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Why Rockstar Won't Release Grand Theft Auto 6 In 2020

The rumor mill has been abuzz with speculation about what's happening behind closed doors at Rockstar. Much of the internet seems convinced that the next big release from the studio will be the long-awaited sequel to GTA 5. Red Dead Redemption 2 has had its day in the sun — isn't it time for a new, modern criminal undertaking? 


Probably. There are several stories floating around the internet indicating Rockstar's commitment to making another GTA game, but we don't think we'll be seeing GTA 6 anytime soon; not this year, anyway. Sorry guys, but even if Rockstar is hard at work on this fabled GTA 6, it might be years before we see it. The best we can hope for is an official announcement this year. Fingers crossed!

Grand Theft Auto 6 needs time

Whatever Grand Theft Auto 6 is going to be, it's going to be big. Consider the city of Los Santos: it's massive, sprawling, and immersive. It contains such attention to detail that players are still uncovering secrets years after the game's release. We don't envy the pressure Rockstar is under to produce another ridiculously successful Grand Theft Auto game, and it's safe to assume that the developers will need years to produce a comparable experience. We've learned from the rather arduous and even exploitative development hell involved with Red Dead Redemption 2 that these great games take time. A lot of it. 


The long-awaited release of RDR2 made Rockstar a pretty penny, but its production was incredibly costly. Some of the devs were in crunch mode for years, working upwards of 60 hour per week. Workers were encouraged to stay in the office rather than go home, some offices going as far as to offer laundry services. Learning of this, public opinion turned against Rockstar's culture of crunch. It took nearly a decade for RDR2, and if Rockstar doesn't want to do crunch again, then it's safe to say it will take much, much longer for GTA 6.

We'd sooner expect some kind of announcement – a tease or perhaps a presentation at this year's E3 — before Rockstar suddenly unleashes Grand Theft Auto 6 onto the world. It would benefit the company to build up some hype and a healthy amount of pre-orders.


Rockstar doesn't want to kill Red Dead Redemption 2

It turns out that we can't really talk about GTA 6 without talking about Red Dead Redemption 2. Imagine what would happen if GTA 6 was suddenly released tomorrow: it would be chaos. Gamers would scramble to get their hands on a copy, and no one would be playing Red Dead Redemption 2, let alone Red Dead Online.


If Rockstar suddenly graced us with Grand Theft Auto 6, it would essentially be killing the player base for its other games. This wouldn't be a very lucrative strategy. Right now, Red Dead is Rockstar's moneymaker, and the studio doesn't want to threaten its success with another game — especially when it finally seems that Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC isn't crashing anymore.

Rockstar is working on other things

Before you get too excited about Grand Theft Auto 6, remember that Rockstar has other franchises to care for. Yes, we've already gotten Red Dead Redemption 2, but now the devs are tending to this ridiculously successful title that same way they did for GTA 5. Red Dead Online isn't nearly as popular as the frightfully lucrative GTA Online, but it has potential.


Take Two, Rockstar's parent company, has doubled down on the strategy of adding content, updates, and items to already-released titles. This "games as service" model makes producers quite a bit of cash; sometimes even more than what a base game gathers. We'll sooner see more of these updates, like GTA Online's Diamond Casino Heist or Red Dead Online's new moonshiner role, than whole new games. 

Let's not forget about Bully, either. Although Bully isn't nearly as prolific or popular as Rockstar's other franchises, it has a special place within the culture of the company. Bully hasn't been forgotten, and there are even rumors that there might be another Bully game in the works. We'd assume that a new Bully game would get priority over GTA 6, because — like we said — Rockstar is making plenty of money from Red Dead Redemption 2 and GTA 5.


In short, don't hold your breath for a timely GTA 6 release. We're hoping for some official news in 2020, but we're not so sure that this will be the year of a new Grand Theft Auto game.