Rockstar somewhat blew up the gaming world at the end of last week and into the weekend with a simple bit of information attached to the bottom of the confirmation of next generation patches (Playstation 5 and Xbox Series S|X)
This was also followed up with two tweets
and a few others from Rockstar also chipped in a tweet
AND this is where things get interesting, we know it's coming - something that we really wished Rockstar would have told us a long time ago, but at least for those hardcore fans, confirmation has come and now the waiting game starts.
"We're pleased to confirm that active development for the next entry in the series is underway." - Opens up a world of questions and possibly problems that Rockstar, as time goes on, will need to overcome, address or outright avoid.
- How long has it been under active development?
- What's the lead time on release?
- Where is it set?
- What happens to GTA Online's current assets?
I doubt Rockstar will give up much information on any of the above topics but I thought I would guesstimate myself so here goes....
How long has it been under active development?
Being careful with the word development I guesstimate it's been under active development for probably the last 5 years if not a little more. GTA V was released way back in 2013 (September) and it did not come out altogether with GTA Online coming a little later.
I'd imagine that once GTA V hit, it would have been all hands on deck fixing up any nasty issues, killing off the obvious hacks and just making sure Online is as smooth as smooth can be .. which didn't happen overnight.
Development likely started about 2014-15 with probably a few concepts being through around, possibly a story concept of A-Z and since then the rest of the alphabet is being filled in.
What's the lead time on release?
My guess is we won't see this game until possibly 2025 maybe late 2024 at best, this is based on my theory that the story aspect has been under development for some time and the code side is in a progressive state but that the whole shebang has to come together - I some what hope that PS4 and Xbox One are not supported, I know, I know not enough of next gen in the world at the moment unless you're willing to pay an asshole scalper or get lucky with your local gaming store (which is probably online only!)
If anyone can make a MASSIVE game work across multiple gens with little to no issues, that'd be Rockstar lets not forget that GTAV came out on the Xbox 360 and PS3, runs great across the board but this could be the game that forces some hold outs to upgrade and without looking backwards GTA IV could be a powerhouse for the next decade .. supporting the Xbox One knowing the original XBOX exists (and still works) would be painful in terms of load times .. GTA V still isn't an instant loader on anything so imagine the next version on last gen ?
Where is it set?
I imagine (and this relates to the whole GTA Online assets issue) that the existing location will be kept but expanded upon perhaps adding another massive landmass that's the main city with what's in V being a secondary city. I say this because....
What happens to GTA Online's current assets?
If they can keep the existing city in some way shape or form, perhaps it's an island and we get a new massive city and a bridge or some underground tunnel connected - this could allow for all assets from GTA Online to be kept and moved into the next game.. or .. dark side GTA Online 2.0 and it drops everything ?
I honestly would prefer a new location and I'm not a hardcore GTA V player, I tried to be but a few years back I had a terrible shared connection and got banned - I assume I was lagging so much that it looked like I was teleporting? No idea I tried to appeal but the process of appeal doesn't exist.
My second account which was mostly played on my Xbox One had no issues but I just get kicked out of Online a LOT and it takes a LONG time to get into online so in the end I opted to not bother.
That all aside, I understand how the hardcore community that's invested hundreds of hours and possibly hundreds of $$$ into the game would be pissed at losing everything they have built I get it but ... nah
I would love to see GTA London - The narrow streets and driving on the opposite side of the world is likely to annoy many but a culture of old gangland does exist and it could be a ton of fun, does anyone remember The Getaway on the PlayStation?
That game was a ton of fun and I will admit I would constantly attach the vans of the company I worked for at the time when they showed up - but that game had some good mechanics behind it and was a ton of fun ... a viable alternative to GTA at the time.
Hong Kong (possibly in the 80s) could be a fun setting, Sleeping Dogs is another classic game that showed that location can work, Japan would be interesting but I cannot see it being used as while the Gangsters will be mean and all gangster like the NPCs would be far too polite.
Russia could be another one or even way down in Aussie land, I dunno but if they opt for a new city or away from LA .. outside US please!