Grand Theft Auto 6 to Be SmallerScale Expanded Via DLC

Grand Theft Auto 6 to Be Smaller-Scale, Expanded Via DLC

Grand Theft Auto VI will reportedly launch with a moderately sized map and be expanded through DLC updates in order to mitigate crunch.

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Grand Theft Auto 6 to Be SmallerScale Expanded Via DLC

Grand Theft Auto 6 will reportedly be smaller than Rockstar’s latest games at launch and expanded via DLC. GTA 6 is the highly-anticipated – and yet to be officially announced – sequel to Grand Theft Auto 5, released way back in 2013. The open-world action game which lets players do anything from playing tennis to robbing banks is the most profitable entertainment product of all time, largely due to its expansive world, infinitely re-playable gameplay, and consistently updated multiplayer over the seven years since its initial release. A sequel was always inevitable, especially once Red Dead Redemption 2 was shipped, and although an announcement is farther off than what leaks suggested, a report confirmed that GTA 6 is Rockstar’s next game and in development.

GTA 5 broke a Rockstar tradition with its lack of single-player story expansions, instead choosing to focus on GTA Online, which surpassed Rockstar’s expectations for profitability. The playable area of Los Santos and the surrounding wilderness is huge, only to be surpassed by Red Dead Redemption 2’s behemoth of a map, a task which required grueling overtime hours from its employees. This crunch culture was met with criticism and controversy from the gaming community, and after co-founder Dan Houser left the company, Rockstar has reportedly undergone a culture shift to better take care of its employees while still maintaining the quality of the product they’re renown for.

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According to the report from Kotaku, Rockstar is applying this culture shift to the development of Grand Theft Auto 6 by taking their time and releasing a “moderately sized” map at first, which will then be expanded by updates to spread out development time and mitigate crunch. It’s not currently clear if these updates would be free or if this is a return to paid expansions like Red Dead Redemption’s “Undead Nightmare” or Grand Theft Auto 4’s “The Ballad of Gay Tony”, but this is likely just a development decision to get the game out without the infamous 100-hour weeks that Red Dead Redemption 2 required.

Crunch is by no means a problem exclusive to Rockstar in the games industry, with nearly every AAA studio employing it at some point, but Rockstar’s industry-high standards and prestige created an unsustainable environment despite the incredible profits their games bring. While initial reports stated that the new GTA game was early in development, noted Rockstar leaker Tez2 tweeted that he was hearing “halfway done” at least, although they admitted that “early” could more plausibly mean a release date was a long ways away. A stock report which predicted a 2021 release now seems very optimistic.

Next title, a new GTA title is in “early stages of development”? It’s hard to believe that when I’m hearing it’s “halfway done” or even beyond that.

Leaks and rumors spread rapidly over last month concerning everything from GTA 6’s supposed announcement at the end of the month to map concepts that spanned across the United States – an idea that’s certainly over-eager if these reports are to be believed. Seven years is a long time to wait for a sequel, but the mental health and well-being of developers is more important. If an initially smaller map is the price to pay to guarantee a crunch-less development cycle, Rockstar fans should hopefully understand that whenever they finally load up Grand Theft Auto 6 for the first time.

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