That GTA 6 Release Date Leak Is Most Likely A Fake, And Here's Why


Recently, an audio recording claiming to feature Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick talking about the release plans for Grand Theft Auto 6 emerged online, but don't get too excited just yet. A good bet is that this is fake or doctored audio.

The audio clip, re-shared by the GTA VI_Countdown account on social media after the original was supposedly taken down, features the voice of Zelnick--or someone or a machine that sounds like him--saying that "of course" the next GTA game is coming during Take-Two's fiscal year 2025. The audio also states that Rockstar will officially announce GTA 6 on October 23 this year and release it in October 2024.

A voice record from the CEO of Rockstar’s publisher has allegedly been leaked, where he talks about the reveal and launch of GTA 6.
Reveal: October 23rd this year.
Launch: October 2024.
Do you think it’s real or AI?

— GTA 6 Trailer Countdown ⏳ (@GTAVI_Countdown) September 3, 2023

But many have called into question whether or not this was actually Zelnick speaking or a recreation of his voice using artificial intelligence or other means. There are plenty of reasons to doubt that this audio is real. For one, Zelnick is known for letting his teams speak for themselves, especially Rockstar.

On earnings calls and in other media interviews, Zelnick is often asked about GTA, and he never gives much away beyond top-level commentary. Again, he prefers to allow his teams to speak for themselves and deliver their own message, in their own way, at their own time. It would be very out-of-character for Zelnick to speak in this manner about the next Grand Theft Auto game.

There is also a portion of the audio where Zelnick refers to the game as "VI," which comes across as a little odd. The audio sounds very much like Zelnick's voice, but audio deepfakes are extremely good these days. Zelnick would be a good candidate for a compelling AI voice deekpfake, given that he's provided thousands of hours of recorded dialogue over the years on earnings calls, TV media appearances, and more.

Then there is the matter of the source of the audio. Zelnick answers questions from analysts every three months as part of Take-Two's quarterly earnings calls, but the last one was on August 8 and these comments were not part of the event. Take-Two, like other companies, often hold speaking events outside of quarterly earnings, too, but Take-Two has not held one of those this year, at least not one that was publicly available. There are, of course, other possibilities for how a voice recording could be captured and shared, but the safest bet to make here is that this audio is not real in the first place.

GameSpot has contacted Take-Two in an attempt to get more details.

GTA 6 has an incredible amount of hype and interest in it, given the enormity of the property and the fact that it's been nearly 10 years since GTA V was released in September 2013. So it is not a huge surprise that someone might take it upon themselves to create an elaborate fake.

The excitement has boiled over into scary situations in real life, as a stage-crasher at Gamescom Opening Night Live rushed the stage and yelled into Geoff Keighley's microphone, "Bill Clinton wants to play GTA 6." Another real-life event was the hacker who reportedly got into Rockstar's files and posted images and video of the next GTA.

What we do know about the next GTA game is that it is in development and could be here relatively soon. Based on commentary from Take-Two, the game could be out in late 2024 or early 2025. Zelnick said during an earnings call in August 2023 that fiscal 2025 (which runs April 2024 to March 2025) would represent a "significant inflection point" for the company.

Take-Two is expected to achieve "new record levels of operating performance" during the fiscal year. Many have taken this to suggest that GTA 6 will release during this timeframe, as it's such a gigantic series that has the possibility of generating tons of money for Take-Two. But it might not be GTA 6, and that might not be the release window.

Zelnick has said Rockstar is seeking "nothing short of perfection," and that the aim is for GTA 6 to be "something you've never seen before."

"I think that's the challenge that the folks at Rockstar face every time that there is a new iteration of Grand Theft Auto. It needs to be something you've never seen before," Zelnick said. "And it needs to reflect the feeling that we have about Grand Theft Auto--that's a big challenge for the team. Rockstar's answer is seek perfection. Seek nothing short of perfection, and we'll get there."

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