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New GTA 6 fan theory explained

You probably don't need us to tell you that a whole lot of people are looking forward to Grand Theft Auto 6. Rumors have been flying around for several years at this point, and fake leaks have been widespread, simply because so many fans want to believe them.

Fortunately, a recent news article confirmed the game's existence, so we can at least stop worrying Rockstar has left the franchise behind. Now the big question isn't if we'll get a GTA 6, but when we'll get it. Based on some of the activity taking place in GTA Online, a few players believe we could see the next installment sooner rather than later.

First, allow us to give you a small economics lesson.

Inflation isn't just something that occurs when someone blows really hard into a balloon — or something Tom Brady never wants to see in a football — it's also a term that can apply to currency. Over time, products and services can increase in cost and ultimately cause a currency to lose some of its value. You've probably heard a grandparent talk about how a Coke used to cost a nickel. A nickel won't buy you much of anything these days, and that's thanks to inflation.

While the cost of products and services have gone up over time — and wages have gone up in response — it's taken decades to get to where we are today. Somehow, this process has been playing out at warp speed in Grand Theft Auto Online. When GTA 5 first came out in 2013, the game's Sultan Classic car sold for a mere $12,000. Fast forward to today, and that same car now costs $1.2 million. That is an objectively insane price hike.

Now here's where things get hairy. According to Inverse, Rockstar is going to give every player who logs in during May a free $500,000 to spend. That'll undoubtedly make the Sultan a bit easier to afford for most players, but it could come with some unintended — or intended — consequences.

If everyone in the real world was suddenly given $1 million, for example, you might see that $1 million become less valuable. The price of goods and services might go up to account for the fact that, well, everyone has $1 million. This is essentially what's about to happen in GTA Online, and it could help throw the game's economy into even more disarray.

Some players believe Rockstar is doing all of this on purpose; not to make some larger political point, but to eventually offer a newer, better Grand Theft Auto Online.

"Rockstar will purposefully abandon GTA Online," Reddit user James_Torelli theorized. "The worst of this collapse will happen several weeks before the release of Grand Theft Auto 6. This is to sway anyone playing or looking to play GTA Online to the new GTA 6 Online."

James_Torelli added that Rockstar "wants to make as much money as possible exclusively on GTA 6 Online," and that can only happen if Rockstar completely tanks the economy inside the current iteration of GTA Online so it can start a new one. Presumably, all of this unfolding now would point to a quicker release of GTA 6 than most are anticipating.

We've heard a lot of crazy theories about both Grand Theft Auto 6 and GTA Online in the past. So where does this one stack up?

To start, there's probably a better explanation for the currency inflation happening in Grand Theft Auto Online than "Rockstar wants to watch the world burn." For starters, Grand Theft Auto 5 is on sale quite a bit these days, and often comes with a high-dollar Shark Card so players can instantly jump in and start buying things. Remember when we talked about the real world consequences of giving every person $1 million? That's been happening with certain new copies of GTA 5 for several years now.

On top of that, the economy in GTA Online isn't quite comparable to the one we're all a part of in the real world, in that every player in GTA Online is a criminal. If every person here on Earth 1 robbed banks for a living, and those banks seemingly had endless amounts of money to support the bank robbing industry, we might see inflation happen at a similar pace. Everyday people would suddenly have a lot more cash to spend. You wouldn't see many $1 value menus if everyone could pull in $400,000 an hour running heists.

We're not saying James_Torelli's theory is entirely wrong here. It could be true that Rockstar is purposely trying to kill off GTA Online so the version in GTA 6 looks more appealing. The crazy inflation could also be a result of the game being online for years and Rockstar's propensity to give away tons of cash. No one will know for sure until we hear more about the next GTA and where GTA Online fits into those plans.