There's a lot of hype around the games expected to release in 2020, but there has been almost as much discussion about delays.
In years of new console releases, a lot of games get pushed because no one wants to be the game that gets released on old tech and then doesn't perform well.
Every developer begins to think about how they might be able to improve their game with extra graphics, or processing power.
Equally, Sony and Microsoft are likely to be looking for the games to partner their launch with, and the bigger the name that can showcase the new power and ability of next-gen consoles the better.
GTA 6, therefore, is a prime target for this.
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Each week it gets more and more unlikely that Rockstar Games are going to commit to a release date for GTA 6. A lot of the talk is actually of a 2021 date, in part due to the massive success of the updates to GTA Online.
GTA Online changes the strategy
Rockstar Games have repeatedly talked about the success of GTA Online in recent years, and despite being released over five years ago they are making more money than ever through microtransactions.
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Modern gaming has completely changed, and whilst previously developers needed to keep bringing out new games to hit revenue targets, with the evolution of updates and microtransactions in-game they can now keep building on an existing game to prolong success with a fan base that love the game.
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The holiday period just gone was the biggest ever for GTA Online, which is phenomenal for a game getting older.
Take-Two speak about the future
This change in strategy was evident from quotes from Take-Two, the parent of Rockstar games;
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Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked whether the world could expect a new blockbuster game title in 2020, as Take-Two aspires to do this every year.
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“We have 11 franchises that have sold in at least five million units within one release as well as new intellectual property, and we are working on the most robust pipeline in our history. So we're amazingly excited about it.
“That said, we haven't always been able to achieve our goal of having a strong frontline release schedule in every year, even in the recent past.
“What has been great, though, is we've now built a company that has these very strong underpinnings of catalog titles and ongoing titles that live on in the hearts and minds of our consumers, generating engagement and generating net bookings and profits.
“So right now, we have titles like Grand Theft Online, Red Dead Online, all the Social Point titles, and there are 5 that are successfully in market, NBA 2K Online in China, WWE Supercard, which has been downloaded more than 20 million times, and the list goes on.
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“And in this past quarter, for example, catalogue sales represented about 40% of our net bookings.
What does this all mean
The success of GTA online and the announcement of next-gen consoles pretty much kills the opportunity of getting GTA 6 in 2020. There are strong hints that a team is already working on it and have been since 2013.
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The sooner something is announced, the better chance there is of a 2020 launch. But with every week passing by it also gets less likely.
If we get to September 2020 without a release date, then it's highly likely it will be launching on PS5 and Xbox Series X instead.