A rumor that a spike in Take-Two’s marketing budget meant a 2024 fiscal year release for Grand Theft Auto 6 has been squashed by experts.
A rumor that Grand Theft Auto VI would release in 2023 at the earliest has been debunked. GTA 6 is yet to be officially revealed by Rockstar, but it has been confirmed to be their next game in development. Its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto V, is the second-best-selling game of all time behind Minecraft and is the most profitable piece of media in history. The long-running franchise’s open-world gameplay, witty writing, and endless replayability have every entry one of the most popular games of all time, despite constant controversy over the game’s crime-focused subject matter.
Almost seven years out from GTA 5‘s initial release, Rockstar hasn’t provided any glimpse of its inevitable sequel’s setting, gameplay, release date, or even acknowledgement of its existence. Since Red Dead Redemption 2 released in 2018, fans have been latching on to rumors and speculation about the next Grand Theft Auto, particularly within the last couple of months. An alleged Easter egg within GTA 5 supposedly pointed to a 2021 release, earlier than some would expect. While the initial report that confirmed GTA 6 was in development stated that it was in the early stages, a supposed Rockstar insider claimed that the game’s story was already finished. An earnings report for parent company Take-Two Interactive hinted at a 2022 fiscal year release, which was in turn challenged by a huge spike in their planned marketing budget that suggested a far-off release for the anticipated sequel.
A report from Inverse debunks the latest rumor based off of Take-Two’s marketing budget. While the spike in marketing for the 2024 fiscal year would make sense to promote a release as massive as Grand Theft Auto VI will be, the target of the marketing actually isn’t relevant to Rockstar. The marketing table used to develop the rumor is for commitments to third-party companies; as Rockstar is an internal studio for Take-Two, any marketing on their behalf would not be reflected in that spike.
If certain insiders are to be believed, GTA 6‘s release could even be sooner than a 2024 fiscal release, putting it in a 2022 or mid-2023 spot. Take-Two has promised sequels in its biggest franchises to investors within the next few years, although they own properties such as NBA 2K and BioShock, so that information doesn’t apply exclusively to Rockstar. It should also be noted that GTA 5 is still making a huge profit for Rockstar thanks to the Grand Theft Auto Online live service, which could even increase after Epic gave the game away free for a limited time, causing their store to crash.
Many fans are eager to see what a next-gen Grand Theft Auto game will look like, and although a new theory or supposed clue seems to pop up every week, the likely answer is that we are years out from the next installment in the series. Rockstar is under no real pressure to rush the game out, especially after starting a cultural change to fight against developer crunch. Until then, fans will have to make do with GTA Online and RDR2 until Grand Theft Auto VI is finally released–or even announced.