He will be here soon. Or at least… in two years maximum. Ten years after the release of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), one of the most popular games in the world, the American studio Rockstar Games has released the first official images of GTA VIwhich we discover will be released in 2025.
Against the backdrop of Tom Petty (Love Is a Long Road, 1989), we especially discover Lucia, a young Latin American robber who should be the first female protagonist of one of the major episodes of the series, as well as her companion. We finally find the fictional city of Vice City, a squeaky replica of Miami, already covered in the aptly named GTA: Vice City. Except that if this episode released in 2002 took place in the 1980s, GTA VI seems well anchored in the present, caricaturing the format of Instagram stories and TikTok lives to better showcase the kind of absurd or violent situations that stick to the skin of Florida, often considered the American capital because of various grotesque.
This first trailer of just ninety seconds, which was to be released on Tuesday, December 5 at 3 p.m., leaked a few hours earlier, to the point of convincing Rockstar Games to finally broadcast it during the night of Monday to Tuesday. She gives the program for this blockbuster, which until then had only been confirmed with lip service. Despite Rockstar Games’ strong taste for secrecy, the surprise is not complete: Vice City had already been seen in stolen images that circulated a year ago.
New decor, new face, but same rules. GTA VI is the new part of a series of video games born in 1997, the principle of which is to embody one or more delinquents. The player enjoys great freedom, allowing him to multiply misdeeds and explore cities riddled with crime, without sacrificing any of his unusual narrative ambition. The controversies accompanying each release have also largely contributed to making the series known – including when politicians criticized or banned it in certain countries.
A gangster with a full record
The hopes for GTA VI are up to the quality of Rockstar Games’ previous productions. A guarantee of confidence was given to the series from the first episode produced in three dimensions, GTA III (2001). Its narration inspired by gangster films and its very immersive urban universe have propelled the transgressive license to the rank of icon of popular culture.
“ Grand Theft Auto is a master standard of video games, each release has imposed a new industry standard. Rockstar experienced a surge in writing power between San Andreas (2004) And GTA IV (2008). Then (the popularity of the game has) exploded with their multiplayer mode on GTA V »observes Olivier Mauco, founder of the Game in Society studio, author of GTA IV. The other side of the American dream (Editions Theoretical Questions, 2013) and professor at Sciences Po Paris.
In fact, the mode GTA Online became a major asset for the last episode, with unprecedented longevity. Hundreds of thousands of fans indulge in it role play (“role play”), which applies ingredients of improvisational theater to online gaming. So, GTA V remains one of the most watched and most played games on console and PC. In 2022, it still appeared in the ranking of the most purchased games in France.
After the explosion GTA VRockstar Games affirmed its artistic ambition with Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018), sort of GTA in the Wild West and one of the most ambitious games of the last five years. To the point of excess? The release was in any case marred by criticism of working conditions within the studio. A few days before the game’s publication, employees denounced an oppressive culture of secrecy and unreasonable workloads to develop this immense universe teeming with previously unpublished details. A few months later, Dan Houser, the co-founder of Rockstar Games, considered one of the “directors” of the studio’s games for twenty years, took a step back, before finally leaving the company the following year.
In addition, to ensure a winning return, GTA will have to do better than offering a more extensive and visually successful version than the fifth opus: it will have to avoid repetition and measure itself against the most innovative universes released since, such as Elden Ring (2022), Cyberpunk 2077 (2020) or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017).
Olivier Mauco is counting on the talent of the studio’s screenwriters, who have until now been able to highlight the tensions in Western societies: “These are not mindless games, that’s the big paradox. It’s very fun, very funny and, at the same time, there is a real criticism of the modern world. »
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The video game industry, for its part, sees in GTA VI a future sales champion: it only took a week to GTA IV and only three days to GTA V to cross the billion dollars (900 million euros) in revenue. For comparison, the film that had the greatest box office success in 2023, barbiegenerated $1.4 billion in just over four months.
GTA V has sold 190 million copies, according to the latest figures from its publisher, Take-Two. Which makes it the second best-selling video game in the world, behind Minecraft and its more than 300 million copies sold.
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