It’s coming up seven years since GTA 5 came out. The game was a smash hit, grossing a billion dollars a matter of days after its release, going on to become the most profitable entertainment product in history. Demand for the next instalment, then, is high.
The good news is it’s in the works right now. The bad news is it won’t be ready for a while. In an extensive report (which we strongly recommend you read) into a culture shift within Rockstar Games, Kotaku mentioned that the next Grand Theft Auto game is “early in development”. The report’s author, Jason Schreier, noted on Twitter that GTA 6 is “a ways away”.
Tez2, a well-known leaker of Rockstar insider knowledge, has since claimed development is around half-way through. But wherever it’s at right now, we can be fairly certain there’ll be a good wait for the game.
Also, it’ll be smaller than GTA 5 on release, and for good reason. GTA 6 be “moderately sized” to begin with, which judging by 5 and Rockstar’s other bewilderingly expansive titles, will still mean a sizeable game. From there, it’ll be expanded via updates, a method intended by Rockstar’s senior management to protect employees from the ‘crunch’.
Excessive overtime is a huge problem for the gaming industry and an issue in which Rockstar has been fully complicit. In 2018 company co-founder Dan Houser - who departed the firm last month - infamously said members Red Dead Redemption 2 team were putting in 100-hour weeks to get the game finished.
The company’s attitude is said to have already shifted noticeably in the 18 months that followed, and in an email to staff picked up by Kotaku, Rockstar’s head of publishing Jennifer Kolbe outlined numerous changes in store for the company in 2020. These included measures to reduce overtime, management training and flexible working practices.
So, when you finally fire up Grand Theft Auto 6 and notice that the map isn’t quite as big as last time (but still no doubt giant) or there’s something else you were expecting to see that’s missing, remember it’s all for the greater good within the games industry.