Rockstar Games’ GTA V and GTA Online have ranked high on gamers’ lists for quite some time now. After five years, loyal fans are eager for the release of the sixth installment in the franchise. Unfortunately, Rockstar seems to have put GTA 6 on the back burner for now. The American video game publisher may have several valid reasons for delaying the game.
Recuperating From Leslie Benzies’ Absence
Leslie Benzies was the former president of Rockstar North— the original home of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Many credit GTA III and its following installments’ success to Benzies.
Business Insider observed that the franchise did not become a household name until Benzies stepped in and led the production of GTA III. Digital Trends credited Benzies for making GTA III and Vice City the all-time favorites of many Grand Theft Auto fans today.
Sadly, Benzies is no longer working for and affiliated with Rockstar—or Take-Two Interactive—in any capacity. The last title he worked on for the video game developer was GTA V, which to this day is a proven success.
Based on past reports about Benzies and his work on the GTA series, he seemed to have contributed greatly to the franchise and may even be dubbed the creative brain behind it–to a certain extent. It appears that Benzies was to Grand Theft Auto what Hideo Kojima was to Metal Gear Solid.
Rockstar may be having a hard time filling the hole left by Benzies which is why GTA 6 is taking a little longer to develop or conceptualize.
GTA Online‘s Success With Microtransactions
Forbes contributor, Paul Tassi, speculates that GTA VI is delayed because Take-Two and Rockstar Games is still reeling from GTA Online‘s success, particularly with microtransactions. According to Tassi, the multiplayer online version of the title has made $500 million in microtransactions, translating to almost a 100 percent profit margin.
Due to GTA Online‘s massive success, Rockstar or more likely its parent company–Take-Two–has redirected the development of the franchise. Based on recent content released by Rockstar, GTA Online‘s development seems to take precedence over GTA V.
Now that Take-Two has struck gold with GTA Online, it may have changed its strategy with the series thereby affecting the development of GTA 6.
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Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Redemption Online
Trusted video game analyst Michael Pachter speculates that Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Redemption Online may be the main reason Rockstar is delaying GTA VI‘s release. RDR2 is expected to launch this coming spring. The game developer has already delayed the release of the Western-themed title. As such, Rockstar may have its hands full at the moment.
Even after RDR2 is released, the online version of the game may take some time before Rockstar and Take-Two are satisfied with it. Take-Two, in particular, might want to replicate GTA Online‘s success with RDR Online.
Pachter predicts that GTA 6 will be announced in 2020 and set to launch in 2021 or 2022 if there is a delay in its development. A 2021 or 2022 release date for GTA VI would give Rockstar plenty of time to lay a good foundation for Red Dead Redemption Online.
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PS5 and Xbox One Update
GTA V was tailor-fit for Sony’s PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. Due to its success, Rockstar released a remastered version of the fifth installment on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Following this pattern, Rockstar may be creating GTA 6 for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Two.
Pachter wagers that Sony will hold off on launching the PS5 until PS4 Pro sales start to drop, as per Pocket-Lint. The gaming analyst predicts that the PlayStation 5 will be released in 2020.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is still reeling from its success with the Xbox One X. The company’s new console is said to be the most powerful one on the market at the moment, making it popular with avid gamers. As such, Forbes contributor, Dave Thier thinks the Xbox Two will not be introduced to the public anytime soon. Thier hypothesized that Microsoft would avoid releasing the Xbox Two too soon because it could hurt Xbox One X sales.
If Rockstar is waiting for the PS5 and Xbox Two to release GTA VI, then the next installment of the franchise will not be announced or released in the near future. Both Sony and Microsoft just recently introduced the latest reiterations of their consoles and will probably hold off on releasing new hardware for quite some time.
After close analysis, there are many reasons Rockstar could be stalling or delaying GTA 6‘s announcement and release. Some may not even be listed above. All Grand Theft Auto fans can do is wait until Rockstar Games decides to open up about the game’s development.