GTA 6’s Massive Leak Makes It Hard To Play GTA Online In 2023

GTA 6’s Massive Leak Makes It Hard To Play GTA Online In 2023

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – 2002 Screenshot: Rockstar Games

Last year, footage of the upcoming Grand Theft Auto, believed to be GTA 6, leaked online. While Rockstar quickly tried to erase the videos from the internet and plug holes in the ship, it was impossible to completely contain such a massive and unprecedented leak. So fans around the world got a really good look at the future of Grand Theft Auto. And now myself and others are struggling to get back to aging GTA Online.

Late September 19, 2022, 90 short early gameplay videos of what would later be confirmed by Rockstar as the next GTA entry leaked online via hacker. The footage revealed a lot about the upcoming game in the massively popular open-world franchise, including that the series would return to Vice City, Florida, a fan-favorite location last seen in GTA: Vice City Stories, the prequel to the beloved PS2 classic, GTA: Vice City. It also gave us a good look at the new protagonists in this upcoming crime adventure and some of the missions we might experience when GTA 6 finally releases. Fans have even started mapping the game’s virtual world using leaks.

Rockstar definitely hates leaking and probably wishes he could go back in time and prevent that from happening, but it ended up revitalizing the playerbase. For the first time in a long time, there was enthusiasm and energy in the GTA community, which after years of GTA online updates and badly received remasters was in a very bad place before the leak. Even an early, unfinished or unpolished leak of GTA 6 was better than radio silence and glitchy remasters. People were excited about the future of Grand Theft Auto in a way I haven’t seen in years.

But then, once the leaks cleared the web and it became clear that Rockstar wasn’t going to release an official teaser or trailer to capitalize on the moment, all me and other fans of GTA could do was go back to GTA Online. And it’s harder to do now that I’ve seen the future.

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The last big free expansion for GTA Online, War on Drugs in Los Santoss, came out late last year at a really bad time for me to play and cover it for the site. So I… didn’t play it. For the first time in the history of GTA online, I completely skipped a new update. I still haven’t played it. At first, I blamed my skipping the last update on bad timing and a busy schedule due to holidays and year-end content. But now, a few weeks away from all that, with more free time to play, I still haven’t launched the new update. And I think it’s time to admit that my growing exhaustion around GTA Online has been greatly heightened by this little taste of what’s to come. This look at the future of GTA in Florida has ruined me.

I could go back and drive on the same highways and streets of Los Santos that I have been driving since 2013. I could launch the game and discover the new activities and missions that come with it. I could, of course. The thing is, I don’t know if I want to. I mean, eventually, I’ll be playing GTA Online more. I kind of have to because it’s part of my job here at Kotaku. Still, if that wasn’t part of my career, chances are I’ll never play GTA Online again.

To be clear: it’s not because GTA Online is worse today than it was ten years ago – it’s actually much better to play in 2023 than in 2013 – but because getting a glimpse of… ‘a fresh new world killed my desire to boot up the same old Los Santos after a decade of GTA Online and GTA V. I mean, just having new songs on the radio will be amazing. I love Queen’s ‘Radio Ga-Ga’, but you can only hear it so many times in 10 years before you’re ready for some new tunes as well.

That much, Hope the wait for Grand Theft Auto 6 and its sunny beaches, palm trees, and new characters aren’t too long because I’m ready to leave Los Santos for a tropical vacation in Vice City.


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