The next Grand Theft Auto game, GTA 6, could be a lot further away than most people think and there’s a very good reason we think that could be the case.
We know that the current Grand Theft Auto game, GTA 5, has already made an obscene amount of money, but what’s rather interesting is that its lifecycle has been exponentially lengthed thanks to GTA Online.
Based on comments more recently from Take-Two Interactive boss Strauss Zelnick, we know that this is – more or less – what the publisher wants to see.
“It’s possible that games may be a bit shorter than they were in certain instances,” Zelnick explained recently.
“It’s possible that the ability to deliver content on an ongoing basis for a long time after an initial release of a hit would mean that perhaps that initial release wouldn’t be as long in terms of number of hours of gameplay as previously had been demanded in a world where that was all you were getting.”
So, from the publisher’s point of view at least, everything is running as they wish. A critically acclaimed game that can be updated and monetised for years on end.
So what, you might be thinking? Well, with next-gen consoles on the horizon and significant importance now placed on backwards compatibility, there’s a very good case to be made for GTA 6 being put on ice for some time.
Before we go on, cast your minds back to the launch of GTA 6. It came out on PS3 and Xbox 360, before eventually launching on PS4 and Xbox One all over again.
But eventually, services like GTA Online were sidelined on those older consoles. And during a Q&A shortly after, one fan asked, rather straightforwardly “Will there be any more updates for [GTA Online] on Xbox 360?”
In response, Rockstar said:
“We want to support the older consoles with new content for as long as we possibly can. As we mentioned previously, we always knew there might be a point where we would reach the technical capacity of what the older generation of consoles can handle as each downloadable update requires additional memory both for assets and for additional scripting. We have continued to optimize the entire game over time in order to squeeze as much memory as we possibly could out of the last-generation hardware and at some point, continuing to add content for those systems could cause the risk of instability to the game overall. As of now, we are planning on releasing the next big content update for all five systems and we will continue to squeeze as much as we possibly can onto them.”
It’s interesting to think that, the main reason it seems for GTA Online updates stopped on PS3 and Xbox 360, was largely due to console limitations.
This wasn’t Rockstar saying ‘we’re moving on with the new console’ or ‘we don’t want to support a dwindling userbase’. This was Rockstar saying, they couldn’t as the machines had reached their “technical capacity”.
With so much emphasis on backwards compatibility moving forward and growing cross-platform play/saves and more, it’s not as inconceivable to think that GTA Online has got years left in the tank.
If Rockstar wanted and kept at it with the content, then they’ve certainly got a user base willing to keep playing (and paying). Just look how hungry fans are for a Casino that’s been years in the making!
It’s almost a good enough reason to put GTA 6 on hold, or at the very least, give the teams longer to really nail the next game in time for those new consoles.
Hey, Rockstar could even try working on a different IP altogether (Bully 2, anyone?)
If GTA Online keeps performing as it is, why would Rockstar or Take-Two want to speed up the process in rushing out GTA 6.
GTA 6 – What We Know So Far
As we edge more and more towards this exciting new benchmark in sandbox gaming, we’re trying to figure out exactly what it’s going to look like when it arrives and to that end we’ve been looking at other mods and creations to see what GTA 6 can realistically deliver when it launches sometime in the next, well, decade.
We’ve already got an idea about the graphics we could see, and some potential locations for GTA 6 may have already leaked, too.
Further to that, we’ve also speculated about the size of the game’s map previously by taking Red Dead Redemption 2’s size and looking at how Rockstar has iterated on that kind of base between games (and generations) before.
Plus, last week, we saw a post of a possible GTA 6 map published online: thanks to Dexerto, we can see what the map would look like if we composite all the locations from previous games into the game place.
You can see this speculative GTA 6 map in all its glory at the link.
- Rockstar Games
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