An industry analyst has suggested that Grand Theft Auto 6 could release between 2023 and 2024.
Stephens’ Jeff Cohen circulated a note this week (via VentureBeat) pointing out that publisher Take-Two‘s recent 10-K filing noted a significant jump in its planned marketing spend for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2024.
The projected marketing spend of $89.3 million is significantly larger than in any other fiscal year over the next half-decade and could indicate when Rockstar’s next big release will hit the market.
Update: A Take-Two spokesperson told VGC network partner GamesIndustry.biz that the $89.3 million marketing spend reflects commitments made to third-party companies rather than first-party ones like Rockstar.
Original story continues: “We are not sure how much we should be reading into this shift,” Cohen wrote, “but we would note that this disclosure accurately predicted the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 prior to that game’s announcement.
“[Take-Two] has spoken very confidently about the pipeline over the next five years and existing live services execution has been excellent. However, the timing of the next Grand Theft Auto remains top-of-mind for investors, particularly with the stock near all-time-highs.”
However, as noted by GI.biz, a similar jump in marketing spend aligned with the eventual release of Red Dead Redemption 2 only did so after the game was delayed from its original release planned for fall 2017.
Take-Two’s earlier 10-K reports also show no such similar spikes in marketing commitments leading up to the release of Grand Theft Auto V.
Most years Take-Two’s 10-K also notes that its marketing commitments “primarily reflect our agreements with major sports leagues and players’ associations.”
Take-Two publishing label 2K is responsible for the popular NBA 2K series of basketball games and recently announced a multi-year partnership with the NFL which will see it create “non-simulation” football games starting in 2021.
Take-Two said this month that “the strongest development pipeline in its history” includes 93 full games currently planned for release over the next five years.
A recent Kotaku report claimed work on the unannounced next GTA title was “still early in development” and that it could be “moderately sized” upon release, partly to reduce employee stress and crunch, before being regularly expanded over time.
The article’s author, Jason Schreier, also tweeted: “The next GTA is still a ways away, so it’ll be a while before we see whether the company’s attempts to mitigate crunch are really successful, but in the last year Rockstar has made several quality-of-life improvements and replaced managers that staff described as toxic.”
Originally released for PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2013 before launching for current-gen consoles and PC, Grand Theft Auto V is reportedly the highest-grossing media title of all time, having brought in over $6 billion.
Take-Two said this month that the game has shipped over 130 million copies, while Rockstar’s follow-up title, Red Dead Redemption 2, has shipped 31 million copies since releasing in October 2018.