A GTA 6 release date has been spotted on a European retailer that had previously 'leaked' the latest Need For Speed game in late 2019.
Gameware, an Austrian retailer, this week posted a new listing for Grand Theft Auto 6 and as you might imagine, it was spotted fairly quickly by eager fans keen for Rockstar to say something about their next GTA plans.
Previously the retailer has leaked the existence of several games in the past before they were officially unveiled.
This included Capcom's Devil May Cry V and more recently EA's new Need for Speed Heat game.
So, whilst we always take most GTA 6 related rumbling with a healthy dollop of salt, we can at least give Gameware some credibility that they will, on occasion, accidentally reveal something they perhaps should.
The listing itself only provides a rather vague '2020' placeholder for the game and no specific release date to circle in your calendar.
Supposedly this is the 'D1 edition' which we'll assume is meant to be some sort of youth-friendly speak for Day 1 edition.
The listing does, however, suggest the game will be available for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Which after recent news that consoles like the Xbox Series X won't have console exclusives at launch, does at least lend to the idea that more games in 2020 and 2021 might attempt to go cross-gen. Presumably, so they might cater to both new console adoptors and the millions of players already using the existing consoles available to most consumers.
Right, now we've given you all the info. But is it believable?
Truthfully? we think that whilst it sounds great, it's more than likely just a placeholder with a rather glass half full approach to retail listings. As such, we wouldn't pin your hopes on it – although we're happy to be proved wrong.
The thing is, for starters, revealing a game and releasing it the same year is just not Rockstar's style.
Secondly, knowing how Rockstar has worked in the past, we can only imagine that any listing would come after Rockstar has at least revealed a trailer or at the very least, a teaser trailer.
Historically, the company is tight-lipped. Even back in 2009, the company were tight-lipped and they continue to be today.
Why do we mention 2009? That's when somone asked Strauss Zelnick a question about the announcement strategy for the next GTA during a Take-Two Interactive third quarter 2009 fiscal report conference call.
When pushed on the call, Zelnick replied:
"We're not going to announce it. We're not going to announce when we're going to announce it. And we're not going to announce the strategy about announcing it or about when we're going to announce it either, or about the announcement strategy surrounding the announcement of the strategy. Any other questions?"
So we just can't foresee a situation where a small(er) Austrian retailer is leaking, unquestionably, the biggest game of the next decade.
In our eyes, we might see Rockstar announce the game in 2020, but we can only forsee that happening if it's scheduled to release in 2020.
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Why would GTA 6 release in 2021?
We've touched on this previously and we will once again reiterate that this is merely us speculating at this point, however, we think 2021 is the year when Rockstar Games could attempt to release a new Grand Theft Auto.
Even if Rockstar were to announce the game in 2020, it would require an accelerated development cycle we've not seen from the developer.
But it's clear the companies parent company, Take-Two Interactive, wants to expedite the release schedules for their big propitiates.
Speaking in 2020, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick praised the critical and commercial response to certain 2K releases, but also lamented the time it took to bring certain titles to market.
More specifically, Zelnick identified that games like Red Dead Redemption 2 – which enjoyed an eight-year development cycle – were probably in development 'too long'.
When will GTA 6 release?
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"[…] Our ability to engage with consumers on an ongoing basis has [resulted in] some less pressure on getting to market with an all-new title," Zelnick explained.
"But we find that intersection between the time it takes our creators to do the best work in the industry on the one hand, and what the consumer wants, recognizing that building anticipation is a good thing.
"And we believe in resting titles as a great thing. I was a real outlier 12 years ago when we said we don't think it makes sense to annualize non-sports titles, and now most people would agree. But I think eight years is probably too long."
So we think it's highly possible that Take-Two could look to make Rockstar Games expedite the time spent between a GTA 6 announcement and release, much shorter.
So in our eyes, an October 2021 release seems the most likely timeframe in which to expect Rockstar's next Grand Theft Auto game to drop.
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