With Rockstar having begun work on the GTA 6 game, speculation is now intensifying regarding where this title will ultimately be located. There have been numerous suggestions for the setting for GTA 6, and increasingly Tokyo is being linked with the series, despite the fact that this would see the game venture outside of the United States for the first time.
Is Tokyo setting possible?
Techradar has in fact indicated that sources close to Rockstar suggest that the developers have yet to decide on a location for the sixth major title in the GTA series. Yet Rockstar had previously considered locating GTA to Tokyo when GTA: Vice City was developed, so it is possible that Japan could yet be the location for Grand Theft Auto 6.
Nonetheless, despite suggestions in some quarters that Rockstar is considering Tokyo as the backdrop for GTA 6, it is far more likely that the game will ultimately be set once more in the United States. There would be numerous problems with setting a game in Japan, not least that the gun laws in the country are completely different to that United States, rendering a lot of the action in the game to be rather irrelevant or implausible.
Additionally, setting a game in Tokyo would require a completely different tone, and would face massive challenges to explain why characters were speaking in English, or else the game would need to be subtitled and Japanese actors obviously would have to be hired. The atmosphere of GTA has previously been very much mired in the location of the United States, and one is somewhat reminded of Simpsons episodes set outside the borders of the States which tend to be rather less well-informed and effective than those located in America.
Additionally, moving to another country would mean massive changes in settled elements of the game such as vehicles, and it seems unlikely that Rockstar would voluntarily take this approach considering the extra work it would necessitate.
GTA 6 Online Version
It is also becoming increasingly clear that the success of GTA 5, particularly the online environment, will have a massive influence over the sixth game in the series, and possibly even over the release date of the title. Forbes has recently reported that the vast scale of micro-transactions which have been achieved in the existing online game mean that GTA 6 could even be delayed indefinitely. Forbes asserts that in-game purchases in GTA 5 are currently earning Rockstar more than purchases of the offline version.
While this may seem somewhat extreme, and it’s already contradicted by reports which indicate that Rockstar has already begun development of GTA 6, it is nonetheless worth examining the overwhelming success of the online environment in GTA 5. It is first important to note that GTA Online is the first attempt by GTA developers to create a massively playable online universe. While there was an online game in GTA 4, this was rather tame by comparison, based around a series of mini-games.
Providing a full online universe populated by human players was a massive step forward for the GTA series, and it has certainly been enthusiastically embraced by the gaming community. While this has unquestionably been extremely welcome for Rockstar considering the efforts the developer put into creating this game world, it also poses as many questions as answers for the future of the software house.
Is Rockstar willing to abandon this extremely successful game world for GTA 5? What platforms will Rockstar consider for GTA 6, and will it attempt to create a unified game world between these various gaming systems? Is it possible for an online game world to be created which unites GTA 5 and GTA 6 players? Could Rockstar consider simply updating the GTA 5 game world as part of the GTA 6 title, and possibly also at the option of going online in a new city and location as well? And will Rockstar allow existing players to transfer characters, achievements, properties, etc to the new GTA 6 online system?
There is absolutely no doubt that GTA 6 will embrace an online version of the game; simply the massive success of GTA 5 Online absolutely guarantees this. But Rockstar has a difficult balancing act in order to ensure that new players are attracted to the GTA 6 title, and the existing community that it has diligently built up also remains satisfied. But GTA 5 online has made $500 million for Rockstar, and the company will anticipate expanding on this achievement when GTA 6 is released.
Another aspect of GTA 6 that Rockstar will undoubtedly be tinkering with is virtual reality compatibility. The release date for GTA 6 is not known yet, but it would be reasonable to assume that there will be a three-year development period for what will be literally the biggest video game in history when it is released. So this would mean that GTA 6 will appear at some point in this decade, but it may not be long before the end of 2019.
Of course, it is possible that the game could appear earlier than this, but Rockstar is under absolutely no pressure to rush the game out, and considering that development has only just begun, it would seem to be extremely optimistic to suggest that the game could be released as early as 2018.
By the time that GTA 6 comes onto the market, virtual reality should be an established technology. The PlayStation VR headset is expected later this year, and the PlayStation 4.5 console will also likely precede this technology. It is thus widely expected that Rockstar will embrace virtual reality technology when GTA 6 is released, and this will certainly be an exciting prospect for gamers. It will also be a massive technical challenge for Rockstar, but it seems likely that the corporation will want to embrace the state of the art when this massive video game hits the stores.
Much is still up in the air regarding GTA 6, with suggestions are such as a completely unified game universe being proffered for this release. This will be a massively exciting title when it finally hits the stores, although the balance of probability suggests that we still have quite a wait until GTA 6 indeed emerges.