Rockstar’s new rockstar: GTA VI
More than a decade after the release of one of the most critically acclaimed video games ever, its successor has finally been revealed.

The gaming world was taken by storm when Rockstar Games released its first trailer for Grand Theft Auto (GTA) VI, the latest addition to a gaming series considered one of the greatest ever

Within days, the trailer continued the series’ habit of breaking records, from gaining more than 90 million views within 24 hours—snatching YouTube’s title for most views in a day for a non-music video from Mr. Beast—to surpassing the lifetime view count for GTA V’s trailer in just 36 hours. Its monumental success builds off GTA’s massive popularity among the gaming and entertainment communities, as made evident by the 250 million views gained by GTA VI trailer-related content in fewer than three days after its release. 

The series was born in 1997 with the release of Grand Theft Auto, the first instalment, which was followed by numerous other major and minor titles. Most notably, GTA III, which featured the first three-dimensional environment, which blew up the game’s popularity even more. The latest instalment, GTA V, was released in 2013 and experienced unprecedented success, becoming the fastest-selling entertainment product ever, bringing in US$800 million in just 24 hours and winning numerous awards, along with holding the title as the second-bestselling video game. While controversial for its portrayal of violence and adult themes, the game’s critical acclaim made it the precedent for appealing video games. Rockstar’s impressive and proven résumé of celebrated productions is why gaming fans are so hyped for GTA VI

First announced in February 2022, the release timeline was only sprinkled with rumours and supposed insider reports, until December 4, 2023, when a trailer leak steered Rockstar to release the first official trailer a day earlier than planned. Millions flocked to behold what would be the future of GTA—and discovered that Rockstar did not fall short on their promise that GTA VI would be the “biggest, most immersive evolution of the [GTA] series yet.” Years of speculation and intense anticipation were met with the purest symphony of the very chaos and civil disobedience that elevated GTA to its first era of fame. 

Besides resurrecting the same vibes from the past titles, the most fascinating part of the trailer was the exposition of how far gaming technology has come. GTA VI’s trailer featured stunning visuals, the depth and detail of which made the shots seem real. 

This habit of mimicking reality was continued with the mayhem displayed through the rowdy behaviour presented as in-game social media clips, which featured everything from a face-tattooed criminal to car-surfing to rowdy alligators. The common thread throughout these images is that they are all recreations of real-life viral shots taken in Florida in recent years. This approach is in line with GTA’s theme of satirizing the randomness of life in bustling metropolitans. In this case, GTA VI will feature Florida through the fictional US state of Leonida, in which the Saga’s fictional Vice City exists.

The trailer also introduces GTA’s first-ever female protagonist, a woman named Lucia, who, alongside an unnamed male counterpart, operates a Bonnie-and-Clyde-like relationship as they attempt to thrive in a chaos-embroiled world. The trailer is accompanied by American singer Tom Petty’s “Love is A Long Road,” which could tease the relationship dynamic between the focal playable characters. There are also multiple easter eggs: Lucia’s court-issued ankle bracelet, which might indicate a restriction of movement at the game’s start; the building with rounded windows next to the Atlantic hotel, which was a setting for a thrilling scene in the highly referenced film Scarface; and various returning vehicle types. 

The many references to the themes and ideas presented in past installments pay homage to the vibrant culture and community fostered by the GTA series, which only increases the buzz for GTA VI. For now, fans must watch and wait for the game’s release sometime in 2025—if everything goes according to Rockstar’s plans. Until then, we can be sure that Vice City will be waiting to welcome its future citizens.

Associate News Editor (Volume 50) — Samuel is a first-year student at UTM working towards an Economics degree. He previously worked with the Federation of Canadian Secondary Students as a writer in the Demystify Tribune and will be continuing his exploration into writing and journalism as an Associate Editor with The Medium. When he's not drawing graphs or outlining essays, Samuel can be found playing the piano and drums, working out, or critiquing film.



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