This September will mark the eighth anniversary of the fifth major installment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, and while players have been eagerly awaiting a followup for years, Rockstar seems to be in no real rush to release Grand Theft Auto 6 thanks in no small part to the money it continues to print courtesy of the online component of the most successful video game ever released.
Fans only had to wait five years after the release of GTA IV for the series to return to Los Santos (although it’s worth noting they were also treated to some single-player DLC that never materialize after the sequel came out), so it’s easy to understand why they might be getting antsy. Yes, the studio did a phenomenal job with the spiritually similar Red Dead Redemption 2, but at the same time, that only made me want the next GTA even more.
As is the case with every Grand Theft Auto game, there’s been oodles of leaks concerning what we might expect whenever the next project finally comes out. Some anonymous sources who’ve released accurate information in the past have suggested the franchise may return to Vice City and could branch out by incorporating a location in South America, and earlier this month, a new rumor began to swirl that GTA 6 could be the first title in the series to feature a playable female protagonist.
Unfortunately, Rockstar has been hesitant to even confirm the game is currently being developed despite plenty of signs indicating that’s the case, and based on its publicly-released plan for its marketing budget over the next few years, there’s a chance the company might not give the people what they desperately want until 2024.
However, we might have our most concrete piece of evidence yet that Grand Theft Auto 6 is indeed in the works courtesy of an observant Reddit user who recently uncovered a patent the developer has filed concerning a new approach to how non-playable characters navigate traffic while driving, which sure sounds like it would be right at home in a game featuring “Auto” in the title.
As IGN notes, that patent in question concerns “a realistic virtual world that is not limited by hardware and software limitations” and the outlet summed up how it would impact gameplay, saying:
This is specifically in relation to traffic behavior; the patent details boats, cars, and drivers throughout. The system outlined would result in a more realistic and immersive simulation of traffic…
Characteristics include understanding acceleration, breaking time and distances, top speeds, and cornering speeds. NPCs and AI systems would be able to use these characteristics to generate more life-like drivers on the roads of a video game world.
I personally thought the studio did a great job improving the driving experience in GTA V compared to the somewhat clunky handling of the vehicles in its predecessor, but the often baffling decision-making of your fellow drivers was still fairly frustrating at times, so this upgrade is particularly intriguing.
I guess we’ll find out for sure when Grand Theft Auto 6 is released whenever Rockstar feels like getting around to it.