GTA 6 Price. Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto series is one of the most popular and best-selling video game franchises of all time. Since the first 2D GTA game debuted in 1997, the series has evolved into massive, immersive 3D open worlds with engaging stories and almost limitless gameplay possibilities.
The most recent entry, GTA V, has shipped over 170 million copies worldwide across multiple platforms since its initial release in 2013, making it one of the highest selling games ever made. Naturally, as GTA V approaches its 10th anniversary in 2023, fans are eagerly anticipating news and details on the inevitable GTA VI.
While Rockstar has yet to even announce that GTA VI is in development, leaks and rumors suggest the next numbered entry in the series could arrive as early as 2024 or 2025. Of course, one major question surrounding GTA VI is how much it might cost at launch. The GTA series has historically been premium priced, but how high will Rockstar price the next generation of GTA in the 2020s?
In this in-depth article, we’ll analyze GTA’s pricing history, examine current industry pricing trends, and consider potential factors that could influence how much GTA VI will cost when it eventually releases for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
The Price History of Grand Theft Auto Games
To speculate intelligently on how much GTA VI might cost, we first need to look at how much previous games in the series have sold for at launch. Let’s go all the way back to the beginning:
- Grand Theft Auto (1997) – $49.99
- GTA 2 (1999) – $49.99
- GTA III (2001) – $49.99
- GTA Vice City (2002) – $49.99
- GTA San Andreas (2004) – $49.99
- GTA IV (2008) – $59.99
- GTA IV: The Lost and Damned (2009) – $19.99
- GTA: The Ballad of Gay Tony (2009) – $19.99
- GTA V (2013) – $59.99
- GTA V (PS4/Xbox One) (2014) – $59.99
Looking at standard launch prices, GTA games started at $49.99 on PS1/PS2 and made the jump to $59.99 when GTA IV hit PS3/Xbox 360 in 2008. That price point has remained constant ever since, with the PS4/Xbox One remaster of GTA V also launching at $59.99 in 2014.
The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony expansions for GTA IV were priced lower at $19.99, as one might expect for DLC add-ons. But Rockstar has clearly deemed the core numbered GTA releases worthy of premium pricing, even as the standard $60 price point has come under criticism this generation from those who argue it should be lowered.
All in all, Rockstar has priced brand new GTA games at $59.99 for the entirety of the PS3/360 and PS4/Xbox One eras. But will that hold true on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S? Let’s take a broader look at pricing trends in the gaming industry to speculate.
Current Pricing Trends in the Video Game Market
The $59.99 (or $60) price point for new video game releases has remained largely consistent for the better part of 20 years, dating back to the PS2 and original Xbox era. While Nintendo has occasionally gone lower with pricing on certain first-party franchises, the standard for major AAA titles across PlayStation, Xbox, and multiplatform releases has been $59.99 both at retail and digitally.
However, cracks have started to show in the long-sturdy $60 price point in recent years. The emergence of free-to-play games, the rising development costs for AAA titles, and the availability of subscription services like Xbox Game Pass have led some major publishers to experiment with higher price points:
- NBA 2K21 – $69.99 on PS5/Xbox Series X
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War – $69.99 on PS5/Xbox Series X
- NBA 2K22 – $74.99 on PS5/Xbox Series X for the special Championship Edition
- Deathloop – $59.99 on PS5, $69.99 on PC
As these examples illustrate, more publishers seem willing to push above $60 for big releases, especially when there is a new console transition involved. However, the reaction from consumers has been quite negative overall. 2K faced backlash for pricing NBA 2K21 at $70 on PS5 and Xbox Series X, and reversed course by launching NBA 2K22 on old and new consoles at $59.99.
Meanwhile, the Acitivision received criticism for charging $70 on PS5 and Xbox Series X for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War when the PS4 and Xbox One versions were $60. There’s a sense that these publishers are testing the waters to see if premium pricing above $60 is viable in the console market. But pushback from fans has kept those price hikes contained so far.
On PC, higher pricing has been more widely adopted, as seen with Deathloop costing $60 on PS5 but $70 for the PC version. There is greater acceptance of variable pricing in the PC marketplace based on factors like visual quality, framerate, and other graphical options.
Overall, theindustry seems uncertain about how high it can push pricing as new consoles arrive without angering fans. While some last-gen games like Red Dead Redemption 2 did adopt the $69.99 price point, $59.99 remains the standard for most major console releases. But there are questions around how long that will continue, especially with Sony and Microsoft moving more toward a subscription-based model with PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass.
Analyzing the Factors That Could Influence GTA VI’s Price Point
Given the pricing history of Grand Theft Auto games and evolving industry trends, what factors might contribute to or necessitate a higher price point for GTA VI whenever it is finally unveiled? Here are some key considerations:
Development Costs – The development budget for GTA VI will be absolutely massive given Rockstar’s emphasis on huge, incredibly detailed open worlds. Red Dead Redemption 2 reportedly cost over $540 million to make, and that level of expense or higher would not be surprising for GTA VI. The game will likely need 4-5 years of development time across hundreds of animators, designers, artists, programmers, testers, actors, composers, and other production roles. Whether GTA VI costs $500 million or $1 billion to make, it will be an enormously expensive undertaking that might require premium pricing just to have a chance at recouping costs.
