According to most rumors, GTA 6 will be released several years from now, which isn’t surprising given how long it took Rockstar Games to complete Red Dead Redemption 2.
Between 2001 and 2004, Rockstar Games released three games in quick succession: GTA 3, GTA Vice City, and GTA San Andreas. Today’s Rockstar Games need far more time to complete a single game than this. Why? Because their games now push the boundaries of design and the hardware they run on, they are regarded as the industry’s leading developer.
To that aim, Rockstar Games suggested that it’s looking into machine learning technologies during a recent GDC 2021 presentation. It’s difficult to predict what this means for GTA 6 and future releases, but based on the presentation, it appears like Rockstar Games is primarily studying this technology in relation to AI, an area of video game production that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention and meaningful improvement lately.
To put this analysis in context, during the same presentation, Rockstar Games stated that horses have over 3,000 animations spread across 23 different movement patterns. That’s a lot of effort, but it sounds like it’s just the tip of the iceberg for Rockstar Games, which is why it’s looking into machine learning. There’s no way it’ll ever be able to field an animation staff capable of taking the work done on horses in RDR2 and applying it to the entire game.
For the time being, it’s unclear what this means for GTA 6, but it appears that Rockstar Games is seeking to lift the bar again after raising it in 2018 with Red Dead Redemption 2, which is still the gold standard for game design and technical achievement. This is presuming, of course, that GTA 6 will be the developer’s next game. Of course, this is a perfectly safe assumption, but it is nonetheless an assumption. For all we know, Rockstar Games is planning to bring table tennis back.