The GTA 6 rumor mill has been spurred on and brought back into full force after a patent regarding NPC behavior made waves recently. The patent details the kind of advanced NPC technology that Rockstar Games is looking to focus on to break new ground in the GTA franchise.
A key aspect of NPCs and the world-building around them is the setting they populate. For years, players have grown extremely fond of and harbor many loving memories of their time in iconic virtual cities like Liberty City, San Andreas, and Vice City.
Therefore, the city plays a vital role in making the game iconic, memorable, and, most importantly, fun to explore. Rockstar has done a remarkable job of providing gamers time and time again with quality open-world settings in the GTA games, as evidenced by the aforementioned cities' iconic statuses.
With GTA 6 still a ways off, which location makes the most sense for Rockstar to have their most ambitious game to be set in?
Where will GTA 6 likely to be set in?
The rise of Retrowave
Amongst the ideas and speculation thrown around GTA 6, one iconic name stands out amongst the rest as the clear favorite, Vice City. It certainly helps that post-2016, the entertainment industry and the internet saw a surge in popularity of everything remotely to do with the 80s.
Films from the 80s saw a resurgence in popularity and gained iconic status, to the point that many movies of today attempted to hearken back to the heyday of that era. A similar movement was witnessed in music with retro synths, wavy texturesm, and spacey instrumentation becoming all the rage.
The movement and style of entertainment, whether it be literature, music, or film, came to be dubbed as "Retrowave." GTA Vice City seems to have been the perfect entertainment piece that exemplifies Retrowave before it formed the zeitgeist.
With its brilliant 80s soundtrack, the neon-drenched streets, and the numerous references and inspiration to and from Scarface, GTA Vice City is the perfect storm of everything Retrowave.
Thus, Vice City makes sense creatively and almost guarantees financial success, as fans would undoubtedly throw cash at the prospect of returning to the iconic location in a retro setting.
Renewed domain names for "ViceCityOnline" and "GTAVI"
Only a few months ago, as spotted by eagle-eyed Reddit users, Take-Two Interactive filed to renew domain names for "gtavi.com" and "gtavicecityonline."
The Reddit post has since been removed, which lends further credibility to rumors and speculation in the video game community.
As both a brand name and a creative prospect, Vice City holds a lot of weight for Rockstar. For the last two titles, the publisher has reverted to numbered entries for the mainline games, like GTA 4 and 5.
However, for a while, the focus seemed to have been on cities, specifically with "San Andreas" and "Vice City." That has been extremely successful for Rockstar as it has built upon the brand and ideas introduced in those games.
San Andreas was famously revisited in the last entry in the franchise, GTA 5, and was a resounding success. Liberty City was also revisited in Grand Theft Auto 4 and expanded upon the existing location massively.
That, then, leaves Vice City as the only setting in the franchise that hasn't been explored on a larger scale, barring the console-exclusive Vice City Stories. Hence, it makes sense for Rockstar to go back to the well and unleash the full potential of the tropical, neon-drenched paradise of Vice City.