Grand Theft Auto fans are starting to get very worried about GTA 6. The last time Rockstar Games released a new Grand Theft Auto was in 2013. That’s seven years ago. In the same amount of time, Activision has managed to release 5,671 Call of Duty games. And unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this wait is going to be over anytime soon. At the moment of publishing, Rockstar Games hasn’t announced the next installment in the Grand Theft Auto series, but it has announced that GTA 5 is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X next year. And rumor has it Rockstar is also preparing to port the game to PS6 and Xbox Series XXX shortly after, and possibly PS7 and Xbox XYZ after that.
While Grand Theft Auto fans knew the wait between GTA 5 and GTA 6 was going to be a long one, I don’t think many suspected it would be this long. And the longer it gets, the more Grand Theft Auto fans get worried. And unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Rockstar Games has lost some crucial members of its team recently. In 2016, it lost the lead developer on the GTA series, Leslie Benzies. This was a huge blow. Earlier this year, another haymaker caught GTA fans off guard when Dan Houser unexpectedly left the company he helped found back in 1998. Houser was more than just a co-founder though, he was the studio’s head writer, a producer, and the vice president of creativity. Alongside his brother Sam Houser, he was Rockstar Games.
At this point, GTA fans were already out cold on the ground. But the bad news didn’t stop there. This week it was revealed that Lazlow Jones also departed Rockstar Games earlier this year after 20 years with the company. Jones was not only a writer and producer on the series, but the host of GTA radio stations.
Since GTA 5 released in 2013, Rockstar Games has lost several prominent, irreplaceable team members. Does this mean the team is suddenly going to start pumping out mediocre games? No chance. Not only does Rockstar Games have far too much talent for that to happen, but it has far too many resources to fail. That said, several huge departures in the matter of a few years does suggest something is going on at Rockstar.
The departures certainly warrant concern, and so does the success of GTA Online. You can’t even begin to fathom how successful GTA Online has been and how much money it prints for Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive. It’s the type of success that will have fundamental changes on the series. And we’ve already started to see these changes. Unlike its predecessor, GTA 5 did not get any single-player DLC. And it’s not going to. Nor is GTA 6.
The bigger GTA Online gets, the longer it stays and continues to push GTA 5 to the top of the sales charts every month, the more worried some fans get that the traditional Grand Theft Auto single-player structure is in danger. Again, will these concerns be justified down the road? Who knows. Maybe not. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a pretty strong indication that Rockstar Games is still committed to the narrative-driven, single-player experience. That said, while the concerns and worries may end up being for nothing that doesn’t mean they aren’t warranted. Rockstar Games and Grand Theft Auto are evolving. Only time will tell if it’s for the better.
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