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All the GTA 6 rumors and spoilers leaked so far

Though Rockstar has released little information about the next game in their Grand Theft Auto series, GTA 6 remains one of the most anticipated titles within the gaming community. Whether you love or hate the franchise, there's no denying the chaotic mash-up of drug-running, shootouts, and indecent proposals has made a lasting impact on the industry. 

Years have passed since GTA 5's initial release in September 2013. While Rockstar is still getting mileage out of Grand Theft Auto Online, fans continue to clamor for clues about where the series is headed. Though much of the information available rests firmly in the realms of wishful thinking, some of the rumors show promise. The good news is, Grand Theft Auto 6 is definitely happening. Unfortunately, you may be facing an extensive waiting period.

In the meantime, here are the GTA 6 rumors and spoilers leaked so far to help keep the dream alive. 

"Project Americas"

It looks like Grand Theft Auto 6 may return to a fan favorite location, Vice City. Inspired by real-world Miami, Vice City served as the setting for the game of the same name, released in 2002 for the PlayStation 2. Drawing from the cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, Vice City received praise for its music, research, and gameplay. Though the entry stirred a great deal of controversy, many fans and critics still consider it one of the best video games ever made. 

According to an unnamed source cited by The Know in March 2018, Rockstar's internal name for GTA 6 is "Project Americas." Vice City will serve as the primary location for the game with players flying between the United States and South America, which would explain the plural nature of the code name.

Returning to Vice City gives Rockstar a lot of material to play with.  Given the history of cocaine smuggling between South America and Miami, the drug trade will likely be a key aspect of the missions. It is unclear how GTA 6 would fit into the timeline established in Vice City but if this rumor is true, fans may soon get to see some familiar faces.

Coming in the early 2020s

Beyond debunking a hoax claiming a 2019 launch, Rockstar has remained tight-lipped about the release of Grand Theft Auto 6

According to The Know's source, the game was still in the early stages of development in March 2018. Should their information prove accurate, this would mean a release within the next three to four years (2021-2022). Another report by TechRadar claims GTA 6 has been in development since March 2016.

An early 2020s debut would mark the longest gap between Grand Theft Auto titles seen so far. You're looking at a minimum of a seven years wait from GTA 5's release in 2013. 

Given the overwhelming success of GTA 5 and GTA Online, this is not entirely unexpected. According to a 2018 report from MarketWatch, GTA 5 has brought in more revenue than any other single media title. The game, and its online component, continue to generate millions of dollars in profit for the publisher. 

With this ongoing commercial success, and the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar appears to be in no hurry to compete with itself through a new franchise feature. As long as GTA 5 continues to top the video game charts in the US, Rockstar may not feel the need to move forward for a while.

First female lead

According to the same report by The Know, Grand Theft Auto 6 may introduce the first female protagonist of the series. Whether the story will follow multiple main characters remains unclear; however, a leading lady has long been a point of discussion among fans. Given the nature of the Grand Theft Auto games, the addition of a female protagonist has proven a divisive topic over the years. Placing a woman in the starring role tops many fan wish lists while others remain vehemently opposed to the concept.

Some players feel a female main character would violate the spirit of the games. In many respects, the franchise centers on male power fantasies. Once again, accusations of historical inaccuracy have surfaced, with women billed as unrealistic in the role of a gangster or criminal. Others say they simply could not relate to a female protagonist.

Rockstar itself does not seem opposed to incorporating a female main character, though a comment from Dan Houser echoes arguments against the concept. When asked why they did not include women as playable characters in GTA 5, Houser said, "The concept of being masculine was so key to this story," but that a female lead was possible"for the right game in the future -– with the right themes."

If the rumors are true, Grand Theft Auto 6 may be the first title in the series featuring a narrative designed to appeal to both men and women.

A '70s revival

Other discussions center on the era during which Grand Theft Auto 6 will take place. Many players hope to return to a historical setting, with the 1970s emerging as a fan favorite

Rumors began circulating about a 1970s setting as early as 2014. Whether these rumors are legitimate or the product of wishful thinking remains unclear. Given the success of titles such as Vice City, which takes place in the 1980s, a 1970s backdrop would fit well with the established tone of the franchise. No matter the origin of the prediction, sources continue to speculate that this would be the safest course of action given today's charged political climate.

