Why Grand Theft Auto 6 Could Release in 2024

Official details are sparse on the next Grand Theft Auto. However, based on Take-Two's recent report, it could launch sooner than expected.

Posted By | On 26th, May. 2023

Why Grand Theft Auto 6 Could Release in 2024

When you stop and think about it, there are a lot of big games this year that many of us will play for a long time to come. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is, of course, one of them – that 180-hour leisurely completionist figure has already ballooned to almost 250 hours. But there’s also Baldur’s Gate 3 with all its choices, classes and quests, which exits early access on August 30th. Then you have Starfield on September 6th with its 1000 planets, character customization and potentially hundreds of quests. That’s not including the starship customization, choices and sheer potential for modding.

In the middle of all this, it’s easy to forget that the next Grand Theft Auto, presumably called Grand Theft Auto 6, is in development. It suffered a major leak last year, revealing a new protagonist and other alpha gameplay. While it’s upsetting for the developers at Rockstar Games, it assured that there won’t be any impact on development. Of course, as with every new Rockstar title, you assume it will be a magnum opus that takes years to release.

But not quite. In Take-Two Interactive’s recent financial report, which covers the fourth quarter and full-year results of fiscal year 2023, it forecasted over $8 billion in net bookings for fiscal year 2025. The latter runs from April 1st, 2024, to March 31st, 2025, but given that the publisher hit $5.3 billion in the recent fiscal year, that too due to acquiring Zynga, what exactly will contribute to the massive increase in net bookings?

Take-Two cited “several groundbreaking titles” that are releasing in that fiscal year, and it believes these will “set new standards in our industry.” “For the last several years, we have been preparing our business to release an incredibly robust pipeline of projects that we believe will take our company to even greater levels of success,” it said.

Which sounds typical enough, but that’s not all. It not only expects to achieve those net bookings in the fiscal year 2025 but for them to provide “additional growth in our operating results” for fiscal 2026 and beyond. All of this sounds like Take-Two is releasing several high-profile titles…and it is, though it didn’t specify what exactly is coming.

However, there’s another possibility on top of this, one that seems more reasonable. That’s the plan to release one major title, one surefire hit, that will deliver without fail on top of everything else. That title is Grand Theft Auto 6 if the headline wasn’t a hint.

Grand Theft Auto 5_GTA5

Funnily enough, the “groundbreaking titles” part isn’t too different from the language CEO Strauss Zelnick used last year when talking about the long-awaited sequel. He said that the development team at Rockstar Games is “determined to once again set creative benchmarks for the series, our industry, and for all entertainment, just as the label has done with every one of their frontline releases.” Sounds pretty ground-breaking to us.

To be fair, Zelnick didn’t outright name GTA 6 in the company’s recent financial report. He revealed that 36 titles are planned to release from April 1st, 2024, to March 31st, 2026. So from the start of fiscal year 2025 to the end of fiscal year 2026. Twelve of those titles are coming this year and will likely include your usual yearly iterations on NBA 2K and WWE 2K, maybe a sequel to Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, and so on.

Interestingly, 44 percent or more will be new IPs, so that should be interesting (though he didn’t disclose how many of those titles would come from Zynga). Zelnick said it’s “uncharacteristic” for the company to talk about “subsequent years,” but is “doing so because we’ve been investing in a pipeline for a long time. And we now have a great deal of confidence that the pipeline will be delivered in the next three years.”

It’s worth noting that despite having so many titles coming in the current 2024 fiscal year, Take-Two is only forecasting a three to five percent increase in net bookings. Almost like its biggest heavy hitter is coming after and will have enough post-launch support – be it through a new GTA Online or post-launch single-player DLC – to carry the company through the fiscal year 2026.

gta online

Those who have been following rumors of Grand Theft Auto 6 will know that it’s cropped up from time to time over the past several years. Credible reports, like from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier in 2020, indicate it’s a “moderately-sized” game that will get even bigger with post-launch updates. Insider Tom Henderson backed up the Vice City bit but noted the setting is in modern times. He also said it would launch in 2025 and feature a female protagonist, the latter of which turned out to be true.

Further reports by Schreier indicated last year in July that the sequel was internally targeting a release in the fiscal year 2024, sometime between April 1st, 2023 and March 31st, 2024. However, the development team was reportedly skeptical of this. It felt the title was at least two years away, which is in line with a release in fiscal year 2025. “At least” are the keywords here because depending on factors like polish, bug-testing, optimization, content and so on, it may arrive slightly later in that window.

If all this wasn’t enough, Rockstar insider Tez2 reported in March that the sequel is targeting a Holiday 2024 launch, which could slip into 2025. They also believe an announcement is coming this year and that portions of the game could be cut to repackage later as DLC, which lines up with Schreier’s report of post-launch updates.

gta online

Taking everything into consideration, it’s not far-fetched to assume that Grand Theft Auto 6 may be announced at a major event like, say, The Game Awards 2023 in December. More details could then be revealed in Spring 2024, leading to a launch in Fall/Winter. Worse comes to worst, it gets delayed to February/March 2025. We fall into despair. So it goes.

A delay into the fiscal year 2026 isn’t impossible, but Take-Two is probably already aware of that. It’s likely going to try and ship Grand Theft Auto 6 in the fiscal year 2025 to mitigate the absurd losses it’s recently racked up. In the fiscal year 2023, it reported net losses of $1.12, despite net bookings and revenue being up over the previous year. It’s even projecting net losses between $477 million and $518 million for the current fiscal year 2024. Yes, even with its supposed 12 new titles.

However, game development isn’t going to adhere to the best-laid plans. A multi-million-selling, multi-billion dollar title isn’t going to arrive at the exact moment (or fiscal year) it’s needed. Nevertheless, even with all the reports of troubled development for Grand Theft Auto 6 and general skepticism, it all goes back to Take-Two’s previous statement about “investing in a pipeline for a long time” and having a “great deal of confidence” that it will be delivered “in the next three years.” Perhaps it knows something that we don’t and believes its next big money-maker will arrive as planned, if not sooner. Time will always tell, though.

Whether Grand Theft Auto 6 adheres to the expectations of every single fan also remains to be seen. But it’s been too long since Rockstar has released a new title in the franchise, much less a new triple-A title (Red Dead Redemption 2 was the last). A perfect storm is brewing, and we can’t wait to see what the next generation of Grand Theft Auto delivers.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


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