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The first trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6 is out. Here's why the hype is huge

The two protagonists from the much anticipated GTA VI.
Rockstar Games
The two protagonists from the much anticipated GTA VI.

It's been a decade since the last Grand Theft Auto game, and fans have finally gotten what they've been asking for. No, not a new game — but a real trailer and a promised release year.

What is it? GTA has been selling like gangbusters and stoking controversy for its over-the-top, R-rated content since 1997.

  • The title is pretty self explanatory. While the story changes with each version, the gameplay centers around doing crimes and wreaking havoc, like stealing cars, evading police and getting into shootouts.
  • If you're an anxious type like myself, you can also just drive around like a law-abiding citizen in the fictional cities the games are centered in, which have drawn inspiration from places like San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

What's the big deal? After more than a decade of speculation, fans have finally gotten their first peek at the upcoming release of Grand Theft Auto VI.

  • Rockstar Games, the developer responsible for GTA, had to release the trailer a day earlier than planned because of a leak. The one-minute-30-second video confirms the game will be released in 2025 for the Playstation 5 and Xbox series X/S. 
  • The official trailer has racked up more than 80 million views in less than 24 hours on YouTube and been the top trending video on the site.
  • The trailer confirms what some fans and a previous gameplay leak in 2022 had predicted: For the first time, the game will center on a female protagonist named Lucia, and the story will return to Vice City, a hedonistic Miami-inspired hotspot filled with neon colors, wild nightlife and plenty of "Florida man" energy.

  • The last series title, Grand Theft Auto V, came out in 2013 and is one of the best-selling video games of all time, with a staying power and cultural legacy that is hard to compare to anything else.
  • And it's not without its critics. For years, the game's allowed players to attend strip clubs, shoot civilians and rob stores — content that got the series temporarily banned for sale in Australia in 2001, with recent efforts springing up down under to ban the series again.
  • It's sold more than 185 million units since its initial release — also making it one of the most profitable entertainment ventures ever, earning more than $8 billion in revenue in the decade since GTAV's release.

Want more on video games? Listen to Consider This on how Mortal Kombat conquered gaming.

So, what now?

  • While Rockstar Games has touted 2025 for the GTA VI release, they have a history of delaying other big titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 and GTA V for months and months.
  • So if you're dying to wrestle with a gator and just can't wait, your quickest option is to board a one-way Spirit airlines ticket to Fort Lauderdale.

Learn more:

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Manuela López Restrepo
Manuela López Restrepo is a producer and writer at All Things Considered. She's been at NPR since graduating from The University of Maryland, and has worked at shows like Morning Edition and It's Been A Minute. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Martin.