During an October 2018 interview, Dan Houser told GQ he is thankful GTA 6 is not coming out during the Trump era. He also confessed his relief that Red Dead Redemption 2 is a period piece. These statements make it clear Rockstar wishes to avoid further political polarization and backlash. 

The interview also supports the rumor that Grand Theft Auto 6 will not release until the early 2020s. Donald Trump's first term as President of the United States does not conclude until Jan. 20, 2021. This would coincide nicely with the predicted 2021-2022 launch.

Grand Theft Auto goes international

Before The Know's alleged leak regarding "Project Americas," rumors abounded about Grand Theft Auto 6 taking place outside of the United States. Potential locations include Tokyo and London, though Rockstar seems to have abandoned their plans for Tokyo due to the problematic outlay of the city's streets.

A return to London remains a strong contender despite a lack of recent commentary on the theory. GTA first visited the UK in the extra mission pack Grand Theft Auto: London 1969, released on PlayStation and Windows in 1999. Fans continue to push for a return there, or an international setting in general. Other front runners include Dubai, Bangkok, and Rio de Janeiro.

Despite enthusiasm for an international setting, a departure from the United States may prove far-fetched. When asked about re-exploring the UK during a 2013 interview with The Guardian, Dan Houser revealed "my own personal feeling is that GTA is America." 

But Houser made it clear within the interview he wasn't speaking for the entire GTA team, so there may be hope for an international setting yet.

A next generation console game

With Rockstar focused on Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto Online, a 2021-2022 release makes sense; however, rumors suggest there may be more to this gap in GTA titles. Fans continue to speculate that Grand Theft Auto 6 will debut alongside the next generation of consoles. With the next Xbox said to be arriving in 2020 and the PlayStation 5 rumored for release within the following two years, the dates would line up perfectly.

It's possible Rockstar will mirror the strategy they used when launching GTA 5. If that's the case, GTA 6 will initially launch as a PlayStation 4 title before being ported to the PlayStation 5. With a similar release window, you may see a simultaneous launch on both systems. 

Waiting to launch with the next generation of consoles would certainly have its benefits. The power of these systems would enable Rockstar to explore a larger world map, even incorporating multiple cities. They could also add more features, such as the much sought after destructible environments, which previous generations could not handle.

Play on both sides of the law

According to multiple reports, Grand Theft Auto 6 may feature the ability to play as either a cop or a criminal. Police mods have long been a facet of GTA Online, with thousands of fans turning the game into something of a police simulator. These devoted players have created a thriving cop-based roleplaying community, drawing upon real-world procedures for added realism.

Given the continued interest in this type of gameplay, this rumor appears to have strong possibilities. On the other hand, centering their next story around a police officer, especially one who is corrupt or compromised, clashes with Rockstar's clear desire to avoid political backlash. Choosing a dirty cop as a protagonist in a time dominated by reports of police brutality and discrimination might be one of the worst directions Rockstar could take the franchise. With such a strong focus on storytelling and detail, they are unlikely to pursue a path that would see their hard work swallowed up by controversy. 

Of course, critics have put Rockstar on blast for making questionable or insensitive decisions more than once in the past. Only time will reveal whether the series will continue down that path or double down on avoiding political issues.

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling may headline

Another common rumor supports predictions of Grand Theft Auto's first female protagonist. From as early as 2015, reports have circulated about celebrity power couple Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling voicing two of the main characters for Grand Theft Auto 6. Resurfacing regularly, this theory has not been denied by Rockstar or the actors in question. Based on the addition of multiple protagonists to GTA 5, the scenario seems plausible, if unlikely.

Gosling is no stranger to the role of charismatic lawbreaker. His performance in the movie Drive even caught Dan Houser's attention: when asked about the blockbuster during an interview with The Guardian, Houser responded, "It was impossible to imagine that film without having played GTA." 

Riffing off of this commentary, some fans feel Gosling has proven himself an ideal fit for the Grand Theft Auto universe. Mendes also has an impressive list of performances under her belt and was even born Miami, Florida to Cuban parents. Together since 2011, the pair would no doubt have good in-game chemistry. 

