If you’re holding out hope of seeing “Grand Theft Auto VI” in 2021, it’s time to let those hopes go. Even though “Grand Theft Auto V” has been the current version of the game since it was released in September 2013, Rockstar Games still isn’t willing to let its prized asset go. The game has been revamped, modernized, and had new content added to it consistently for the past seven years, and the company isn’t done yet. Reports that Rockstar would enhance the game for the current generation of consoles first began to appear last year, and we now have final confirmation that the PS5 and Xbox Series X version is almost finished. It’s going to be released this November.
The longevity of the game is almost unprecedented. GTA V is so old that it was released on the PS3 and Xbox 360 at the same time it was released on the PS4 and Xbox One. By crossing over onto the new generation, it will be the first major gaming title in history to have separate versions of itself created for three consecutive generations of video gaming hardware. The online version of the game is still played by thousands of people all over the world every day, and this new version of it is likely to prompt a new wave of interest. If it proves to be successful and continues to earn money for its developer, it’s likely to push the release of GTA VI back even further. It was once hoped that GTA VI would be released as long ago as August 2020. That date slipped into 2021 and is now likely to move again into late 2022.
Some of the GTA VI rumors that circulated online late last year claimed that the game was already somewhere between sixty and seventy percent finished. That was never confirmed, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t the case. Rockstar is notoriously reluctant to release videos and images from games that are still in production, so it would make sense to keep such a significant release strictly under wraps until such a time as the release date is approaching.
They’ve taken the same approach with this enhanced version of GTA V. Even though we now have a release date for the updated game, we still haven’t seen so much as one single screenshot of it in action. We know it’s likely to have undergone a significant visual upgrade, but as of the time of writing, we have no idea how impressive that upgrade is going to be.
The update and enhancement process might have given Rockstar the opportunity to iron out some of the creases that have affected GTA V in recent years. The most notable of them was the launch of the Diamond Resort Hotel and Casino, which should have been a money-spinner for the company but ended up running into trouble in countries where online slots websites are banned. The fact that “real” money couldn’t be won in the GTA V casino didn’t stop those countries from accusing the game of trying to sneak in online slots and other forms of casino entertainment through the back door, and so the update that contained it was blocked or prohibited.
Just as online slots websites like Rose Slots NZ are geo-blocked in some locations, Rockstar found its GTA updates blocked, too. The company has since resolved the problem by removing some aspects of the content in the affected places and will presumably be keen to avoid a repeat of it when the next-gen version goes live.
The release of the new version of the game is later in the year than some people expected but still falls within the parameters of the guidance that Rockstar gave us several months ago. We were told that it would be released “in the second half” of 2021, and that’s still the case. It just so happens that it’s at the back end of the second half rather than the front end.
The extra wait suggests that Rockstar has done more than simply given an old game new graphics, so it’s possible that new features have also been implemented. If that’s the case, it might effectively be a new game altogether – one that’s worth owners of the previous versions of the game might be tempted to pay for even though they own the originals.
Some of the new content might, in some way, connect to the story of GTA III. The game turns twenty years old later this year, and Rockstar has already promised that the anniversary will be celebrated with “special events” in GTA Online. As the new version of GTA V will include a new, souped-up version of GTA Online to go with it, the two things might be linked. At this stage, though, that’s mere speculation.
If fans of GTA Online want to take advantage of the new version of that aspect of the game without paying full price for the latest version of GTA V, a “standalone” version of the new GTA Online will be available for download at a reduced price. We don’t yet have confirmation of what that reduced price might be. Nor do we have confirmation of what the full price for the next-gen version of GTA V will be, although it would be reasonable to assume that it will be more than fifty dollars.
While long-standing fans of the game might be eager for a sequel, players have thus far given Rockstar very few incentives to push ahead with one. GTA V is still the biggest-selling video game of all time. Astonishingly, it was the number one video game in the world when it comes to sales in April 2021. It has an enormous modding community on the PC and devoted armies of players who play together every day. The game has expanded beyond the confines of being a traditional video game into a community, where people have made lifelong friends and even met their spouses and partners through playing the game.
Clearly, it will be a very difficult thing to give up when the time eventually comes to replace it with the next version. That day is still definitely coming, but it’s getting further away all the time. If we had to bet, we’d say that GTA V will still be the current version of the game in May 2022. That might not be what some people want to hear, but we suspect that’s the reality of the situation.