Take-Two Interactive, the publisher of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series, has all but confirmed that GTA 6 is at least more than a year away, during the company's earnings call on May 20.
The last Grand Theft Auto game, number five, released in 2013, so fans are understandably eager for the next game in the franchise. Rockstar released Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018, leaving the space clear for their next game to be a return to GTA.
There have been countless leaks, from somewhat reliable leakers, that GTA 6 is deep in development. One source even suggested as much as 70% of the work is complete for the project, while other reports have claimed it is still in the very early stages.
There's been almost no word from Rockstar or Take-Two themselves though, so their quarterly earnings call was the chance to hear the latest, straight from the horse's mouth.
In addition to the announcement that GTA V had sold over 130 million copies (not including the free versions given away on Epic Games), the publisher had some bad news for fans waiting on the next title.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said that the upcoming year, between April 2020 and March 2021 would be "light" for new releases, with updates coming for GTA Online and Red Dead Online in the meantime.
In a previous earnings call, Take-Two said they had released in some of their biggest franchises coming, but there wasn't any timeframe on them. Also, this could include franchises from other developers under the Take-Two umbrella, not just Rockstar.
Considering there was a five-year gap between GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2, it's possible we could be looking at a similar timeframe for the next Grand Theft Auto. This would give us a release year of 2023.
Of course, dedicated fans of the franchise will be hoping it's not this far away, but comments from Zelnick certainly indicate we won't be playing GTA 6 this Holiday season, at least.
Light release year for Take Two according to the conference call, new updates expected for RDO and GTAO this year. So I guess that means the "R* x City Morgue" thing from Instagram is most likely gonna be yet another radio update for V/Online. Which is what I figured it'd be. https://t.co/gXxQeGtND4 pic.twitter.com/lpEijJ71SO
— Badger G. 🦡 (@BadgerGoodger) May 20, 2020
Rockstar's lack of urgency to release a new version could partly be down to the success of GTA Online. It continues to pull in a large player base, and is something of a cash cow for the developer. Similarly, Red Dead Online hit a player peak in December 2019, a year after the game itself released.
With GTA 5 still selling 10 million copies in a single quarter, there's no pressure on the studio to rush out another entry in the series. They'll also be well aware that the longer they take to release a new GTA, the higher expectations and hype will rise.