Release delayed to add VR

The introduction of new features, including a full VR experience, is rumored to be the cause of the delay between titles.

According to various reports, the required increase to the game's budget is straining its production, as much of Rockstar's resources and talent are tied up in the maintenance of GTA Online and Red Dead Online. The rumors suggest that GTA 6 has a $500 million production budget, double the sum allocated to GTA 5. With the massive success of the title considered by some to be an unrepeatable anomaly, the increased allocation may be causing internal strife. With the mounting pressure and focus on immersion and game quality, GTA 6 may continue to see delays until it can meet the increasingly high standards set by the developer and the franchise's eager fans.

GTA 6 will establish first-person mode as the new standard

The addition of a first-person mode to GTA 5 is rumored to predict the transition of the franchise from third-person to first-person. GTA 6 will purportedly be the first title to use first-person exclusively or, at least, as the new standard mode. 

According to GTA 5's animation director, Rob Nelson, first-person is something Rockstar has long been interested in but was unable to pursue until the arrival of new-gen consoles. "We were out of memory on the old consoles for animations. We were constantly fighting about what we could have and what we could still push in, and what other areas you could steal memory back from –- audio, art, maps -– for animation."

If Grand Theft Auto 6 launches along the new Xbox and PlayStation systems as suggested, Rockstar may finally have the means and performance power to integrate this feature. This would make the intense, in-your-face experience of first-person mode their new standard and bring a fresh feeling to the series as a whole.

Max Wanted level

What else might GTA 6 bring our way? Until Rockstar sends out the press releases, we may not know for sure. And given that the release is likely a few years away, the notoriously tight-lipped company might keep the game under wraps for a long while to come. So until then, we can speculate ourselves on what the new GTA might bring, and what we'd like to see if we were in charge of a seedy underworld.

First up, it'd be great to see a different seedy underworld this time around. America is a big place, and it has plenty of cities to choose from. Chicago, with its history of organized crime and corruption, seems like it'd be a perfect fit. Washington, DC would let Rockstar really dig its teeth into politics' seedy underbelly. Boston, San Francisco, and many others would also make excellent playgrounds. Honestly, as long as we haven't seen it all before, we'll be very happy indeed.

Those of us who prefer Grand Theft Auto as a solo experience would like to have more add-on single-player content for the next game. Where GTA 5 got no campaign DLC at all, Grand Theft Auto 4's two expansions, The Lost and Damned and (especially) The Ballad of Gay Tony, were arguably even better than GTA 4's main campaign. Missing out on more adventures like those still stings. When Rockstar starts mapping out the development for the next game, hopefully offline content will be a continuing part of it.

It'd be great if Rockstar gave the modding community its due with official support. Access to game assets would give fans plenty of ways to make the Grand Theft Auto bigger and crazier than ever, while a dedicated modding channel would make regulating things a whole lot easier on Rockstar's end. Mods are a big part of the reason that GTA 5 has remained so relevant after all these years. With the studio's support behind them, the next generation of mods could do even more for both the community and Rockstar's bottom line.

And best of all, Grand Theft Auto should be stealing cars on every platform. That means releasing GTA 6 on the Nintendo Switch. That means letting PC users join in the fun on launch day, and not over a year later. It means embracing cross-platform multiplayer, so that Grand Theft Auto Online players can team up with friends no matter where their brand loyalty lies. And yes, that means going where the players are and releasing a mobile edition of GTA 6 that's on par with its console and PC siblings. Not a stripped-down version made specifically for phones and tablets: a fully-featured port.

Throw in a few quality-of-life improvements, like better aiming and more fluid controls, and Grand Theft Auto 6 could be the biggest and best Rockstar game yet — a tall order given their library. But then again, this is a studio that has always pushed itself to make not just the best games, but the best worlds that it possibly can. Perhaps no other open-world environment has ever been as detailed, as lived-in, or as comprehensive as Los Santos. It's why millions of gamers are still playing in that sandbox after all this time. Exceeding that will be a tall order. But if these rumors are any indication, for Rockstar, it's just what they do.