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Grand Theft Auto 6 Launch Window Possibly Outed by Take-Two Advertising Plans [Update]

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Update: According to a statement provided to GamesIndustry.biz, the marketing increase for FY2024 shown in the charts below is earmarked for third-party titles, rather than internally-developed titles like Grand Theft Auto 6. So, a big third-party title is on the way, but unless the relationship between Rockstar and Take-Two is set to change, this probably isn’t the GTA 6 release date hint we hoped it was.

Original story: As soon as Rockstar Games delivered Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018, the Grand Theft Auto 6 rumor mill started grinding. It’s a lock the game is in development, but a lot of the rumors we’ve heard about the game conflict with one another and we really have no idea when the game might arrive. RDR2 took nearly eight years to produce, so is GTA 6 sill a long way off?

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Unfortunately, it seems that might be the case. According to the latest 10-K SEC filing of Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive, the company is planning a major increase in advertising in fiscal year 2024 (which runs from April 2023 until the end of March 2024). The company plans to spend nearly $90 million on marketing in FY2024, more than double the approximately $40 million they spend on marketing in a typical year. The most likely reason for such a major boost in advertising would be the release of a really big game, like, say, Grand Theft Auto 6. If the big marketing spend is indeed for GTA 6, expect the game to come out holiday 2023.

Interestingly, Take-Two previously said they were planning to increase their advertising spending in FY2023, indicating GTA 6 may have been pushed back a year. Now, take this all with a grain of salt, but according to Stephens financial analysist Jeff Cohen, keeping track of Take-Two’s advertising plans has yielded results in the past

We are not sure how much we should be reading into this shift, but we would note that this disclosure accurately predicted the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 prior to that game’s announcement. [Take-Two management] has spoken very confidently about the pipeline over the next five years and existing live services execution has been excellent.

Per recent rumors from Kotaku, GTA 6 is indeed Rockstar’s “next big project” and the game may be moderately-sized at launch so it can be released in a timely fashion (although we’ve also heard the exact opposite regarding size). There’s seemingly been some turmoil behind-the-scenes at Rockstar, as the studio’s co-founder and longtime creative director Dan Houser recently departed, which may explain GTA 6 potentially being pushed back.

What do you think? Will we be waiting for 2023 for GTA 6? Or are you crossing your fingers the game will be released sooner?

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