Although Rockstar remains tight-lipped about releasing the next installment of the incredibly successful GTA franchise, rumor has it that we might have to wait until 2025 before we can explore Vice City with a collection of new characters.

We were initially hopeful that GTA 6 would launch in 2023 and be set in 1970s Miami, a first for the franchise, but Rockstar has released nothing in recent times to suggest this may be the case.

While Rockstar's signature back-in-time feature series, Red Dead Redemption, enjoys extraordinary success, much of the allure of GTA is that it's set in the present and mimics a semblance of real-life of the American gang culture. So, the suggestion that the game would be set in the drug-riddled streets of 1970s south Florida was met with a degree of disappointment.

But what can we expect to see when the game finally launches? Do we have any clues as to its setting and scope? Let's take a look at what we know about the coming of the eagerly anticipated GTA 6.

It's likely to be set in the present day

The 1970s Miami rumors didn't gain much traction, although they surfaced again recently after an alleged screenshot was "leaked." While it would undoubtedly be fun to get amongst the maniacal cocaine dealing factions, the chance to further explore the ever-expanding Vice City is perhaps more appealing to GTA's loyal fanbase.

Given the incredible attention to detail that Rockstar has continually put into map creation over the years, we're likely to be treated to more of the same, but with some exciting additions. Under the codename 'Project Americas,' leaks on Reddit suggest that GTA 6 could incorporate some of the following features:

  • A modern-day map set in multiple locations, potentially based upon Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Vice City in the US.
  • The game may follow a chapter system similar to Red Dead Redemption, as opposed to the sporadic nature of missions usually followed on GTA.
  • Some of the characters from GTA 5 might make another appearance, with the Madrazo crime family most likely to return to the action.

What about some of the most popular locales from GTA 5? 

One of the things that fans most commonly want to know is whether their favorite game locations will return in the latest releases. One of the best-loved haunts of GTA online players is the Diamond Casino and Resort, which becomes the setting of various daring heists during the online version of the game.  

It's also the perfect place to increase your virtual fortune, with live tables and slots throughout the venue, with roulette, blackjack, and three-card poker being the most popular. Although there's been no official comment about the existence of the Diamond Casino in GTA 6, there's next to no chance that a casino will be omitted from the script. Where better to spend your ill-gotten gains than a plush casino that can also be raided? If the worst happens and it closes down, then you can always enjoy some action online at places like STS Casino instead.

Another venue that proved extremely popular with players was the Los Santos Golf and Country Club. The gameplay was sensational; it was almost like playing a nascent round of Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf, and it was also a great place to pick up a golf cart for joyriding. Again, there has been no official confirmation that a golf course will feature in the GTA 6 map. Still, its addition, as well as the Los Santos tennis courts, added a new and exciting dimension to the game – something we hope will be present in the next installment.

GTA 6 to launch smaller? 

Something that has been doing the rounds online recently is that Rockstar is planning to release a smaller base map when they bring GTA 6 to the market. The idea would then be to continually add updates over time, making the offline game more like GTA online. But how small is smaller?

According to Kotaku, the next installment would still be a "moderately sized" game, but the updated release model would alleviate some of the studio's initial workload and make it easier to meet its launch deadline. Again, while there could be scope in this suggestion, Rockstar has neither confirmed nor denied these rumors, but the online version of GTA 6 will almost certainly be regularly updated.

What do we actually know about GTA 6 from Rockstar? 

While speculation is great, what do we know for sure about the release of GTA 6? Unfortunately, the answer is very little. It seems that Rockstar is enjoying the evergreen success of GTA 5 and is still focused on updating the incredibly popular online version of the game. We're also in somewhat of a transition period between consoles, and Rockstar likely wants to ensure as many people have upgraded to the new platforms before they launch the next installment of GTA.

GTA 6 will probably be available only on PlayStation 5, XBOX Series XS, and PC. Global stock shortages of the current generation consoles have caused frustration in the gaming world, so it's little surprise that Rockstar wants these teething issues to be resolved before launching GTA 6. Although it's not official, this is probably one of the reasons why they're happy to extend the projected release date to 2025.

In April 2020, Rockstar announced that GTA 6 was, in fact, in "early development" but didn't really expand on this announcement. Therefore, we hope to hear confirmation of the game's official launch date by late 2021 or early 2022.

Some of the more sensational suggestions 

As is always the case with fan theory and speculation, many other rumors are doing the rounds about what we might see in GTA 6. For example, some players use the existence of flying cars during GTA Online's Doomsday Heist as an indication that some elements of GTA 6 will be based in the future and may even include time travel. However, while sci-fi is something that Rockstar occasionally incorporates into its games, it's not likely to be a vital component of the new game.

Other fans have speculated whether GTA 6 might even be set across the whole of the USA and not set in just one city location as is the norm. While this would be a mammoth undertaking for the game's designers, it's not too far beyond the realms of possibility. Less extravagant theories have suggested that we may at least see international travel in the game, with London and Tokyo possible locations in addition to the US and Brazilian-based cities that are thought to be the game's central locations.

Final thoughts

Although there's very little in the way of concrete information about GTA 6, the rumor mill is working overtime. Of course, this is always the case in the early stages of a new game's development, and we're likely to hear much more from Rockstar in the coming months and years as the release date comes into sight.

For now, players can continue enjoying the updates and ever-increasing world of GTA online, which is perhaps one of the main reasons why Rockstar is in no rush to release the next installment of their popular franchise. While 2025 seems like a long time in the future, we will welcome a game that takes the scope of Vice City to new extremes and introduces us to lawless characters, who will once again lead us to question everything we thought we knew about morality.