Length of Time Since GTA V – By the time GTA VI comes out, nearly 10 years will have passed since GTA V first hit PS3 and Xbox 360. That’s by far the longest gap ever between numbered entries in the GTA series. With such a long break built up, Rockstar may feel justified in charging a premium rate for the next chapter.
New Console Power – GTA VI will be the first truly new-generation GTA built for modern hardware. Rockstar created intricate, stunning open worlds on aging PS3/360 tech, but the power of PS5 and Xbox Series X will allow them to simuate crowded city streets teeming with life at an unprecedented level of detail. If GTA VI pushes graphics, physics, AI, and immersion to new heights, Rockstar could potentially ask consumers to pay more for this premium next-gen experience they can’t get anywhere else.
Added Scope – All rumors point to GTA VI featuring an evolving world with new cities and content added regularly over time rather than being static at launch. If GTA VI is more of an ongoing, frequently updated platform, Rockstar may feel that justifies commanding a higher price for the sheer breadth and depth of content being offered.
Multiplayer Focus – GTA Online has become a massive revenue stream for Rockstar, generating over $6 billion in revenue. Reports indicate GTA VI may focus more on integrating multiplayer from day one rather than tacking it on after the fact. If GTA VI’s online world is truly ambitious and becomes the long-term platform where Rockstar makes money from microtransactions, the publisher may charge more up front.
Lack of Competition – In the open world crime genre, Rockstar faces little competition aside from Saints Row. And with GTA’s prestige branding and track record, no other franchise can match its appeal. As the clear market leader, Rockstar has more leeway to charge a premium rate without much risk of losing business to competitors.
When balancing all these factors, it’s certainly feasible that Rockstar could set GTA VI at the new industry high watermark of $69.99 or beyond. But there may also be prudential reasons to keep the price lower:
What has been the standard launch price for new GTA games in the past?
The standard launch price for major new GTA releases has been $59.99 all the way back to GTA IV in 2008.
Will GTA 6 definitely cost more than $59.99 at launch?
It’s not guaranteed, but pricing above $59.99 is a possibility based on rising development costs and new console capabilities.
What was the most expensive special edition ever released for a GTA game?
GTA IV had a $149.99 special edition that included collectible items like a lockbox and key, photo book, and more.
Could GTA 6 have a special edition that costs $200 or more?
Given some recent premium special editions like Call of Duty, a GTA VI special edition priced at $199.99 or above can’t be ruled out.
Will GTA 6 cost more on PS5 and Xbox Series X than on older consoles?
There’s a chance next-gen console versions of GTA VI will be priced $10 higher at $69.99, following the precedent of some other recent cross-gen games.
How much more expensive will GTA 6 likely be on PC compared to consoles?
Past GTA games have typically launched on PC at the same pricing as console versions. But some publishers have charged an extra $10 or more for PC, so a $69.99 price on PC is possible if console is $59.99.
How does GTA 6 pricing compare to the cost of other upcoming open world games like Red Dead Redemption 3 and Elder Scrolls 6?
As flagship titles for their respective publishers, expect RDR3 and Elder Scrolls 6 to also be premium priced in the $59.99 to $69.99 range.
Will GTA 6 cost more on digital stores than physical retail copies?
In the past digital and physical prices have been identical for GTA. It’s unlikely digital will cost more for GTA 6, but discounts may not be as frequent or steep digitally.
Could GTA 6 adopt a free-to-play model like Fortnite rather than charging an upfront cost?
Extremely unlikely given GTA’s established premium pricing model. A free-to-play GTA Online spin-off is more plausible.
Will GTA 6 price change over time after launch?
Standard pricing will likely hold steady at $59.99 to $69.99, but periodic discounts both digitally and at retail are to be expected over time, especially during sales events.
If GTA 6 is a “live service” game, could that impact the pricing strategy?
Possibly – elements like regularly updated content could justify maintaining a higher price point for longer rather than quickly discounting.
How much revenue did GTA 5 make, and how might that factor into GTA 6’s price?
GTA V has generated over $6 billion in revenue. But with at least $265 million in development costs, GTA VI must balance recouping its budget with setting reasonable pricing.
Will inflation be considered when pricing GTA 6 compared to GTA 5 in 2013?
Inflation will add some upward pricing pressure. Adjusted for inflation, $59.99 in 2013 would be around $68 today.
Is GTA 6 more likely to maintain the same price for longer than past games?
Almost certainly. GTA V retained its $59.99 MSRP for years while frequently going on discount. Expect GTA VI to hold at its launch price for at least 12-24 months.