It would appear that the first Grand Theft Auto 6 screenshot leaked online a few days ago –courtesy of an anonymous source. GTA community members quickly discarded the alleged screenshot as a fake leak, something the community’s been bombarded with for a long time. However, others took it upon themselves to find clues as to whether or not this screenshot is the real article as it pertains to the next series in this massively popular franchise.
Over on the r/GTA6 Reddit page, one inquisitive Reddit user, named SouthernFailway, examined the leaked screenshot in a forensic detail, cross-referencing it with previous information leaks, including the alleged map that branded the game as a Vice City sequel. In his post, the user revealed that the city depicted in the leak is a model of Miami, or at least Grand Theft Auto’s fictional version of the coastal metropolis. It’s important to note that it’s not a one-for-one recreation but a map model based on North Miami Beach, which coincidentally also served as a base for the Vice City map. This corresponds to a bulk of previous rumors, most of which place the supposed game’s narrative in Vice City.
According to the inquisitive user, the map is too good to be fake, though SouthernFailway doesn’t exclude that possibility, despite the high level of accuracy. For example, some of the buildings seen in the screenshot match some of the buildings found in Miami’s skyline. Additionally, the position of the sun and the shadows match up exactly where Miami would be, given that the sun shines from the south while the plane in the screenshot flies northwest. Another detail revealed by the screenshot, which was pointed out by the SoutherFailway, is the volumetric cloud system, which the developer of Grand Theft Auto 6 first used on Red Dead Redemption’s sky.
SoutherFailway believes the screenshot was taken from some kind of playtest, as the image reveals the build date and time, while the map bears a strong resemblance to the same map seen during previous leaks. However, there’s still a possibility that the map is fake. If that is the case, however, whoever leaked it did their homework properly and invested insane amounts of time to singlehandedly create a fake Grand Theft Auto 6 map and a fake screenshot. This doesn’t mean that the map is authentic, but it’s highly improbable that it’s completely fake. It might very well be a prototype map for a yet-unannounced game.
Unfortunately, the fans expecting to witness Grand Theft Auto 6 will have to wait for the second half of the decade, given the recently discovered release date – or the lack thereof. Rockstar Games revealed its plans to release 21 games between now and the end of the fiscal year in March 2022, with no mention of Grand Theft Auto 6, which is sad news for the fans of the franchise. However, while Rockstar didn’t mention it’s developing another installment in the GTA franchise, the company didn’t say that it isn’t developing one. Maybe it’s just a matter of time before the game’s finally revealed. And time separates reliable leakers from internet trolls.