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GTA 6 Likely To Miss Its 2025 Release Window, Developers Fear Return Of Crunch

GTA 6 Likely To Miss Its 2025 Release Window

At the end of trailer one for GTA 6 released by Rockstar Games last December, it was revealed that GTA 6 will launch in 2025. However, sources familiar with the game’s development claim the game may slip into 2026.

GTA 6 Likely To Miss Its 2025 Release Window

The upcoming open-world crime simulator is arguably the most anticipated game in history. Late in February, Rockstar asked its developers to return to the office in preparation for the final phase of GTA 6 development. The return to office mandate which is expected to take effect from April 15 was harshly criticized by employees, some of whom called it reckless.

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Regardless of how insensitive developers thought the mandate was, Rockstar said there were benefits to in-person working. Also, the company cited the security concerns associated with remote work. After suffering multiple leaks, Rockstar was not taking any chances.

According to Kotaku, undisclosed sources familiar with the game’s development process think it could miss its 2025 release window. According to the undisclosed sources, the game will likely not be released until late 2025 or even slip into 2026.

GTA 6 Likely To Miss Its 2025 Release Window

One of Kotaku’s sources who wish to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from Rockstar said the development of the game has started “falling behind”. The source also claimed that Rockstar leadership is worried and nervous about the game missing its 2025 window which is another reason they are pushing for a return to office.

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Rockstar is still working towards the release of GTA 6 in Spring of 2025. Those familiar with the development said a Fall 2025 launch feels more realistic. However, delaying the game until 2026 has not been ruled out entirely.

The return to office mandate was criticized by UK-based Rockstar employees through the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) saying it will negatively impact the work-life balance of the developers involved in the project.

Employees fear the return of crunch as Rockstar pushes forward with GTA 6

GTA 6 Likely To Miss Its 2025 Release Window

Rockstar Games has been notorious for last-minute changes that lead to crunch. As the studio struggles to hit the 2025 release window, the developers working on GTA 6 fear that the progress the company has made in recent years in combating the crunch policy may be reversed.

Two Rockstar employees told Aftermath that little has changed since the company issued the return to office mandate, notwithstanding the outcry.

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“The only news I know of is some reports of some people being admonished to varying degrees for voicing disagreement with the RTO plan,” said one Rockstar employee under the condition of anonymity. “But otherwise, we are just waiting for more information from management about how the hell this is going to work.”

Some of those who criticized the return-to-office order said that the company has witnessed leaks in the past, even when the developers worked solely from the office. Instead, they believe it is an attempt to exert more control over the developers’ working conditions.

GTA 6 Likely To Miss Its 2025 Release Window

“We’ve historically had leaks regardless of what setup we had,” said another Rockstar employee. “Back with [Red Dead Redemption 2] we had leaks around the launch of that game. It’s never going to be 100 percent fully secure. People will be motivated to leak our content because there’s a great deal of interest in the products that we make.”

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Some other Rockstar employees think this is an attempt from Rockstar to quietly lay off workers without paying for severance. They believe that by making relocation impossible, those who cannot cope with the cost will quit.

“If you make it so that [people] can no longer work effectively at the company, then they have no choice but to leave,” said one Rockstar employee.

“It’s obviously cheaper because you avoid having to pay redundancies as a result of layoffs,” said another employee. “If you can make it so that people will leave of their own accord, you don’t have to pay them.”