The trailer for what could be the most anticipated video game of all time is finally here — and the struggling gaming industry hasn’t had a moment yet.
Rockstar Games, the company behind the 25-year-old series, Published Monday evening was the first look at Grand Theft Auto VI.
The one-and-a-half-minute video confirms the 2025 return of one of the most successful video game franchises, almost a decade after the last installment. The trailer features Lucia, the franchise’s first female protagonist. It teases a Bonnie and Clyde style story set in Vice City, one of GTA’s classic locations based in Miami. The game teases social media with trailer thefts, parties in swamps like the Everglades, and real-world sites like TikTok. As of Tuesday morning, the trailer had been viewed more than 65 million times on YouTube.
But ahead of the GTA 6 trailer buzz, Some in the video game industry bemoaned the rest of the year — even the excitement over such a big franchise game wasn’t enough to lift spirits. Despite critically acclaimed titles and successful film and television adaptations of games, 2023 is set to be one of the most devastating years for layoffs in the gaming industry, experts said. Even Take-Two Interactive, in which A subsidiary of Rockstar GamesJobs were cut in March.
“Having been in the industry as long as I have, I don’t remember a time like this,” said Brenda Romero, studio director at Romero Games, who compared the industry’s general current situation to a funeral. “I don’t remember ever having such a contraction.”
Studios like CD Projekt Red, Bungie, BioWare, Epic Games and Electronic Arts are some of the game developers who have been laid off this year. Los Angeles TimesIt reported 6,500 video game workers laid off by 2023, citing industry estimates. Videogamelayoffs.com, Unofficial SuperintendentSome companies have yet to disclose the number of people they have laid off, suggesting the number could be higher.
“So we’re seeing a banner year with these kinds of releases and media and critic attention,” said Carly Gogurek, a professor of digital humanities and media studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology. “At the same time, we’re seeing the people who made those games get thrown on their tails over and over again.”
According to Romero, who has been in the gaming industry since 1981, the industry thrived during pandemics when people stayed at home and had time to play video games. But when people returned to the workplace, things like inflation tightened people’s wallets, and they stopped. How much is spent on luxury items that include video games?
In addition to the reduced costs, Kelly Boudreau, an associate professor of interactive media theory and design at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, said some companies already struggle when releasing big titles, meaning they don’t have a financially successful game. That should translate to job security for studio employees.
“Critically acclaimed [games] There may not be big financial blockbusters, and that’s something to think about,” Boudreau said. “The other thing is, there’s always booms and busts in any industry.”
Experts said it was difficult to predict how this year’s layoffs would affect the industry in the long run. But Boudreau and others who spoke to NBC News say this year’s “fluctuation” of layoffs could lead to less unique sports for a time. Major developers will stick with existing properties, they predict, which means more remakes and sequels and fewer new ideas.
Romero said the breadth between the layoffs and the number of high-profile games released this year means fans are often unaware of the turmoil in the gaming industry.
Games such as Baldur’s Gate 3, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Alan Wake 2 were all released to critical and fan acclaim. They are among six nominees for “Game of the Year” at The Game Awards.
The industry has seen huge success with big screen adaptations of games such as HBO’s “The Last of Us”. It received 24 Emmy nominationsand Universal Pictures’ “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” It grossed $1.36 billion worldwide. (NBC News and Universal Pictures are both owned by NBCUniversal).
“Especially given the record-breaking sales of some of these titles, how has that not translated to employees?” said Gogurek, an Illinois Tech professor.
Romero said he and others in the industry are rooting for GTA VI to succeed — hoping its success will bring about positive change behind the scenes in the industry.
“I’m sure GTA will knock it out of the park,” he said. “You know, if it knocks it out of the park, that means more jobs.”
By 2022, BofA Global Research estimates that GTA VI could book $3.5 billion at launch and an average of $2 billion annually thereafter. It is one of the highest grossing games but also one of the most anticipated games. And the wait is long maddened became the Internet.
Dozens of YouTube channels Committed themselves to assigning release dates. Reddit communities Previous games and developer Rockstar Games’ social media feeds have been scoured for hints and clues about the upcoming game. A rogue gamer too Stormy The stage at Germany-based gaming convention Gamescom is talking about GTA VI.
“A very nice man indeed,” he wrote A user in X.
Others, while excited, said 2025 was too far away.
“2025???? (This sounds unreal)” Another X user wrote:.
Some also pointed out how it was significant for the franchise to have its first female lead.
“Sick of being in GTA Vice City,” he wrote An X user. “Everything looks sick. And a girl has been coming to GTA for a long time. It’s cool to see it pay off.”
In a statement from Rockstar Games, the studio called GTA VI the “biggest, fastest” game in the series.
“Grand Theft Auto VI continues our efforts to push the limits of what’s possible in the most immersive, story-driven open-world experiences,” Rockstar Games founder Sam Houser said in a statement. “We’re excited to share this new vision with players everywhere.”
Like Romero, Kokurek said the game’s release will be exciting for those working in the industry, including those who had no hand in making it.
“It’s really exciting that they’re making another title, and it’s also fun to look back at some of the old Grand Theft Autos,” Gogurek said. “Technology changes and expectations change and the platform changes. But it’s a big thing and it’s a big stake for everyone involved.