There was finally some relief for the large group of gamers that has been anticipating any official information about Grand Theft Auto VI, the next entry in the hit franchise developed by Rockstar Games.
After years of speculation, the company released a 90-second trailer on Monday night that said the game would be released in 2025. The sun-drenched beaches and gleaming condominiums confirmed a return to Vice City, a sinful spin on Miami that the franchise first visited in 2002.
Several scenes of a woman named Lucia — first seen wearing an orange “inmate” shirt while gazing into a prison yard and, later, bursting into a store with a gun and a bandanna mask — suggest that the game will feature a female protagonist for the first time.
Sam Houser, the president of Rockstar, said in a statement that the game would “push the limits of what’s possible in highly immersive, story-driven open-world experiences.” Rockstar declined interview requests about the franchise.
The commotion over early promotional materials — Rockstar released the trailer about 15 hours earlier than it had planned because of a leak — demonstrated how a franchise that has indulged in hijacked cars and criminal underworlds since 1997 has become an industry juggernaut renowned for its gratuitous violence and slapstick humor.
The Grand Theft Auto VI trailer, which is set to “Love Is a Long Road” by Tom Petty, includes zooming speedboats and sports cars, fluttering dollar bills in a strip club, and a woman in fishnet stockings twerking on the roof of a moving vehicle. Several scenes lean into the “Florida man” stereotype.
Although Grand Theft Auto games have a central narrative featuring robberies, kidnappings and assassinations, they also give the player freedom to do just about anything — whether that is cruising the streets listening to the radio or shooting rocket launchers at police cars. Previous games have been set in versions of New York and Southern California.
Grand Theft Auto V has sold about 190 million copies on the computer and several console generations since it was released in 2013.
That game has sustained itself longer than previous iterations thanks to an online version with frequent updates, multiplayer adventures and micro-transactions that offer players advantages in exchange for real-world dollars. Analysts have estimated that Grand Theft Auto Online generated nearly $500 million in the company’s most recent fiscal year.
Interest in any morsels about Grand Theft Auto VI has been elevated for weeks after Bloomberg reported that an announcement was coming in December. Pandemonium ensued on TikTok when someone uploaded what appeared to be seven seconds from the new game. (The original video was quickly removed from the platform.)
In September, Rockstar, which is owned by Take-Two Interactive, said it experienced a “network intrusion” that resulted in nearly 50 minutes of footage from Grand Theft Auto VI being leaked online.