Grand Theft Auto VI leak followed by official trailer with a twist: A 2025 release

NEW YORK — The highly-anticipated trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI arrived a little early after a copy was leaked online.

Rockstar Games released its first look for the sixth game of the cult-classic video game series Monday evening — roughly 15 hours before the planned Tuesday morning unveiling — while citing the leak.

“Our trailer has leaked so please watch the real thing on YouTube,” Rockstar Games wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, just after 6 p.m. ET Monday.

Rockstar Games and its New York parent company, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., did not provide further details on the leak. The company did not immediately respond to The Associated Press’ requests for comment early Tuesday.

Still, avid Grand Theft Auto fans were able to learn a few things from the 90-second teaser — including that the next installment would be set in the Miami-inspired Vice City and star a female protagonist, a first for the franchise, named Lucia. The end of the video also confirmed that game won’t be released until 2025.

That’s later than some anticipated — including researchers at Raymond James & Associates. In an early Tuesday brief, Raymond James analysts said that they originally expected Grand Theft Auto VI to arrive in the 2024 holiday season.

Shares of Take-Two Interactive fell about 2% at the opening bell.

While a specific 2025 date hasn’t been disclosed from Take-Two yet, industry analyst still predict the game will arrive in the first few months of the year — pointing to the company’s “commentary around bookings expectations” of just under $8 billion for the 2025 fiscal year.

“While investors are likely to be mildly disappointed in the precise timing, and we expect a slight down move in the stock as a result, this does not change our thesis on the anticipated scale of the release when it does hit shelves, which remains potentially massive,” the Raymond James analysts added. “It is simply a shift rather than a reduction in expectations.”

The first Grand Theft Auto hit store shelves back in 1997. Its soaring popularity lead to multiple sequels over the years — with much anticipation (and sometimes long waits) between each installment. Grand Theft Auto VI will arrive more than a decade after Grand Theft Auto V’s 2013 release.

The sixth installment will be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X’S systems, Rockstar games and Take-Two said Monday.

Stifel researchers pointed to “exceptionally strong” buzz and pent-up demand following the Grand Theft Auto VI teaser — pointing to the tens of millions of views collected within hours. As of around 10:30 a.m. ET Tuesday, Rockstar Games’ official YouTube trailer had been viewed over 70 million times.

The timing of Grand Theft Auto VI’s release is also “likely to impact the frontline release schedule for the industry,” Stifel analysts wrote — adding that this “has the potential to strengthen what appears to be a weaker slate next year,” leading to “a flurry of new titles” published into the second half of 2024 as competitors try to avoid launching games close to Grand Theft Auto VI.

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