Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar, usually spends around $10million to $40 million a year on marketing. Between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024, it’ll drop a huge $89 million, according to a recent SEC filing. That’s lead to fresh speculation that Grand Theft Auto VI will launch sometime in 2023 or early 2024.
The numbers check out. The last time Take-Two spent so much on marketing was in 2018, the year Red Dead Redemption 2 launched. Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto are the company’s two gargantuan franchises, and there hasn’t been a Grand Theft Auto game since 2013.
Also worth noting is that Take-Two intends to spend around $150 million each year on game development and licensing from 2021 until 2024, according to the filing. This is a boost from the original minimum commitments of $120 million, $114 million and $56 million it outlined in last year’s annual filing.
In other words, Take-Two plans on spending a ton on marketing in 2023’s fiscal year, and is spending even more tons on software development in the next few years. Something big is coming, whether it’s Grand Theft Auto VI or not.
By 2023 it will have been 10 years since the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 launch of Grand Theft Auto V, a game which was subsequently released on, and continues to be a top seller for, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
It would be the biggest gap between Grand Theft Auto games by far. The gap between Vice City and San Andreas was just two years, while there was a five year wait between IV and V. You can chalk up the extended wait to the increasingly staggering complexity of large-scale games — and the fact that Take-Two is estimated to still make around $600 million a year through Grand Theft Auto V Online.