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Huge GTA 6 delay could allegedly shift Rockstar’s next game into 2026

Rockstar Games could move GTA 6's release window into 2026, as production on its long-awaited open world game is reportedly stalling.

GTA 6 delay: An image of Lucia in the Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer.

You might want to keep GTA 5 on your PS5 or Xbox dashboard, because the wait for GTA 6 could be about to get even longer. Crafting games of this scale isn’t exactly quick, and Rockstar Games has already kept players waiting for the last decade. Now, a new Kotaku report claims that the studio is considering pushing the GTA 6 release date into 2026.

Sources close to Kotaku allege that while “early 2025” is still the primary goal for the GTA 6 release date, Rockstar is facing internal struggles after a recent return-to-work mandate for its employees. After getting hired on the promise of remote work, the transition to in-office working is supposedly a major pain point for Rockstar’s workforce. While the company figures out the best course of action, a possible shift to a 2026 launch is purely an emergency plan at this point.

However, per Kotaku’s sources, this still has Rockstar’s management nervous. It isn’t surprising considering how expensive the studio’s open world game‘s cost to produce, with Red Dead Redemption 2’s budget reportedly totaling a massive $540 million. Comparatively, GTA 5 cost the studio $265 million. Whether Rockstar Games will address these concerns publically is unlikely, as the report also clarifies that the studio’s mindset is to only humor major decisions like a delay up to the “last minute.”

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Rockstar’s push to maintain an in-person development structure stems from its mission to strengthen its security measures. The devastating GTA 6 leaks from last year are among the biggest data breaches in gaming history, alongside the recent Insomniac Games hack. Old prototype build footage of GTA 6 is still unfortunately very much in the open, with thousands of TikTok accounts reposting what remains after Rockstar culled existing footage off the internet.

Production on Rockstar’s new PS5 game and new Xbox game began back in 2014 according to Bloomberg, just one year after GTA 5, one of the best games in the franchise, landed on older consoles. Since then, Rockstar has maintained a steady profit stream from the game’s multiplayer game spin-off GTA Online.

In an earnings call from June last year, Rockstar’s parent company Take-Two Interactive detailed that GTA 5 has made over $7 billion, which saw a notable increase during the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. We can’t even imagine how big the numbers will be when GTA 6 does arrive.

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For more news on GTA 6, here’s why the game will need some serious magic to achieve 60 FPS on PS5, and ex-Rockstar devs are backing up those claims.