GTA 6's Release Breaks the Franchise's Frustrating Record by Over 5 Years

By Klein Felt Posted:
GTA character art

When Grand Theft Auto 6 (GTA 6) finally comes to Xbox and PlayStation consoles, it will break a frustrating release record for the storied sandbox franchise. 

It has been more than a decade since Grand Theft Auto V hit store shelves back in 2013, making the wait for Rockstar Games' next crime epic more difficult by the day. 

GTA 6 is not too far off though. Rockstar recently revealed a trailer for the highly anticipated title will be made public in early December, serving as the first step toward its eventual release. 

Plus, publisher Take-Two Games has hinted the gaming juggernaut could finally drop sometime in 2024 thanks to some lofty financial projections for its next financial year

The GTA 6 Release Will Be a Record-Breaking One

GTA wallpaper

While not yet officially unveiled, when Grand Theft Auto 6 eventually hits consoles (likely in the latter half of 2024), it will break the franchise record for the longest gap between mainline releases in the beloved series. 

As it stands, the currently longest wait between games came between GTA 4 and GTA 5, which only totaled five years and four months.

However, by the time GTA 6 comes out, the gap between it and the last game (GTA 5) will be nearing or just over 11 years, a disappointing record the game will likely hold for quite some time. 

The shortest distance between mainline Grand Theft Auto titles came between Grand Theft Auto 3 and the 80's-tinged Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which were released almost exactly one year apart in October 2001 and October 2002 respectively. 

The full list of mainline GTA games' gaps between releases can be seen below:

  • Grand Theft Auto - Grand Theft Auto 2 (1 year, 11 months)
  • Grand Theft Auto 2 - Grand Theft Auto 3 (2 years)
  • Grand Theft Auto 3 - Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (1 year)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2 years)
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - Grand Theft Auto 4 (3 years, 6 months)
  • Grand Theft Auto 4 - Grand Theft Auto 5 (5 years, 4 months)
  • Grand Theft Auto 5 - Grand Theft Auto 6 (anticipated to be ~11 years)

Why Has GTA 6 Taken So Long to Release?

Looking at the data, one can easily deduce the gap between GTA 5 and GTA 6 is unlike anything the franchise has ever seen before. 

This near-decade-long waiting time has had fans clamoring to see what is next for the series after GTA 5

But, why exactly has it taken so long for Rockstar Games to put out its next entry under the Grand Theft Auto banner? 

Well, the answer is much simpler than one may think. The primary culprit goes by the name of Grand Theft Auto Online

This multiplayer addition to Grand Theft Auto 5 has given the game longer legs than any other GTA title before it, allowing the studio to make money on users by way of microtransactions within the game rather than release a whole new one. 

According to data from 2022, Rockstar Games has made an average of $500 million a year from GTA Online alone (via PC Gamer). 

Because of this cash cow of an online vertical to its last game, the studio has not needed to put another GTA out into the world. Instead, it has opted to keep GTA Online (and in turn GTA 5) running, putting out upgraded editions of the game on new consoles as they have been released.

This, in theory, afforded the GTA 6 dev team more time to innovate and build upon the revolutionary base that was GTA 5. It also hopefully has allowed developers to work without the unhealthy practice of crunch for a release date, something Rockstar has made a public effort to clamp down on in recent years (per Bloomberg).

Hopefully, the wait will be worth it when Rockstar and Take-Two finally unveil more news about GTA 6 in early December. Grand Theft Auto 6 is expected to release sometime in 2024 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

- In This Article: GTA 6
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- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.