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As reported by VentureBeat, Take-Two’s filing shows that it plans to spend $89 million on marketing between April 2023 and March 2024. That’s more than double the marketing budget for any other year over the next half a decade, suggesting GTA 6 will arrive sometime during this 12-month period.
In a note to investors, industry analyst Jeff Cohen writes that marketing budgets have accurately predicted big releases in the past, including Red Dead Redemption 2.
"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," the note reads. "Management has spoken very confidently about the pipeline over the next five years and existing live services execution has been excellent. However, the timing of the next Grand Theft Auto remains top-of-mind for investors, particularly with the stock near all-time-highs."
2023 will mark ten years since Grand Theft Auto V launched, but there are reasons why Rockstar Games is biding its time—the main one being that GTA Online continues to be a cash cow for the company, earning millions of dollars as regular content is released. Additionally, the next-gen consoles will be firmly established by 2023, giving what will likely be a PS5/Xbox Series X/PC-only title a larger audience.
Take-Two recently revealed in its earnings call that it has 93 games planned for the next five years. 63 of those will be "core gaming experiences," 17 will be "mid-core or arcade," and 13 are casual. Out of the 93, 21 will be exclusive to mobile, while 72 will be on console, PC, and streaming services such as Stadia. Almost half of the planned games will come from existing IPs, with rest being brand new properties.
Rumors that GTA 6 is in the early stages of development stretch back to 2016, and in 2018 we heard the setting could return to Vice City. There was also a rumor in 2019 that it would be set in multiple cities, and that the game would be a next-gen console/PC exclusive.