Grand Theft Auto 6's development is likely ramping up at Rockstar Games as its parent company teases massive games pipeline.
We've been hearing about GTA 6 for a long time, and now that Rockstar is done with Red Dead Redemption 2, they can focus completely on the next Grand Theft Auto. Now Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive teases some big projects in the works...and we're betting one of them is GTA 6.
"We have the strongest development pipeline in our history, including sequels from our biggest franchises, along with exciting new IP," Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said in the FY2019 earnings call.
Looking closer at the company's financials we see even more clues that big things are in the works. Take-Two's research and development spending is up 17.21% to $230 million, higher than it's been in the last five years. It's even higher now than it was when both Red Dead Redemption 2 and Borderlands 3 were in development.
Take-Two Interactive President Karl Slatoff affirms a portion of these new projects will materialize quite soon. Even still, GTA 6 probably won't be among these immediate releases.
"We're not just investing to invest for years and years and years without actually getting the releases coming out. You will expect to see these investments coming to fruition over the next few years," Mr. Slatoff said in the earnings call.
"R&D spending is definitely up. And we said it many times before, one of our biggest priorities is building scale in the organization. And we specifically want to do that through organic initiatives. All of that is reflected on higher R&D."
The Take-Two exec warns that these projects are stretched across all of Take-Two's moving parts, not just big marquee Rockstar titles. We can expect new IP, new games from Private Division, 2K Games, and more:
"In terms of what you're going to see in the pipeline...it really is all over the entire company. We've got new investments at Social Point, we've got new investments in Private Division. You're already seeing two new titles coming out in this coming fiscal year in Private Division.
"So obviously the pace is starting to pick up in there. There is also a lot of investment at the 2K Games level. Michael Condrey is coming on board. We haven't said much about that game yet, because it's very early. So I think you will in fact see the velocity pick up on this, but exactly what that means I can't tell you right now.
"I can tell you that there's certainly a lot of titles in the pipeline."
Nothing regarding GTA 6 has been announced yet and we probably won't see any reveals at E3 2019, contrary to recent reports. Rockstar is notoriously tight-lipped about its upcoming projects and we probably won't hear anything until the studio is ready...which could be years from now when the next-generation console market has matured.
There's rumors GTA 6 could be a huge next-gen PS5 exclusive that's cyclopean in size, taking place on both Liberty Island and Vice City.
While there's lots of guesswork about the content, one thing's for sure: GTA 6 will be monetized with it's own online mode that's similar to GTA Online. It's possible that GTA V's online component will even link to GTA 6's in some way, creating a kind of cross-game, cross-platform multiplayer out of the service. GTA Online has earned more than $1 billion from microtransactions since 2013 and there's absolutely no way Rockstar and Take-Two wouldn't bring the mode to the next Grand Theft Auto game.
Whatever Grand Theft Auto 6 will offer, the game should be in active development as Rockstar puts Red Dead Redemption 2 in a state of active rest via Red Dead Online.