With GTA 6’s Release Approaching, Let’s Look Back At How Rockstar Revealed GTA 5
Grand Theft Auto 6 is in the news again, with the latest reports suggesting the game could launch as soon as 2024. There are still plenty of unknowns, but with the game’s release seemingly coming up at least in the relatively near future, we’re looking back at Grand Theft Auto V’s own announcement schedule.
When did Rockstar first reveal the game? When was the first trailer? How much time was there between announcement and launch? Rockstar is known to be quiet and coy until it’s ready to share news. So just because this is how it all played out for GTA V–and some 10+ years ago, too–that doesn’t mean Rockstar will follow a similar playbook with Grand Theft Auto 6.
GTA V was announced on October 25, 2011 and the game finally released on September 17, 2013. So there was a total of 693 days–or 1 year, 10 months, and 23 days–between announcement and release.
GTA 6, meanwhile, was confirmed on February 8, 2022. Rockstar’s blog post referred to the project as the “next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series.” The company did not say it would be called GTA 6, but confirmed at the time that the project was “well underway” at the time.
It’s now been more than 450 days since GTA 6 was announced, or about 15 months. Assuming Rockstar sticks to a somewhat-similar schedule between announcement and release (and that is no certainty!), a 2024 release for GTA 6 does match up. A similar number of days between announcement and release would put GTA 6’s release sometime around Spring 2024. When Rockstar announced GTA 6 in February 2022, many assumed it was part of a recruiting effort. After all, it’s not uncommon for game announcements to masquerade as recruiting tools.
But perhaps the strongest indication that GTA 6 could launch in 2024 came just this month during parent company Take-Two’s latest earnings announcement. The company said it was forecasting $8 billion in net bookings for fiscal 2025, which runs April 1, 2024 to March 31, 2025.
Based on these numbers and enthusiastic commentary from Take-Two’s management, it seems likely that the company is anticipating a major release that will deliver a massive level of success. Considering the Grand Theft Auto series’ profitability, it seems pretty likely that Take-Two is factoring in GTA 6’s launch during the fiscal year. But again, this is only speculation.
With all of that out of the way, here is how GTA V’s announcement played out back in the day…
GTA V Announcement: October 25, 2011
Grand Theft Auto V was officially announced on October 25, 2011. How did it happen? Rockstar simply put out a tweet that read “#GTAV” with a link to the developer’s website that, at the time, housed a single image: the logo for Grand Theft Auto V. The teaser page also confirmed that the game’s first trailer would launch on November 2, 2011.
GTA 5 First Trailer: November 2, 2011
As promised, Rockstar delivered the first trailer for GTA V on November 2, 2011. The impressive video showed the big, vibrant open world of Southern San Andreas. The trailer teased some of the locations, activities, and characters players would encounter in the open-world game from the mountains of Blaine County to the city streets of Los Santos. The trailer certainly did its job of getting people hyped, and as of May 2023, the announcement video on Rockstar’s YouTube channel has more than 87 million views and a very positive ratio of upvotes.
GTA 5 Gets Spring 2013 Release Date: October 30, 2012
On October 30, 2012, Rockstar Games officially confirmed that GTA V would be released in Spring 2013, with preorders beginning November 5 of that year. Rockstar confirmed this following some rumors and speculation stemming from retail listings for the title.
GTA 5 Delayed To September: January 31, 2013
In late January 2013, Rockstar Games announced that GTA V was delayed from Spring to September 17, 2013. Rockstar said the extra time would allow the company to polish the game further. “Trust us, it will be worth the extra time,” Rockstar said at the time. “GTA V is a massively ambitious and complex game and it simply needs a little more polish to be of the standard we, and, more importantly, you require.”
Rockstar announces GTA Online won’t come at launch: August 15
In August 2013, Rockstar announced that GTA V’s multiplayer mode, GTA Online, would not be available at launch. Instead, Rockstar said it would launch GTA Online on October 1, and it did. GTA Online became a massive, ongoing success. It’s still popular to this day, so it’ll be interesting to see what Rockstar does when GTA 6 is ready for release. It’s also worth noting that Red Dead Redemption II’s multiplayer mode, Red Dead Online, also did not launch alongside the main game in 2018.
GTA 5 Launches: September 17, 2013
The day finally came! On September 17, 2013, Rockstar Games released GTA V. It was a massive success right out of the gate, selling millions of copies and generating $800 million in 24 hours and $1 billion in 72 hours. Take-Two said at the time that no piece of media earned billion faster than GTA V–counting games, movies, books, and more. For comparison, 2022’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II needed 10 days to reach $1 billion in revenue.
Whenever GTA 6 is finally ready for release, it will come to market with a gigantic amount of hype. Some of the surprises may have been spoiled already, though, as a massive leak revealed footage, images, and details about the game. Take-Two, the parent company of Rockstar Games, went after the supposed leaker, though the extent of what happened to this person isn’t immediately clear. We also don’t know what might be different in the final version of GTA 6 compared to the leak. Another unknown is what might happen to GTA Online–which has a big playerbase–when GTA 6 comes out.
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GTA 5 has been one of the most critically acclaimed games of the generation. Rockstar Games released the game in 2013 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and it was later released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in 2014. The release of GTA 5 was immensely successful and it quickly became one of the highest selling games of all time.
In the months leading up to the release of GTA 5, Rockstar Games released a series of teasers, trailers, and screenshots to build hype and anticipation. The first teaser was a teaser trailer released in late 2012, which gave a brief glimpse of the fictional city of Los Santos. The trailer showed off the game’s beautiful visuals, its expansive open world, and its intriguing storyline. The trailer set the tone for the game and it quickly became a hit.
In the months that followed, Rockstar released even more teaser trailers, showing off the the game’s expansive open world, stunning visuals, detailed character models, and intense action sequences. The trailers wereso varied and exciting that fans of the series eagerly waited in anticipation for the game’s release.
In the months leading up to the game’s release, Rockstar also released several screenshots, showcasing the game’s breathtaking visuals and environments. The screenshots became talking points amongst gamers and helped to keep the hype alive.
With the release of GTA 5, Rockstar Games not only delivered on their promises, but they also took the GTA series to the next level. The game has seen multiple releases since its original launch, and it is still immensely popular today. GTA 5 is undoubtedly one of the most successful games of the generation and Rockstar Games should be proud of their accomplishment.
With the release of GTA 6 on the horizon, it is worth looking back at how Rockstar Games revealed GTA 5. Their use of teasers, trailers, and screenshots effectively built up hype and anticipation, and their eventual delivery of a quality product is something we are sure GTA 6 could take inspiration from.
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