When the PlayStation 5 and the next-gen video games were revealed last week, many fans expected Grand Theft Auto 6 to be featured. After all, Grand Theft Auto V is the second bestselling game of all time and continues to be a hit seven years after its initial release. Yet, the “big” news was that an expanded GTA V is coming to the PS5. In other words, same thing with a new pair of shoes.
This doesn’t mean that Grand Theft Auto 6 will never happen on the console—quite the contrary, actually. It just wasn’t the right time for the reveal.
For one, there are whispers that the game is only 60-70% complete, with a tentative October 2021 release date. There’s no official confirmation from Rockstar, so this is pure internet speculation at the moment. Considering the lofty expectations of the fanbase, though, it’s likely the developer doesn’t want to show anything except the final product. No matter how far along the game is, people will be critical of anything they see. Naturally, there will be a reluctance to generate any bad PR based on unfinalised builds of the game.
Second of all, the COVID-19 pandemic has washed away almost all plans for the year. Most companies have written off 2020, looking towards 2021 as a chance to get back to some kind of normal. Rockstar could be looking towards an E3 or other gaming con to showcase its new title, rather than a virtual one. If the game is only meant to be released in Q4 of next year at the earliest, there’s no point in wasting a good reveal now.
And finally, Sony itself might not have wanted to display all its cards in one go. Undoubtedly, the new Batman video game will be arriving for the PS5 (expect the announcement at the DC FanDome event) in the near future and so will a host of other big-name titles, including Grand Theft Auto 6. While it might’ve wowed fans in one go, it would’ve given Sony nothing to talk about for the months to come. This is all part of a larger and wider marketing strategy, with millions of dollars attached to it.
While fans of the franchise will be sad by the lack of Grand Theft Auto 6 news at the PlayStation 5 announcement, nothing was ever promised in the first place. Sometimes, rumours breed online and people mistake them for facts. In this case, the wait will most likely be worth it.