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GTA 6 Unlikely This Year As Take-Two Plans 21 Games For Release Between Now And March

Update: Immediately following the publication of this piece, Take-Two reached out to inform IGN that it was delaying its announced NFL partnership game past March 2022, meaning that it has two “immersive core releases” from new franchises that have not yet been announced, one of which is being developed by Gearbox.

Original story:

With its full-year financial results today, publisher Take-Two Interactive announced it plans to release a total of 21 games between now and the end of its fiscal year in March 2022. Unfortunately, it looks like none of these will be Grand Theft Auto 6.

While we don’t know the names of all these games yet, existing announcements, trends, and Take-Two’s own analysis can help us break down exactly what to expect.

Per Take-Two’s own analysis, four of these games are “immersive core releases,” with two from new franchises and two from existing franchises. One of the games from a new franchise is likely the new NFL game coming out of the partnership Take-Two announced with the league last year for a “non-simulation football game experience.” And one, Take-Two says, is being made by Gearbox, giving no further details.

For the two existing franchises, one is definitely WWE 2K22, which was announced at Wrestlemania last month. The second is most likely a new NBA 2K game, as the series has had a consistent pattern of annual releases going back years.

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Unfortunately, this doesn’t really leave room for GTA 6 in the coming calendar year, despite ongoing rumors and teases that the game is in development. Of the remaining 21 releases between now and March, one is an already announced independent game: OlliOlli World, from Private Division. Ten are free-to-play mobile games, with six from new franchises and four from existing franchises. And the remaining six are re-releases of existing games — so most likely platform ports or similar.

However, this doesn’t count GTA 6 out entirely. Take-Two also projected out its fiscal years 2023 and 2024 (April 2022 through March 2024), saying it plans to release over 40 games, including 19 “immersive core releases,” seven of which are sports sim games and four of which are free-to-play. Take-Two is also planning to release five independent games most likely through Private Division, ten free-to-play mobile games, four “mid-core” games, three of which will be “sports-oriented,” and three re-releases of existing games.

There are fewer details here, but it seems much more likely that GTA 6 could slot into that 19 “immersive core releases” segment if it is indeed in development as rumored, though details are still too scarce to tell for sure.

As a disclaimer, Take-Two noted in its release that this was just a snapshot of its “current development pipeline” and that games may still be delayed, and new games might be added. Speaking to IGN, Zelnick said he felt very confident about the release slate, but acknowledged that being this specific this far in advance had its drawbacks.

“We’ve been asked to provide more transparency and that’s what we’re trying to do,” he said. “…But of course, the more specificity you provide, the greater the risk we’ll have to make a change in the future.”

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In total, this would get Take-Two to 62 games in three years, following its promise in 2020 to release 93 games in five years, which it reiterated in February. Though it’s not clear how Take-Two counts releases just yet for the purposes of these milestones (is Borderlands 3 on next-gen one new release or two?), the publisher still seems well on its way to fulfilling this projection by 2025.

The publisher’s robust release plans today came alongside comments from Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick on the company’s future following a record financial year, which saw the highest full-year net bookings in company history at $3.6 billion (up 20% year over year) and $3.3 billion in revenue.

In a press release, Zelnick pointed out that he sees the pandemic as having initiated a “transformational shift in entertainment consumption” that drew many people to gaming who had previously not engaged with it. However, he added that he expects a “moderation” of these trends in the future, and told IGN that the company’s plans to continue to set new records each year were tied both to the surge of gaming interest as well as its aforementioned packed release slates.

In the same release, Take-Two shared that GTA 5, which just got a November release date for its PS5 and Xbox Series X/S upgrades, has now surpassed 145 million copies sold. GTA Online saw a record number of active players in the last quarter (January to March). In addition, NBA 2K21 has now sold over 10 million copies, and an average of 2.3 million users are playing NBA 2K games each day.

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Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.