It’s been over a decade since the release of Grand Theft Auto 5, but how long has GTA 6 actually been in development?

Rockstar Games isn’t a developer that tends to churn out games. Instead, the talented development team often takes years between major releases – but when a new game does drop, the industry pays attention.

We recently got the news that the long-awaited GTA 6 will release in Fall 2025, meaning fans will be waiting another year to get their hands on the game.

But at the end of the day, that extra year is just a drop in the bucket, considering how long it has taken to develop GTA 6.

How Long Did It Take to Develop?

According to Jason Schreier over at Bloomberg, GTA 6 has been in development since 2014.

If this report proves to be accurate, that means the upcoming Grand Theft Auto title has been in the works for around a decade. By the time the game launches in Fall 2025, it will have been in development for eleven years.

GTA 6 Lucia and Jason in Convenience Store Robbery

Given the timing, development on GTA 6 likely began only a matter of months after GTA 5’s release in September 2013.

It’s worth noting that other elements of the Bloomberg report have since been proven correct. For example, Schreier was the first to report that GTA 6 would feature a female Latina protagonist.

He also claimed that the lead duo would be influenced by bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde, something that appears to be the case from what we’ve seen so far.

The Development Timeline

It’s also worth pointing out that, even if GTA 6 began development in 2014, it likely wasn’t Rockstar’s sole focus.

After all, Red Dead Redemption 2 development began shortly after the launch of its predecessor, with a team of approximately 1,600 employees working for eight years on the project.

Arthur Morgan with Rifle and Pistol in Red Dead Redemption 2

We can only imagine that much of Rockstar’s workforce was dedicated to creating RDR2’s incredibly detailed open world until the game was released.

However, since the title’s 2018 release date, we expect that GTA 6 development has become the developer’s top priority.

This matches up with Jason Schreier’s first report on the game back in 2020, in which the credible journalist suggested that GTA 6 was early in development. Although development on the new GTA supposedly began well before Red Dead Redemption 2’s release, it likely didn’t kick off properly until at least 2018.

In February 2022, Rockstar confirmed that development on the next Grand Theft Auto was ‘well underway.’

As the developer prioritized development on its upcoming title, the company later announced that Red Dead Online would not receive any more major updates in order to focus on GTA 6 development.

What’s more, reports from industry sources indicated that planned remasters of both GTA 4 and Red Dead Redemption were put on hold, with resources directed towards GTA 6, following poor reception of GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition.

Finally, in February 2024, all Rockstar Games staff were made to cease remote work and return to the office in what appears to be an unpopular move.

However, this decision was allegedly made to improve productivity and security as the game’s development entered its ‘final stages.’

Now, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick reports that he’s ‘highly confident’ in Rockstar’s Fall 2025 release date.

author
Managing Editor
With almost a decade of experience in video game journalism, Max is a well-versed writer from Manchester, United Kingdom. His expertise shines in his comprehensive coverage of GTA 6, providing fans with the latest news and developments regarding the highly-anticipated sequel.
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