GTA Online apparent hoax announces GTA VI for 2019

Update: you betcha it’s a hoax, Rockstar say.

“Rockstar Message: GTA VI Coming 2019” declares a GTA Online in-game notification that’s started popping up intermittently. Rockstar’s site doesn’t mention Grand Theft Auto VI, no trailer announces it, and not even a rumour had hinted at it. You’d think Rockstar would make a bigger deal about announcing a new mega-blockbuster open-world murder simulator, wouldn’t you? I would. Presumably this is just a hoax perpetrated by some nefarious hacker. For now: yes, those screenshots you’re seeing of a GTA VI announcement are real (like that ↑ one I snapped myself today); but no, that announcement itself is almost certainly not real.

The notices appear in the scrolling feed of in-game notifications, looking like a proper official message. I’ve heard about this since last week, though largely through memes riffing on the message, then I finally saw it myself today. With Red Dead Redemption 2 not out on consoles for several months (let alone the rumoured PC version), it’s ludicrous to imagine that Rockstar are announcing a new open-world murder simulator now – and in this weird way.

I’ve asked Rockstar’s PR peeps for comment, though not heard back yet. Players are speculating about exactly how the messages are appearing in-game. Remember that GTA Online has a terrible infestation of hackers (or ‘modders’, to use the confusing GTA lingo), yeah? It’s probably some of those scamps putting out fake messages.

This is somewhat beyond the scope of the usual hacker tricks, which tend to be more along the lines of spamming murderexplosions, doling out free cash, spawning things in unlikely places, and horrifying pranks with men riding you. But you’d expect/hope it’s more likely rapscallions have found a way to post fake messages which look real than it is they’ve actually infiltrated Rockstar’s servers.

Hacking has been a big problem in GTA Online for years. One single hacker can ruin everything for everyone else on the server, not to mention get innocent bystanders banned themselves, and Rockstar are still fighting them. When parent company 2K temporarily shut down modding tool OpenIV last year, that was done in the name of stopping hacking. Over a year later, I’m still seeing hackers regularly. I even had my own account wiped and temporarily banned, I think due to cocking something up when innocently exploring diorama mods, then this morning I met a player teleporting around, doing impossible things, and blatantly hacking the planet in general. Great. Lovely. In short, plfffff I don’t think Rockstar will ever win this.

As for things actually happening in the world of Grand Theft Auto, nightclub businesses will arrive in GTA Online later this month.

While I’m here, hey, thanks to the cool BMX gang who toured the city’s stunt spots with me (and our rocketbike pal) today while I waited to see the GTA VI hoax message again. Top stunts. Great antics. Good times. You were good. I do like GTA Online when hackers aren’t pinballing me around.

Disclosure: like half the population of Edinburgh, I’m pals with a few Rockstar folks. They are EVERYWHERE.


  1. Avus says:

    I would be pissed if GTA6 arrive sooner than Red Dead 2

  2. Vandelay says:

    Although this is obviously fake, I have no doubt that a GTA VI will happen at some point, probably with development really gearing up once Red Dead 2 is out. I fully expect that it will predominantly be about the online version though. That seems to have done ridiculous business for them and I can imagine it is the reason it appears non-stop in the Steam charts (mainly from people being banned and re-buying).

    I fully expect to be unsurprised when they announce it to be an online only game.

  3. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    Let’s be realistic here, Rockstar is only going to launch GTAVI at the very end of the PS4/Xbox One life cycle so they can get that sweet, sweet triple dip they got with GTAV. Now that they know they can thrive on piecemeal cosmetic updates for an MMO framework rather than producing actual content, there’s no way in hell they’re going to release more than one GTA per console cycle.

  4. Crusoe says:

    Rockstar are so pathetic for not having this under control. And it’s been going on for days? Laughable.

    Between their games networking woes, endless hackers and how they milk their player base, I’ll never touch one of their games again.

  5. Evan_ says:

    Can’t care less about anything that may or may not happen in 2019. That year is too far to mind.

    Though I never knew people are this troubled by the GTA hackers. Changing session upon encountering a malignant one solves the issue, and I don’t have to do it every day. Maybe it’s my timezone.

  6. Nargacuga says:

    So, this isn’t a normal hacker trick, at least. This has been happening in totally empty sessions that I’ve been playing in, and during missions when these notifications are normally blocked. I think someone accidentally hit the switch, and this announcement wasn’t supposed to hit for a while still.

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