(Bloomberg) -- Rockstar Games released the first trailer for the newest version of Grand Theft Auto on Monday, giving fans a glimpse of what’s likely to rank as one of the industry’s top-selling titles.
The game will be released in 2025, the company said in statement Monday. Rockstar, part of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., posted a trailer on the studio’s YouTube channel after a version leaked on social media. The video includes some elements of what Bloomberg News has already reported, such as that the new title features a male and female protagonist and that it’s set in a fictional version of Miami. The trailer was originally scheduled to debut on Tuesday morning.
“Grand Theft Auto VI continues our efforts to push the limits of what’s possible in highly immersive, story-driven open-world experiences,” Rockstar founder Sam Houser said in the statement. “We’re thrilled to be able to share this new vision with players everywhere.”
First released in 1997, Grand Theft Auto delivers the fantasy of being able to hijack cars and cause chaos in urban areas. The franchise ranks among the top five of all time, with more than 410 million units sold. Grand Theft Auto V, which debuted 10 years ago, has sold more than 190 million copies and generated approximately $8.4 billion in revenue.
Shares of Take-Two slid about 3.4% in premarket trading on Tuesday, potentially due to disappointment in the “generic 2025 release timing,” according to analysts at Baird Equity Research. But they noted that “overall game quality and commercial reception are more important than landing in a specific quarter.” Baird expects about $3 billion in bookings for GTA VI over the first year after its release.
So far, Take-Two has provided minimal details about plans for the game, except to say the company anticipates a large increase in sales in fiscal 2025.
“We have talked about expecting over $8 billion in net bookings,” Chief Executive Officer Strauss Zelnick said in an interview earlier this year.
That figure would amount to a $2.8 billion bump from what the company generated in fiscal 2023, which ended in March.
Over the last decade, Grand Theft Auto V has become more popular because of GTA Online, in which players and their friends can drive around a madcap rendering of Los Angeles, pulling off heists and engaging in other nefarious activities. Rockstar Games earns money from sales of the game and in-game purchases. The title helped pioneer a new industry business model in which publishers can make money for years after the initial sale of a game. A version released last year, called GTA+, costs $6 a month and gives subscribers additional currency and perks.
“Games transitioned from products to services,” said Joost van Dreunen, a lecturer at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “We’re now transitioning to games as a playground.”
Young fans view Grand Theft Auto V as a destination, one that may not even involve playing the game. They often watch viral YouTube videos featuring the content, or stream gaming celebrities playing it live on Twitch. Since 2016, viewership of Grand Theft Auto V on Twitch has increased more than 3,400%, according to TwitchTracker, with about 141,000 people watching at any moment in time.
Fred Pye, 26, has attracted 6.6 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, where he posts videos with titles such as “The BIGGEST Zombie Apocalypse EVER! (GTA 5),” which often rely on player-made modifications, such as introducing new characters or scenery. In the ten years since the initial release of Grand Theft Auto V, he said, he’s stuck to the modified versions and has yet to play the main story.
“It never interested me,” he said in an interview.
(Updates with shares in fifth paragraph.)
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