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Why Rockstar Won't Release GTA 6 In 2022

Even after nine years, "Grand Theft Auto 5" remains one of the biggest names in gaming. The title changed gaming as a whole, and it continues to be played by millions across the globe. It's no wonder why Rockstar Games republished it for a third consecutive generation of consoles, as the game recently saw a re-release on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. Even with this success, though, fans have adamantly waited for Rockstar to release "Grand Theft Auto 6."

"Grand Theft Auto 6" has been confirmed to be in active development via a small announcement from the company's blog. This was a minuscule reveal, though, and it's abundantly clear this game will not ship at any point in 2022. Fans have questioned why the publisher has re-issued "GTA 5" once again, and what's taken "Grand Theft Auto 6" so long to release. Rockstar, though, has some reasons to be so patient with its flagship property.

GTA 5 is Too Popular

It's no secret that "Grand Theft Auto 5" has been one of the biggest, most successful products, not just in gaming, but in entertainment media in general. Across nine years of release, it has shipped 160 million copies, and Rockstar also reported that "Grand Theft Auto 5" sold more copies in 2020 than any other year since its release in 2013. As of April 2018, it's earned a total worldwide revenue of $6 billion, which is estimated to have made it the most profitable entertainment product of all time (via GamesIndustry.biz). Those numbers are sure to continue to go up with the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions.

When a game like that is continuing to sell at such high rates, it's understandable that the publisher would not want to cut off its sales. Rockstar probably wants to reap the benefits of its sales while the game is still going, and continue to push it alongside the "Grand Theft Auto Online" section of the game. Furthermore, both the publisher and developers probably would like to use the money coming in to help grow "Grand Theft Auto 6" when it's eventually ready to go. According to The Scottsman (via International Business Times), "Grand Theft Auto 5" had a combined budget of $265 million, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the next game's budget fly way over that mark.

It's Just Not Ready

Perhaps the biggest reason why "Grand Theft Auto 6" will take a long time to release is that it's probably just not ready yet. Rockstar has placed a lot of attention not just on "Grand Theft Auto 5," but on the "Grand Theft Auto Online" portion of the game. With the current game having such a large player base, Rockstar probably wants to put its focus on making sure those players are satisfied with their current experience, and that any issues are getting the attention they deserve. Thus, catering to that core is important.

Not only that, but Rockstar is going to need as much time and attention as it can get with "Grand Theft Auto 6." As it is, "Grand Theft Auto 5" is one of the most acclaimed and beloved games of all time, and as a result, a new entry would be facing the "tough act to follow" trope. Additionally, gamers are getting impatient, and many were disappointed with the announcement and subsequent delay of the next-gen "Grand Theft Auto 5" update. Rockstar will be under a lot of pressure to not only make something that can live up to the current game, but also outdo it. This is no small feat, no matter the size of the development team and budget behind any project in gaming, as game development is a lengthy process. Thus, gamers will have to be patient as Rockstar works to make "Grand Theft Auto 6" a fulfilling follow-up to such a massive predecessor, even if it takes several years for that to happen.