhaps more than any other GTA game, was as much about the era as the setting. Miami in the 1980’s is so iconic it would feel strange to revisit the city in a different time period.”
As with everything else in this story, Rockstar has yet to comment officially on GTA 6’s setting, so we have only rumors from anonymous sources and fan speculation to go off of.
Rumor: GTA 6 will be set in Liberty City and Vice City
In 2019, an anonymous Pastebin post made the rounds after the author, claiming to be an Environment Artist at Rockstar Games, leaked unverified information about GTA 6. The post alleges the “Project Americas” codename from Inside Gaming’s coverage is correct, as well as the claim about South America featuring as a setting. It also elaborated on the Vice City setting, stating that the game will take place not just in the fictionalized Florida city, but also Liberty City, the fictionalized NYC at the heart of GTA 4, with a stretch of smaller towns and swamplands between the two cities on the game map.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)
This vibes with something Benzies stated in that Digital Trends interview mentioned earlier, “[…] at some point we would like to have one big world containing all our cities and let the player fly between them and revisit their favorite areas,” though we should restate that this interview was from 2012 and Benzies is no longer at the company.
Rumor: GTA 6 will be set in multiple eras
The same Pastebin leak from 2019 claimed that the story for GTA 6 will be set in the ’70s or ’80s, but that several environmental assets are also modern day, speculating about either a campaign set across two eras or a separate GTA Online mode set in modern day.
It’s not set in the 1980’s and is modern. https://t.co/iav46Ty35V
— Tom Henderson (@_Tom_Henderson_) April 12, 2021
However, in April 2021, Tom Henderson (responsible for the female protagonist rumor) stated on Twitter that GTA 6 is not going to be set in the ’80s and will instead be modern day.
Rumor: GTA 6 will be released in late 2021 or 2022
The 2019 Pastebin leak seems to have mixed information about GTA 6’s release date, claiming first “mid-to-late 2020” (which we know is false), then “late 2021 or 2022 at the latest” in the case of a delay. This seems the most obviously unbelievable piece of information from an already questionable “leak,” given more reputable sources have stated the release date is quite a ways away. And, obviously, the 2021 window has already closed.
As far as 2021 plans go, obviously that is now out the window. 2022 is also looking extremely unlikely, but never say never!
Rumor: GTA 6 will be a PS5 launch exclusive
The same Pastebin leak also claims that it’s “seen rumours online” (yes, a leak citing other rumors) about a “possible PS5 deal for exclusivity.” This would fly in the face of what we’ve seen the last two games (and the Red Dead Redemption games) but it’s still a possibility.
The Pastebin leak, more than anything, is one of the more unsubstantiated sources of GTA 6 rumors as it is completely anonymous and unverified, so it’s worth mentioning again that none of this has even come close to being confirmed by Rockstar.
Rumor: GTA Online contains a teaser for GTA 6
Despite all the rumors listed here, Rockstar has never directly confirmed or announced the existence of GTA 6. So in a way, GTA 6 is kind of a rumor in itself. Its presumed development is based entirely on that–assumption and speculation, with a sprinkling of detail from reputable outlets. With no official word straight out of Rockstar’s mouth, it’s safe to say fans are getting desperate. Pair that with GTA Online players, who are infamous for their dedication to finding Easter eggs (GTA Online players are dedicated, period–a standalone version of GTA Online is coming at some point due to its massive popularity), and you’ve got yourself a bunch of people obsessing over a dirt road somewhere in Appalachia.
— GTA HQ (@GTA6only) November 20, 2020
In late 2020, fans got excited when a teaser for a new GTA Online update seemed to contain something more. Coordinates at the bottom of the video, when input into Google Maps, apparently brought fans to a dirt road in rural Virginia shaped coincidentally (or not?) like a VI, the Roman numeral for 6.
Rumor: Rockstar is teasing GTA 6 with this robot art
A piece of art from Rockstar’s website.
Fans are so desperate for some kind of news, they’ve taken to over-analyzing random images on Rockstar’s website. Some fans believe this image of a robot embracing the Rockstar Games logo, uploaded to its website in early 2020, is further “proof” that the game may be set in Vice City. While it seems like and most certainly is a stretch, Screen Rant points out the way Rockstar Games teased Red Dead Redemption using a graphic featuring its logo on Twitter back in 2016.
Still, it’s most likely that any real news and announcements from Rockstar Games will come the way this Red Dead tease did–framed quite forwardly as a teaser from its marketing team, rather than a random art asset on its website.
Rumor: GTA 6 won’t release until 2025, will include an evolving map
Once again, Tom Henderson has taken to sharing information about GTA 6. This time it’s about when the game is actually scheduled to release and what the game will be like. Henderson–who recently leaked Call of Duty and Battlefield 2042 details–released a new video claiming that GTA 6 won’t be released until 2025, which runs accurate to Take-Two’s statements during a recent shareholder event.
Henderson also emphasized again that GTA 6 will be set in a modern-day version of Vice City, which continues to run contrary to previous rumors that the game would be set in the 1980s. He claimed that the change in time period comes from Rockstar wanting to ensure as much freedom as possible for its staff when it comes to creating content for GTA Online. As such, Henderson mentions that Rockstar is potentially aiming to frequently change and adjust GTA 6’s world’s map, much like how recent live service games have been to introduce a more dynamic element to the ongoing play experience. He also noted that GTA 6 will have multiple playable characters, a storytelling device that began with GTA 5.
Ultimately, Henderson said that Rockstar wants to avoid delaying the game, meaning it’s likely we’re still a ways off from any official announcement. And with the amount of money that the developer continues to make on GTA Online–a game that’s soon coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X|S–we imagine Rockstar is taking all the time it wants on the rumored sequel to get it just right.
What do we know about GTA 6?
So given all of this, what do we know about Grand Theft Auto 6? Honestly, not much. Grand Theft Auto 5 and its corresponding GTA Online multiplayer mode rank as one of GameSpot’s best PC games, so the anticipation for GTA 6 is obviously high, but when it comes to real, verifiable information about what we can expect, we’re not left with much. It’s confirmed to be in the works, but details like how long it’s been in development, when we can expect to see a release date, when and where it will take place, and what kind of characters it will star remain a mystery at worst and extremely divisive at best.
Read more: Will GTA Online Get Crossplay?
The biggest Grand Theft Auto news nowadays comes out of GTA Online, the sprawling and ever-popular multiplayer mode which is getting its own standalone version alongside an enhanced version of the original GTA 5 for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S on November 11. Whatever GTA 6 ends up looking like, we expect GTA Online to continue to be a major part of the series’ future.
Keep checking back with us as we continue to track future GTA 6 rumors and leaks.