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Grand Theft Auto VI: Miami location, female protagonist and everything else we know

Grand Theft Auto VI: Everything we know so far
(Image credit: Rockstar)

Grand Theft Auto VI is one of the most anticipated video games expected to arrive on the next-generation consoles as well as PC. But do we actually know that it’s in development and that it’ll come out for the next-generation consoles? Well, no.

While Grand Theft Auto VI (working title is 'Project Americas') has been all but officially confirmed, a Kotaku report revealed management has already laid out a plan for the next game in the Grand Theft Auto series, which has been further expanded upon by a recent Bloomberg report

So, Rockstar is at least making good progress in development. And there are plenty of other rumors and reports that suggest Rockstar might be further along than we think.

Before we dive in, this title still has time to launch, so keep in mind our frequently updated lists of best PC games and best PC Game Pass games as well as our best Xbox Series X games and best PS5 games. If you haven't purchased the latest-gen of consoles, we highly recommend checking out our Xbox Series X|PS5 reviews. And if you're more into the imaginative play, see our best virtual tabletop software and DND tips pages.

Now, here’s everything we know so far about Grand Theft Auto VI.

Grand Theft Auto VI development

Bloomberg's report confirms what we already know, that GTA VI development is well under way. It does also state that significant changes have been made behind the scenes at Rockstar, to make the development of this game a lot less rocky than previous iterations.

Specifically, more producers have been employed to reduce the need for crunch, contracted workers have been converted to full-time employees, abusive employees have been removed, employees are allowed to be more flexible with their time, and new mental health & leave benefits are in place.

This is definitely a step in the right direction for Rockstar and for game development as a whole.

Grand Theft Auto VI release date

There are a ton of rumors about when Grand Theft Auto VI is actually going to be released and if it’ll come in time for the next generation consoles. If recent developments are any indication, we might not see Grand Theft Auto VI for at least a few more years.

As reported by VentureBeat, Take-Two laid out its financial plans for the next five years, aka a 10-K SEC filing, which revealed that the company intends on spending $89 million on marketing between April 2023 and March 2024. That’s over half the marketing budget expected for any fiscal year over the next decade.

Industry analyst Jeff Cohen predicts that Grand Theft Auto VI will actually release during this window. Included in VentureBeat’s report, Cohen’s note to investors revealed that the previous marketing budgets predicted the releases of other Take-Two Interactive games, such as Red Dead Redemption 2.

So, it’s more than likely that we’ll get Grand Theft Auto VI within that April 2023 to March 2024 release window, which’ll be after the next-gen consoles have had a chance to mature a bit. But, of course, this is still just a prediction, and things are subject to change from now until then.

It's going to be awhile before we get anything from Grand Theft Auto VI, especially since all of the big Summer events have come and gone already, but we'll might get a reveal closer to The Game Awards, which debuted the Xbox Series X last year.

Rockstar Support (opens in new tab) actually responded to a fan about GTA 6's appearance, and the account said, "There is no news on that topic yet. Please stay tuned to the Rockstar Newswire for official updates." It's possible that we'll get an update relatively soon.

A theory posted on Reddit (opens in new tab) suggests that we could be getting a GTA 6 Superbowl ad, but unfortunately, that theory relies on a connection to the Weeknd's music video featuring billboards with random text on it. The text in question was "GTA 6 Trailer," but as it turned out, the text on the billboards actually came from fan comments.

There's still absolutely nothing new we know about GTA 6, but people are clinging to a new Rockstar website (opens in new tab) that popped up as hope for some news. However, the page is blank and desperately looking at a blank page won't make the news appear.

Grand Theft Auto VI gameplay

While we don’t have anything concrete or confirmed so far, it’s hard to imagine very much changing with the traditional Grand Theft Auto gameplay. What we’re looking forward to and what we expect is minor tweaks to make Grand Theft Auto VI movement and gameplay feel more natural.

Grand Theft Auto VI: Everything we know so far

(Image credit: Rockstar)

The biggest problem with Grand Theft Auto V’s gameplay is how realistic it attempts to be and how unrealistic it is as a result. The movement in Grand Theft Auto V is sluggish, which can be especially frustrating when you’re in fast-paced combat situations. But when you’re roaming the city streets, it’s perfect for going for a stroll. Grand Theft Auto VI needs to figure out what it wants to be.

The same goes for every other mechanic the game has to offer. We imagine, at the very least, the major improvements in Grand Theft Auto VI’s gameplay will revolve around making it a much smoother gaming experience.

Meanwhile, a new patent leaked on Reddit (opens in new tab) may have teased us with advanced NPCs, as Take-Two Interactive states, "a need exists for an improved system for virtual navigation." Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games, appear in the patent (opens in new tab) to think the conventional system used in games "only provide limited resources for automated NPCs." While nowhere does it state that this is in reference to GTA 6, the patent does go on about various vehicles, such as trucks, motorcycles and sedans, and about "high-speed chases." GTA is definitely known for those features.

Rockstar has talked about the future of its development process during its official GDC 2021 presentation. The company wrote that it's working to:

1. "Improve the responsiveness and quality of humans and animals with lower production costs".

2. Develop "machine learning approaches".

3. Create "better parity between AI and player-controlled characters".

Better and more believable AI can easily make a game that much more immersive, which is exciting to hear.

We still don't know a lot about GTA 6, but Rockstar Mag reporter Chris Klippel (opens in new tab) talked about the game's development, stating that it's "just a big mess really. I can tell you it has been confirmed to me - and I can't go into details - to date it is Rockstar's most chaotic project since its creation." Of course, take that with as much skepticism as any rumor or leak.

