It’s been seven years since Grand Theft Auto V released, and the rumor mill is going into overdrive about the next version. One of the biggest areas of speculation is where the new game will be set. Supposed leaks and extrapolations on official teasers have led to suggestions ranging from a return to the classic settings of old to GTA leaving the North American continent altogether. There’s even a theory that the new game could encompass all of these possibilities and give us a whole world to rob and pillage.
While some of the clues and leaks about the release date may be red herrings, it’s worth considering the possibilities. One of the more credible suggestions is that the new game will see a return to Vice City, the GTA analog for Miami. This fan-favorite location was featured in the original 1997 game and was revisited for the “3D Universe” in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City in 2002 (plus the 2006 sequel, Vice City Stories). However, since the move into HD, we’ve not seen much of this location. Given that GTA IV and GTA V were set in Liberty City and San Andreas respectively, it would make sense that GTA VI should revisit the third of the franchise’s major territories.
An expanded universe
Another possibility is that the new game might tie together all of the franchise’s previous locations, effectively allowing players to roam around the whole of the United States. The existing settings could be expanded further: for instance, the pseudo-NYC of Liberty City could include turf based on New Jersey, perhaps playing on associations with the NJ online casino scene. The original conception of San Andreas as a California-Nevada hybrid that included San Francisco and Las Vegas analogs was scaled back in GTA V to just the area around Los Santos (Los Angeles), but maybe the new game could also see the return of the greater San Andreas area.
Grand Theft Auto – Project Americas
One of the more intriguing leaks has the new game involving trips across the border to Central and even South America. It’s been suggested that the working codename for the game is ‘Project Americas’, and that new locations could include Rio de Nove (based on Rio de Janeiro), the Republic of Castellano (a mixture of Bolivia and Colombia), and the People’s Republic of Del Castro (an island hybrid of Panama and Cuba).
Teasers have hinted at South America, while Mexico has also been mentioned. Meanwhile, scouts have apparently been looking at locations in Florida. These rumors tie in with those suggesting the new game will be set in the 1970s or ‘80s and may be influenced by the hit Netflix series Narcos.
Grand Theft Auto – The wider world
More outside speculation has suggested that players may travel to London (previously seen in the 1999 expansion Grand Theft Auto: London 1969) or even Tokyo, which designers considered some years ago but rejected due to its unsuitable road layout. However, they did trademark ‘GTA: Tokyo’ which suggests the city was never completely ruled out.
Wherever the new game goes, players will be able to experience the setting with the latest technology, meaning even familiar locations will be greatly expanded upon. Ultimately the only option is to wait and see.