Following an extensive report into the development of Rockstar’s hugely anticipated Grand Theft Auto 6 earlier this week, a few additional claims have surfaced, giving a clearer indication of just how ambitious the project was originally planned to be.
Rockstar finally confirmed development on GTA 6 was “well underway” earlier this year, and while official details remain extremely limited, a report by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier on Tuesday shared a number of tantalising details about the project, claiming it’ll be set in Miami and will feature the series’ first female protagonist as part of a Bonny and Clyde-style duo.
Notably, though, Schreier claimed Rockstar’s initial plans were much more ambitious, featuring a map that would include “large swaths of North and South America”. Axios’ Stephen Totilo has since added a little more detail to those claims, citing his own source as saying Rockstar had earlier planned to have four protagonists in GTA 6, with the action unfolding across three cities.
Eurogamer Newscast: What do Rockstar’s changes really mean for GTA6 and the games industry?
It’s not an enormous amount of new detail, admittedly, but it offers a much clearer idea of just how far Rockstar ultimately chose to scale back GTA 6’s scope as it moved to create a more manageable development cycle and a healthier, more sustainable working environment for employees.
Rockstar has long faced intense criticism around its company culture and reliance on crunch – things came to a head in 2018 when Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser, who left the company in 2020, said employees had worked “100-hour weeks” to finish Red Dead Redemption 2 – but Bloomberg’s report claimed the studio has been working to improve its culture in recent times, having implemented the likes of a new flexitime policy to immediately gain back extra time spent working, a narrowed gender pay gap, and the hiring of additional producers to ensure workloads are better managed.
While fresh reports and rumours will almost certainly continue emerging now that GTA 6’s development is officially in full swing, it’s unlikely Rockstar will have much to share itself anytime soon. Bloomberg claims the project remains several years away from release despite being in production “in some form” since 2014.