Trailer for ‘Grand Theft Auto VI’ released early after leak
The trailer for the latest chapter in the blockbuster “Grand Theft Auto” series dropped one day early, on Monday, moments after the preview for the highly anticipated game leaked on social media.
Developer Rockstar Games revealed the next installment, “Grand Theft Auto VI,” will be released in 2025 — more than 10 years after the debut of “Grand Theft Auto V,” the modern crime noir set in a fictional contemporary Los Angeles and Southern California. That title shattered sales records for all types of media properties upon its release.
“Our trailer has leaked so please watch the real thing on YouTube,” Rockstar Games said on X, formerly Twitter.
Fans have been eagerly anticipating another “GTA” game since “Grand Theft Auto V” released in 2013, posting memes about the amount of time between game releases. Rockstar announced last year that it was developing the latest title, and footage of the game leaked several months later, with gamers posting their theories about the narrative and gameplay across forums and social media.
Douglas McCready, an Xbox worldwide design lead, said on social media that Rockstar Games “has consistently set and raised the bar for immersive experiences with emergent gameplay.”
The “GTA” games are “the perfect storm of a unique voice, expert level execution, edge tech, and north star [games as a service model],” McCready wrote..
That level of attention to detail has also drawn Luke Hallinan to “GTA” and other titles from Rockstar Games.
“Players want love, care, and attention put into the thing they may spend 100s of hours invested in,” the lifelong gamer said. “They want to feel like the thing they’re giving their time to is worth it, especially when there are so many alternatives available. I have complete faith that ‘GTA VI’ will be worth that time.”
The video game industry has been hit with more than 6,500 layoffs over the last year. The cuts come as the industry course-corrects after its pandemic-era expansion, experts say.
The debut trailer, originally set to release Tuesday, reached 60 million views on Rockstar Games’ YouTube channel within 12 hours, according to industry news site GamesIndustry.biz, and gives players a glimpse of the game’s protagonist, Lucia, a woman who is seemingly half of a Bonnie and Clyde-type couple.
The trailer also confirms that the sixth installment will be set in the fictional state of Leonida, home to “Vice City” — modeled after Miami. Leaning into the “Florida Man” stereotype, the video touches on the ubiquity of social media by showing live-streaming videos of daily life and mischief — all against the backdrop of Tom Petty’s 1989 song “Love is a Long Road.”
Derek Weselake, a concept artist, said on social media the game is popular because it’s a “cathartic sandbox to do anything you want.”
“In most ‘GTA’ games you can play as criminals yes, but also as paramedics, taxi drivers, and cops as side content,” Weselake said, addind that he likes “to be able to just cruise around a city, get out and relax.”
The new game’s setting also stands out, he said.
“Florida always has had jokes in the past for its Florida Man meme,” he said. “So strange stories they can be inspired by are easy to come across.”
The new studio, Death Row Games, aims to empower diverse creators to publish on “Fortnite.” The venture is Snoop Dogg’s latest foray into gaming.
More than 190 million copies of the fifth game have sold in the 10 years since its release, according to a November report from parent company Take-Two Interactive, making it one of the bestselling games in history. That game reached $1 billion in retail sales faster than any entertainment release in history, the company said, and was released across an unprecedented three console generations.
“Grand Theft Auto VI” will be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.
A spokesperson for New York-based Rockstar Games did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the leak.
“Grand Theft Auto VI continues our efforts to push the limits of what’s possible in highly immersive, story-driven open-world experiences,” Sam Houser, founder of Rockstar Games, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be able to share this new vision with players everywhere.”
Inside the business of entertainment
The Wide Shot brings you news, analysis and insights on everything from streaming wars to production — and what it all means for the future.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.