Game developer explains why viral GTA 6 map leak is “clearly a fake”

Albert Petrosyan

A viral image of what is claimed to be the map for Grand Theft Auto VI has been picking up steam as of late, but one supposed game developer has listed all the reasons why it’s most likely a fake.

With GTA 6 still seemingly years away from seeing the light of day, the ever-patient fan-base has resorted to getting its news fix from leaks, rumors, and speculation. One of the more popular examples of this is the purported image of what some are claiming is the next game’s full map.

The “map” is modeled after Miami, which seemed to hint that the sixth title in the series would be returning to Vice City. Furthermore, despite first surfacing back in 2018, it recently began gaining further attention when eagle-eyed players found more info about the source’s past history, including new details that they felt made the leak legitimate.

However, a Reddit user named ‘bobert_hoses,’ who claims to be a game developer that specializes in 3D mapping and map concepts, debunked it as a fake from his point of view.

GTA 6 map leak
Here’s what the GTA 6 map will supposedly look like, if this leak is to be believed.

The game dev dropped a whopping 10 “problems with the mainland,” – essentially issues with the leaked image’s design that don’t really add up with how such a map would normally be built.

The user pointed out the lack of several important structures like highway interchanges, low-rise buildings, highway access to the airport, port areas, farm areas (which are apparently commonplace in South Florida), waterways, parks, and the Miami River. They also pointed out how the airport and surrounding aesthetics were “way off.”

“Overall, the flow of the city just seems like bad game-design and filled with unrealistic mistakes that I feel Rockstar Games are too good to miss when they design their maps,” the Redditor wrote. “Apart from the fact that the city seems like a full-on rectangular grid as well, which Rockstar Games doesn’t use when they design maps.”

“Problems with the mainland:

  1. There’s no highway interchanges inside the city. Every GTA-map in the HD era contains a urban expressway network, this one doesnt. Real-life Miami has one too.

  2. There are seemingly no low-rise buildings even though Miami is primarily a suburbanized urban area.

  3. The airport does not have highway access which every airport in the HD-era has, which is just very unrealistic.

  4. Airports in the U.S use buffer zones between the runways and other zones for noise and security reasons, which are simulated in every GTA game. This airport looks more like one you would find in Africa or South America.

  5. There are no port areas ( Dodge Island is absent, no boats docked anywhere, no piers. )

  6. There are no farm areas near Miami (Vice City) in the map even though South-west Florida is a huge agricultural center.

  7. There are almost no waterways in the city proper even though real-life Miami/Ft Lauderdale area contains a huge amount of canals, waterways, waterbeds for drainage.

  8. Parks are completely absent in the city, there are no green areas or so called break-up areas to break the monotony in the urban area. Bicentennial Park in Downtown Miami and park areas on South Beach doesn’t exist.

  9. The Miami River is absent. A very important part of Miami is this river going through Brickell and Downtown Miami.

  10. The aesthetic of Miami and its sorrounding areas are way off, It may seem accurate to the regular person, but anyone that has ever been to Miami or live there would see why this just feels wrong. Where’s the canals, where’s Dodge Island, where’s I-95, Where’s American Airlines arena or (If this is set in the 1980s, where is the race-track in Downtown Miami) I can go on and on.”

GTA 6 map leak
This image of what’s claimed to be an island on the GTA 6 map only surfaced recently.

As shown in the image, this “map” is actually split into two sections: the mainland, which was discussed above, and the island, which was actually leaked much more recently than the other section.

While they did admit that an island with a small city can be “much easier” to fake, they also pointed out that the continuous beach surrounding the entire island with no interruptions or variation is “very poor game-design and very unrealistic and poor utilization of map space.”

The lack of access points like ports, docks, piers, marinas, or even an airfield means that there are no realistic ways for people to get on the island, which is an oversight too big for a serious developer like Rockstar to make.

GTA Vice City Map
The official GTA Vice City map, which was based on the layout of Miami.

“This map is clearly a fake,” the purported developer wrote, “The author of it drew up a map in photoshop and used real-life imagery of Miami to fuse it together to a fictional map. When you take the faults into consideration and think about them, do you really think Rockstar would do those mistakes?”

Whether or not this Redditor is actually a dev, they do bring up some very interesting and logical points, and even when the leak first surfaced, it was always going be a long-shot that it was the real deal.

The question now is: as a GTA fan, are you disappointed or relieved if this map does turn out to be a fake?

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