We’ve still got a while to wait before Rockstar gives us the next version of Grand Theft Auto. Really, we can’t blame them for the long drought. The company is still getting quite a bit out of GTA V, which Gaming Gorilla listed as the fourth most popular video game in existence last year. As a reminder, GTA V came out in September of 2013.
At any rate, the release date for Grand Theft Auto VI is now expected to come early in 2024, roughly three years from the time of this writing. That will also mean more than a decade in between releases in the series, which means two things. First is that fans will be more than ready for a new installment, even if they still adore GTA V. Second though is that people will be ready for a lot of upgrades and enhancements.
To the latter point, we decided to do some speculation as to how Rockstar could further enhance the lifestyle side of the franchise. The GTA games have grown increasingly Sims-like over time, giving players all kinds of fun ways to “live their lives” as game characters even beyond missions, crime sprees and the like.
To be clear, we don’t have inside information regarding any of these ideas. But here are some of our thoughts as to how GTA VI could deepen the lifestyle side of things even more.
It might seem like we’re past the escape room boom. But just last year, Vox did a whole feature on how these game-like, real-world attractions remain “big business.” There’s also already plenty of overlap between real escape rooms and video games (mostly apps) looking to capture similar excitement. So we think it would be a lot of fun to see some escape rooms built into GTA VI. This seems a fairly simple thing for Rockstar to pull off, but it would make for some fun side activities, and possibly even opportunities to wager and make some cash (even if that’s not really something people do at escape rooms).
This may seem almost antithetical to the spirit of GTA. But there’s something to be said for infusing these games with a little bit of zen, and video game gardening has actually become mildly trendy as a sort of vague stress-relief entertainment option. We’d love to see GTA VI include simple features allowing characters either to maintain gardens at home or rent out public space to tend to. People could take it as seriously as they like, but having the option would be interesting — particularly if there’s a real effort to build up a sense of beauty and serenity in gardening spaces.
Okay, so looking at stock charts within a GTA game sounds a little dull. But the idea of investing and making money sounds like a fun side project, and there are forms of trading that are a little bit more visually engaging, and thus better suited for in-game activity. Something called a “heat map” for instance might actually be ideal. If this isn’t something you’re familiar with, FXCM’s very own heat map showcases the method in connection to the currency trade — basically revealing it to be a grid-like representation of assets. Prices are listed and assets are red or green according to poor or strong performance, giving traders quick snapshots of the state of a market. Something like that would be easy to look at and engage with in a GTA game by comparison to stock charts or asset listings. We love the idea of being able to turn to a phone, consult a heat map (or some version of the idea), and make a few purchases or sales routinely.
We’ve seen various real estate-related activities in GTA games before. We’ve also seen calls for different kinds of terrain customisation, including in a Gamerant wish list for GTA VI suggesting a “build mode.” To combine the ideas, we’d love to see the next game have in-depth design and construction options. The chance to buy space and fully customize a character home (we imagine there being hundreds of customization options) would just make for a really fun side project to enhance the lifestyle side of the game. For that matter it would also be fun if there were a few other opportunities to customize major constructions (unique skyscrapers, sports stadiums, etc.). But even starting with the home concept would be fun, if it were done correctly.
Lastly, we’re of the opinion that there simply can’t be enough competition in these games. We’ve already seen plenty of side sports and activities, from golf to darts, but in this category we’d say the more the better. Whether that means adding in organised street races, pickup basketball, off-road 4×4 races, sailing regattas, or paintball, anything would be fun. These games have grown bit enough that it seems there should be no limit to the number of side entertainment options, and by the time GTA VI comes out it’s easy to imagine an even larger and more complex version of what we’ve come to expect. All of these side competitions could be included and handled well.