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'Grand Theft Auto VI': Meet the Future of a Colossal Franchise

The trailer for "GTA VI" has landed, and the global franchise is staring down the barrel of another smash hit ... in 2025.

Ben Roberts

December 5, 2023

3 Min Read
Grand Theft Auto VI Trailer 1 screen grab
"GTA VI" Trailer 1 screen grabRockstar Games

Since its launch in 2013, "Grand Theft Auto V" (or "GTA V") has become the second most played game of all time, selling 190,000,000 copies and keeping fans engaged with the immersive, if not chaotic, franchise through constant new drops and content. 

"Grand Theft Auto Online" truly gave the franchise new life, as when the single-player story of Franklin, Michael and Trevor ended, there was a whole city to explore and exploit with players from across the globe. 

In February 2020, Steam Charts reported the second-highest concurrent player count of 220,000, the highest since its launch in 2015 (360,761). In the last 30 days, peak concurrent players were reported to be 167,317. That's just on PC, a fraction of the global monthly player count of "Grand Theft Auto Online."

Now, to celebrate 25 years of making impactful video games, the team at Rockstar Games, a publishing label of Take-Two Software, has launched a first look at the next installment in the saga, "Grand Theft Auto VI" ("GTA VI"), and the fans are here for it. 

Taking the story back to Vice City, which first appeared on our consoles in 2002, the world of "GTA VI" already seems to have everything that fans of the recent installment are clamoring for and, frankly, what made the whole franchise so significant: open-world mechanics, unbridled freedom, carnage, heists and the ultimate escapism of player-choice.

“Grand Theft Auto VI continues our efforts to push the limits of what’s possible in highly immersive, story-driven open-world experiences,” says Sam Houser, founder, Rockstar Games. “We’re thrilled to be able to share this new vision with players everywhere.”

Through the sheer volume of players, its historic controversy and its loyal fan base, Rockstar Games has created an iconic video game title and cemented a piece of intellectual property into the echelons of cultural history, which is a core aim for the studio.

So, what does that mean for licensing? Well, where intellectual property moves boundaries, fans follow. Where fans go, brands are created. Rockstar Games (along with its top-rated titles of "Grand Theft Auto" and "Red Dead Redemption") have built a robust portfolio of global fan bases. 

While a modest, authentic line of consumer products and accessories are available on the Rockstar Games store, we're more excited about the in-game licensing opportunities. "Grand Theft Auto" only featured its first fashion line in 2021 with Polish fashion and streetwear brand, Misbhv, according to Vogue, before joining forces with Born x Raised and skate brand, Civilist. 

The Rockstar Games team famously avoids licensing real brands, moving more toward the satirical (i.e., the in-game phone brand, "iFruit"); however, with the increase in collaborations, there is a powerful opportunity for brands to engage the colossal "Grand Theft Auto" player base through original, authentic and fan-first collaborations. Will "GTA VI" bring us more Miami-inspired fashion collaborations? Will more products hit retail through the inevitable demand created by players worldwide? Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until 2025 to find out. What we can confidently forecast, however, is that the world is already booking its days off for release.

Watch: "Grand Theft Auto VI" Trailer 1

About the Author(s)

Ben Roberts

Content Director (EMEA), License Global

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