A report from a source close to Rockstar suggests that the video game developer has already begun work on the next GTA 6 title. Techradar quotes a source which suggests that what will be the biggest video game in the history of the industry is now being developed by Rockstar.
GTA 6: Tokyo was planned
It is believed that the work is very much preliminary at this stage, as an ultimate location for the game has yet to be fully confirmed even internally. But Techradar also reports with regard to location that Rockstar had intended to produce a Grand Theft Auto: Tokyo for PS2 in the early 2000s.
This was frequently rumored by both media and the GTA community, but Rockstar has never confirmed its intention to produce a game set in Japan. So it is interesting to read that the often anticipated Grand Theft Auto game set in Tokyo was indeed intended at one time, even though this ultimately never came to fruition.
With the news of Grand Theft Auto: Tokyo having emerged, there will now undoubtedly be rumours in the media suggesting that Rockstar will choose to set the new GTA 6 title outside of the United States. Even if Rockstar does not opt to veer away from the US completely, it could set some of the game in a foreign location, and even feature multiple nations in the final game.
The idea of including a non-American locale in the game had always seemed somewhat contentious owing to basic cultural differences. While players in the existing Grand Theft Auto titles can wander into the infamous Ammu-Nation stores during the game in order to purchase weapons, such a prospect in Tokyo would make little sense.
It would be thus interesting to know how Rockstar intended to implement the acquisition of weapons in the game, and indeed the lack of a gun culture in Japan may have contributed to the ultimate shelving of this title. However, previous GTA games have seen players purchasing weaponry from underground, black-market dealers, so this could be an option for non-American locations in future titles.
Techradar also suggests that the GTA: Tokyo project was canned owing to complications with the road network in Tokyo and translating the feel of the franchise to an entirely new continent. Undoubtedly this would be a massive challenge, and the GTA universe would also have to explain away the fact that numerous characters were speaking in English in a country that obviously speaks Japanese! Perhaps subtitles could get over this problem, but with the protagonist being English, communication with characters in Japan would presumably have to be in the native tongue of the central character. Possibly Rockstar could consider a game entirely based in the Japanese language, but this would be an absolutely vast departure from the existing titles.
While Tokyo has been a frequently mooted location for the GTA series, it is also been suggested that another title in London could be produced. This perhaps nostalgically relates to the early setting of some of the two-dimensional titles in the GTA range in the capital city of England. Again, Rockstar would face Similar logistical and cultural challenges to setting a game in Tokyo, but at least the developers would know that there has already been a relatively successful and similar title based in London, in the shape of The Getaway.
Red Dead sequel expected
Aside from the development of GTA 6, Rockstar is also rumoured to be working on a sequel to the hugely successful and critically acclaimed Red Dead Redemption, with the announcement of the next instalment in the series anticipated for the forthcoming E3 trade show. It was thought that the development of this title would significantly delay GTA 6, but it now seems that Rockstar is already working on the next title in the most successful video game series in history.
In terms of improvements in GTA 6 in comparison to other titles, there have been a raft of suggestions, but perhaps the most important will be delivering an entirely next generation experience. Grand Theft Auto 5 is undoubtedly a big technical step forward over the underwhelming Grand Theft Auto 4, and Rockstar will be expected to raise the bar when GTA 6 is released.
Central to this process of blowing away GTA gamers will be ensuring that the map included in the GTA 6 universe is sufficiently large. While there was a huge play area involved in the GTA 5 title, it is suggested that Rockstar could choose to implement multiple cities when GTA 6 is released.
Embracing virtual reality will also be a serious consideration for Rockstar, although this will undoubtedly encompass massive technical challenges. At present the entire future of the PlayStation range is up in the air, with reports suggesting that Sony could produce a PlayStation 4.5 in order to provide a more powerful platform for 4K and virtual reality gaming.
For Rockstar to produce a fully fledged GTA 6 title that is a technological step forward over the previous release, and then have it fully compatible with virtual reality would be a massive undertaking for the corporation, not least because the technology does not necessarily exist at present. Certainly the PlayStation VR headset will be compatible with the PlayStation 4, but there are question marks regarding the viability of the setup in the longer term.
Rockstar will then need to consider whether GTA 6 will launch on the PlayStation 4 alone, or whether it will delay the release of the title in order to execute a PS5 launch as well. This latter prospect seems unlikely considering the development cost and schedule involved in producing this title; of course, the previous GTA 5 was released on the PlayStation 3 before eventually migrating to the current generation PS4.
Other rumors related to the forthcoming title have focused on a female protagonist and potential teleportation, but hopefully we should be seeing GTA 6 well before the decade is out.