GTA 6: What we know about the long-awaited new Grand Theft Auto game

It has been a decade since the release of GTA 5

One of the most highly anticipated games of a generation is getting closer to being released.

Rockstar Games has confirmed that the trailer for GTA 6 will be revealed in December - although there's still no release date for the game itself.

It has been 10 years since Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto 5.

The fifth instalment in the franchise is the second best-selling video game of all time behind Minecraft, with more than 185 million copies sold.

GTA 5 is the second biggest selling video game of all time

Rockstar Games officially confirmed it was working on Grand Theft Auto 6 in February 2022.

In a statement on Wednesday, president Sam Houser said its first trailer would be unveiled in December to celebrate the company's 25th anniversary.

The first Grand Theft Auto video game was released in 1997 to mixed reviews. Fast forward 25 years and the franchise has been critically acclaimed, has shipped more than 405 million units, and is frequently ranked among the greatest and best-selling video games.

For GTA 5, Rockstar Games and Rockstar North won best studio and best developer from Edge magazine and received the Bafta Academy Fellowship Award at the 10th British Academy Video Games Awards.

Fans were sent into a frenzy at the announcement, having waited a long time for the follow-up, and rumours about it have rumbled for almost 10 years.

Leaks give glimpse

Before Wednesday, the biggest news came unexpectedly last September, when an unprecedented leak surfaced online that contained over 90 videos and screenshots from an early development of GTA 6.

Rockstar acknowledged the hack as legitimate, admitting: "We recently suffered a network intrusion in which an unauthorized third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems, including early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto.

"We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all in this way. We will update everyone again soon and, of course, will properly introduce you to this next game when it's ready."

The leak gave a first look at possible storylines, characters and locations, although Rockstar insisted the gameplay seen was still in very early stages of creation.

The footage revealed a modern-day Vice City setting and depicted the player characters, Jason and Lucia, entering a strip club and robbing a diner, suggesting that the main protagonists might work together in a Bonnie and Clyde-style story.

Why has is taken so long?

Before the release of GTA 5 in 2013, the longest wait for Grand Theft Auto game in the main series was five years.

With the advancements in video game technology, consoles and online gameplay, studios have been able to continuously update games rather than build an entirely new product from scratch.

Mini games within games mean studios can make more content with less time and resources, while also sometimes charging a fee to play.

A still from Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar Games frequently releases new online updates for its games, including Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar, a division of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc, has a reputation for creating visually impressive games with top quality graphics. The depiction of Los Santos in GTA 5 is still impressive a decade later, and to do that again takes time to develop.

Take-Two has patented new locomotive technology that will ensure Grand Theft Auto 6 has "highly dynamic and realistic animations" and will see characters move and react realistically to their environments.

Grand Theft Auto is not the only series created and frequently updated by Rockstar Games. Open world Wild West shooter series Red Dead Redemption is Rockstar's second biggest seller and also receives frequent updates.

To satisfy the hunger for GTA 6, Rockstar has worked on compilations and remasters of old instalments in the franchise - but the desire to play the next chapter has never been higher.