Grand Theft Auto VI story

While Grand Theft Auto V revolves around heists, it’s unclear what kind of story Grand Theft Auto VI will deliver. But Bloomberg has reported that this will be the first game in the series to feature a playable female protagonist. This Latina woman will be one of two playable characters in a story that is apparently inspired by Bonnie and Clyde.

Grand Theft Auto VI: Everything we know so far

(Image credit: Rockstar)

As for who penned this story, if rumors are to be believed. Chris ‘Liberty93’ from Rockstar Mag (a French fan site) claims that the entirety of Grand Theft Auto VI’s story was written before Dan Houser, Rockstar’s head writer, left the company.

However, Chris explains that there were also many changes to Red Dead Redemption 2’s story during development, despite it being completed in 2012. 

“They still made changes in late 2017, early 2018, and many little details were modified," Chris explained.

Recently, Arthur Morgan actor Roger Clark commented on Grand Theft Auto VI's story in an interview with Game Rant (opens in new tab).

"I can't see how it will all play out, but it does make epic, longer storylines like Red Dead Redemption 2 seem less likely in the future. On day one of a release at least, but so many exciting possibilities will replace that. From an actor's point of view, I think [that approach] holds a lot of potential."

It almost sounds like Grand Theft Auto VI won't be a complete story on launch, similar to how GTA Online was incomplete. I certainly hope that Rockstar does not apply the multiplayer approach to the story.

Grand Theft Auto VI setting

The setting of a Grand Theft Auto game is one of the most important aspects of the world and the gameplay. In Grand Theft Auto IV, New York City took center stage, whereas the previous game, Grand Theft Auto V, threw the player in Los Angeles.

There’s been a ton of speculation as to where Grand Theft Auto VI will take place, but one thing none of this rumor mill picked up on is that it could be more than just one location.

Grand Theft Auto VI: Everything we know so far

(Image credit: Rockstar)

Rockstar Games’ co-founder Dan Houser previously stated:

“At the moment, it feels like GTA’s DNA is contemporary-ish, American-ish, English-speaking-ish, because that’s what it has been… But that doesn’t necessarily limit it to those, that’s just what we’ve done so far.”

And that comes through from Bloomberg, which states that GTA 6's (working title is 'Project Americas') primary location is set to be a fictional version of Miami and its surrounding areas. 

The current map is apparently huge, with more interior locations than in previous GTA games, but the report claims that Rockstar plans to continue supporting this game by adding new cities over time.

The code name 'Project Americas' was first mentioned by Inside Gaming. Apparently, the name was given due to the ability for players to fly between the United States and South America, suggesting that the US city would be Vice City. This lines up with the Bloomberg report for sure

A leaked letter asking a Florida store for permission for Rockstar Games to inspect the premises also came to light. The letter also mentioned location scout Leah Sokolowsky who hinted at a large digital media client in a podcast back in May 2019 (via Daily Star). Ex-Rockstar leaker, @Yan2295, legitimized the letter:

"Leah, the location scout from the letter, is legit. She mentioned in a podcast working with a large digital media company, with whom she signed a NDA," said Yan2295.

For what it’s worth, the Grand Theft Auto 3 trilogy took place in Liberty City, Vice City, and San Andreas. And with the recent games, we saw Liberty City and San Andreas make a return. It’s entirely possible that we’ll see Vice City again.

According to Rockstar Mag (opens in new tab) founder Chris Klippel, GTA 6 will look "ahead of its time" thanks to the RAGE9 engine and "outperform" Unreal. (via Dailystar (opens in new tab))

Grand Theft Auto VI Online

Just thinking about what the next GTA Online could look like is giving me a migraine. There’s nothing on the record about the next online system, but if it’s anything like the current GTA Online, I’m not sure if I can bring myself to play it.

The current GTA Online is a money-making machine for Rockstar. These DLCs are disguised as free, but in reality, they’re much more expensive than what a traditional paid DLC would be. Sure, you could earn the money in-game, but it’ll take you weeks of dedication to buy one cool car. Or you could spend $50 bucks and get a bunch of money in-game -- and by a bunch of money, I mean you could probably afford one or two cool cars.

Whatever the online mechanics are, Rockstar needs to seriously reconfigure its online systems to let people earn money at a decent rate. The way Rockstar runs its online system is unprecedented. There are some games that let you earn the DLC, like Rainbow Six Siege, but if you pay for the DLC instead, you own it, end of story.

Thank you for reading my mini-rant.

While Rockstar is notorious for delaying the PC releases for its games, we expect Grand Theft Auto VI to arrive on PC within at least a year of the original console release. By then, the specs we have now might be lacking considering that games will be running on SSDs and require much stronger graphics. However, we could glean something by looking at the current minimum and recommended requirements of Red Dead Redemption 2.

The minimum requirements for Red Dead Redemption 2 are an Intel Core i5-2500K or AMD FX-6300 CPU, 8GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 2GB or AMD Radeon R9 280 3GB GPU and 150 GB of space. The recommended requirements are a Core i7-4770K or Ryzen 5 1500X CPU, 12GB of RAM and a GTX 1060 6GB or RX 480 4GB GPU.

Since Red Dead Redemption 2 managed to stay a generation behind on its GPU for recommended specs, it’s possible that Grand Theft Auto VI will require an RTX 2060 Super GPU to run properly. And that’s assuming Nvidia releases another series of GPUs between now and Grand Theft Auto VI’s launch date.

Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.