You probably know what are we talking about? Yes, GTA 6 and if you’re reading this, chances are you’ve either played a Grand Theft Auto game in passing or grew up anticipating their release and then playing them obsessively for weeks and months, all those missions, Easter eggs, cultural references and collecting rare vehicles. Rockstar’s multimillion dollar franchise has reached blockbuster levels in both budget and anticipation, that fans itch and clamor for the series’ next installment or expansion within weeks of the game’s initial release. So when news broke that Rockstar had considered a fictionalized Tokyo as a possible setting for GTA VI before vetoing the idea — Japan’s roads were considered too complicated to maneuver and it appeared largely at odds with the established GTA “culture”
If you think that is easy to pick a locale for a game like GTA you are wrong: firstly, the city should be at least somewhat dangerous. Previous chapters were focused on cities like New York, Miami and Los Angeles — cities with seedy underbellies, each with distinct flavors, histories and characters. Secondly, the city should have a booming car culture, for obvious reasons. No one wants to drive bland cars around a city that has no edge to it. Naturally, Rockstar has to give gamers a landscape they can sink their teeth into. The following cities were chosen based on these criteria, as well as singular defining characteristics that would lead to a compelling next chapter for one of the most profitable and beloved video game franchises of all time.
You can write your wish in the comments below, here are several ideas for the next city to host a Grand Theft Auto game.
One of the cities which must be on this list, since Chicago holds the honor of being one of the most vibrant and violent cities in America where booming industry abuts a hostile street culture. Spike Lee’s Chiraq, street gangs and the resultant dynamic drill music scene, deep-dish pizza… you name it, Chicago has it all. Players would be free to maneuver big-bodied whips from the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field all the way to Normal Boulevard. Rockstar could cull characters from Chief Keef’s Glory Boyz clique, 300, Chance The Rapper; the list goes on. There are multiple potential storylines that could touch on the inequities of modern American society and the perils of a school system gone off the rails, all before intertwining to show the city’s potential — if only it could quell the heat on the streets.
If Chiraq has a shot, so does Atlantastan. The ATL is currently a hotbed for musical talent and innovation; one need only look to the work of Future, Migos, iLoveMakonnen, Young Thug, Lil Yachty, et al for evidence of New Atlanta’s ascendance and dominance in the contemporary rap scene. The fact that this cultural relevance is itself part and parcel of a relationship with the Black Mafia Family (or B.M.F.) drug-running organization is a compelling enough story in and of itself, let alone one ripe for a fictionalized retelling. The city’s many zones and abutting gang territories would make for a perfect spiritual sequel to San Andreas; one that perhaps tells the story of a street-savvy youth making it from the bando to Brookhaven, with a bevy of criminal misadventures along the way.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (our choice)
Everybody knows that Dubai is famous for expensive cars, but the metropolis that sprung from the sand definitely has plenty of lucrative potential. Imagine arriving in the city’s gleaming, glittery airport as a foreigner, reaching a six-star Wanted level and leading the city police’s fleet of ridiculous supercars on a chase through any one of several dozen shopping malls, souks, or the massive man-made islands of the World and the Palm. Players could buy presidential suites in the Burj Al Arab or the glitzy Jumeirah Beach Resort neighborhood as safe-houses, too. A side-plot inspired by DJ Esco’s 56 nights spent in an Emirati prison would be a goldmine.
You will ask why Moscow, but if you haven’t been there you should definitely go. Moscow’s roads are full-on anarchy, and the distribution of wealth in a country choked by oligarchy and economic sanctions means that clunky, domestic vehicles like Ladas and Zhigulis run alongside foreign luxury vehicles like Jaguars and Maserati on the city’s infamously congested central Ring Road. The city’s history of corruption means that cars can be stolen, cops can be paid off, politicians can be bought… you get the general idea. There’s also the potential for a geopolitically-inspired plot, what with the tensions between Russia and the U.S.A. reaching fever pitch on a seemingly bi-weekly basis. The country itself also has a rich filmic tradition that could be tapped into for inspiration — the Brother duology, for example, provides a perfect blueprint for post-Soviet society’s violent side.
Cuba is the only country in which Rockstar can take us in the past. Havana certainly abides by the criteria set above; the city has been relatively off-limits for tourists for decades, and the city streets are populated with vintage automobiles that pre-date the U.S. embargo set in 1960. This makes for a city encased in amber, a portal to a different time; this is to say nothing of the socio-political problems of starvation and poverty that plague the tiny island nation. Since relations between the U.S.A. have thawed in recent months, it would be topical for the country’s capital to host a video game largely centered on getting by by any means necessary.
Rio/Sao Paulo, Brazil
New experiment for GTA 6, why not two cities? A two-city narrative would be a strong possibility, especially with the enhanced capabilities of next-gen consoles. Not to mention the series has dabbled in multiple settings in the past: San Andreas featured a storyline set in the San Francisco-inspired San Fierro, for example. Brazil would provide a perfect backdrop for a GTA game, especially given the city’s colorful street culture and the stark economic contrast between the developed city and the squalor of the sweeping favelas.
Which city should host ‘Grand Theft Auto 6’?