4 reasons why GTA 6 could be a Rockstar failure - speculate on the situation

15 January 2024
Mad Knight

Grand Theft Auto 6 was one of the biggest news of the last year. Every blogger and journalist commented on the first trailer, rejoiced at the new heights of graphics and were upset because of not the soonest release. The game is prophesied to be the main event of the generation, but what if the reality turns out to be more prosaic? We decided to discuss why GTA 6 could be a resounding failure for Rockstar Games and lead to the collapse of the entire studio.

By the way, this is our second material in the cycle: the first part, in which we talked, on the contrary, about the prerequisites of GTA as a masterpiece, is here.


The absolute majority of analysts noted that the new GTA 6 has a huge amount of details. Each NPC behaves individually, is busy with his own business and looks completely different from the others. However, let's be honest, the overall level of the picture has not changed much since the time of the five. If Rockstar Games had shown individual parts of the trailer as part of the next GTA Online update, few of these same analysts would have seen the new game.

This has never happened before. Compare any frame of GTA 4 and GTA 5. It won't be hard to figure out what's what. In addition, the trailer itself raises questions. In the opening shots with a general plan of the beach, the range of skyscrapers leaves much to be desired. Water, sky and clouds look at the level of Red Dead Redemption 2, only a bluish filter was added. At the same time there are a number of shots — with a bridge or night panorama — where the range of drawing is fine. It seems that the excerpts were recorded on completely different hardware.

All of this makes us look less optimistic about the upcoming release. Yes, GTA 6 will be quite a colorful game, but nothing beyond what we've already seen in GTA 5 and RDR 2. This could also include rumors of some incredible water technology and animal behavior. It is quite possible that this is nothing more than a banal "warming up" of the audience.

Firing of key employees

Those who follow the fate of "Rockstar", are aware that the company left several key employees, long responsible for the overall vision of the studio's projects. In particular, co-founder Dan Houser and one of the screenwriters Michael Unsworth left.

The consequences are not hard to predict. Although games are collective works, some experts have a decisive input into how exactly a particular novelty will look like and what it will tell about. Now Rockstar Games has lost those who have largely defined the formula for success. Remember what happened to Star Wars when George Walton Lucas stopped working on it. Or another example — the departure of screenwriter Drew Karpyshyn before the final installment of Mass Effect resulted in a resounding failure for BioWare. The ending of the adventures of Captain Shepard was not liked by anyone at all.

All of this is nothing short of disturbing. GTA 6 has every chance of being a much less impressive game both story-wise and conceptually.


There have always been scandals surrounding Rockstar Games, but one of them has shaken up the industry much more than usual. All because of the information that before the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 employees were cranking for 17-20 hours a day. This led to complete burnout of employees, problems in families and long sessions with therapists. The release of the sequel to the western was overshadowed, and Rockstar and publisher executives had to come out in a hurry with many apologies, explanations and promises. The studio had to go from being a bully to being as "friendly" as possible, both to others and within itself.

Rework is certainly a bad thing. However, few AAA projects do without it. Especially those that have the potential to be masterpieces. Changes in the fundamentals of gamemade are possible, but there will be consequences. The most obvious one is dragging out development timelines. We're already seeing this with Grand Theft Auto 6. And the longer a game is in production hell, the greater the chance that many of the mechanics will become obsolete. Of course, the path that CD Projekt RED took with Cyberpunk 2077 isn't the answer either, but GTA 6 has been in development for about 10 years now, and that's a very solid number.

The GTA series has always teetered on the edge. The developers weren't shy about making jokes about things that weren't usually accepted. That's a thing of the past now. The first trailer shouldn't fool you. Such a degree of madness and social satire in the novelty will no longer be. Rockstar Games is so worried about new scandals, that the game will hardly have a place for openly stereotypical images and jokes about minorities. Whether this is a bad thing — time will tell, but the fact remains — the project may not be what fans expect it to be.

Questionable studio policy

Finally, it's worth talking about Rockstar's policy in recent years. This topic is controversial, because on paper some mistakes were made not by the studio itself, but by third-party developers brought in to perform minor tasks. However, let's not forget that in the industry of computer games few steps are made without agreement, which means that both Rockstar Games and the publisher were at least aware of it.

So, let's start with the updated trilogy. Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition was a real disaster. The technical state of the games was so terrible that it caused bewilderment. After numerous patches and apologies the situation changed for the better, but, as they say, the residue remained. For a considerable amount of money gamers were offered an alpha version of the past hits, in which they managed to ruin what had been working well for a long time.

What follows is more. From the re-release of the first Red Dead Redemption were expected updated graphics of the second part level, as well as many other technical improvements. How it all ended up is known. The game works even worse than the original one, and the picture hasn't changed at all.

GTA Online, which has become a gold mine for the company, also has a lot of questions. The original idea was, of course, excellent. However, after the addition of donations "Rockstar" time after time began to release dubious additions, where new weapons and cars were much more powerful, cost a lot of real money and greatly changed the balance. In RDR 2 online mode was so greedy that without investment players had almost no opportunity to exist normally.

The conclusion is simple. Rockstar Games has long been focused on making money with minimal effort. With the success of GTA 5 and RDR 2 all this seems insignificant, but the new policy will definitely affect the development of GTA 6. The fact that the online component will become even more important is clear from the trailer. However, there is a great fear that all this will eventually lead to a tight integration of microtransactions, and as a result — a worse experience for those who do not want to pay more for the game than it costs in the store.


Perhaps all of this is nothing more than just a fear that isn't destined to come true. If it does, we'll be very happy. However, if we guess something, there's a risk that the studio's second founder Samuel "Sam" Houser will leave the company after the release of GTA 6, and Rockstar will find itself in a deep crisis. I wouldn't want that.

Rating: 5 (2 votes)

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