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New GTA Clues Get The Rumor Mill Turning

When game developers create video games, do they forge ahead with a new experience, or do they revisit old haunting grounds with a bit of spit and polish? While gamers have kept busy during the arduous wait for Grand Theft Auto 6 by hunting for rumors and playing Grand Theft Auto Online, Rockstar Games might have something else in the works that should please GTA fans who pine for the days of San Andreas and Vice City.

Recently, audiences have pieced together clues that might point to a Grand Theft Auto trilogy remaster featuring Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City, and San Andreas. The first clue came from Rockstar Games' Ian Gander, who serves as senior designer. His LinkedIn page lists his work experience, such as Grand Theft Auto 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2, but it also lists "Unannounced title(s)." Not canceled titles, mind you, but unannounced titles — plural. Which means that this probably doesn't refer to the purportedly canceled Bully 2. So why do GTA fans think Gander worked on a GTA remaster? This is where the clues get juicy ... and cryptic.

The Grand Theft Auto forums are a hotbed (and usually reliable source) of information and leaks, including the Next DLC Speculation thread. Enter Mach1bud, who is labeled "Staff" on the forums and posted a single-word comment: "Soon." That was enough to excite and confuse fans. Forum user Talisman_83 cheekily asked if the comment had something to do with a '78 Ford restoration, and Mach1bud responded that they have an engine "mostly together" and almost ready for startup. 

When another user, WildBrick142, challenged Mach1bud and stated they posted in the wrong forum, Mach1bud assured the commenter no such mistake had been made and that they "can't wait" for their engine to be finished, stating, "I'm glad it's happening sooner rather than later." Eventually, the subject turned to trailers to go with the new engine and restored Ford, and Mach1bud stated he was interested in buying one in "less than 90 days."

What could this all mean? Either Mach1bud was stringing along readers and actually talking about restoring a truck (you have to do something to stay busy during lockdown), or their statements were doublespeak referring to a new game engine and trailer. But again, why Grand Theft Auto 3, San Andreas, and Vice City specifically? Because one forum admin, Spider-Vice, actually tagged the thread with "GTA 3," "GTA VC," and "GTA SA," which are shorthand for the three respective games. And uNi, another GTA Forums admin, posted a picture on Twitter of fan-made Shark cards (the fictional credit cards used for microtransactions in GTA Online) that feature the issue number "2001200220042013B46." 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2013 are the respective release years of GTA 3, GTA: Vice City, GTA: San Andreas, and GTA 5.

While these cryptic messages are far from confirmation, they are enough to activate the apophenia deep down in gamers' minds. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but that statement also implies that sometimes a cigar means much more. If Mach1bud is for real, fans should know in about 90 days.