It has been revealed that Rockstar Games had given serious consideration to Japan's capital city Tokyo as a possible destination for the Grand Theft Auto series, but they had decided against it.
The big time development studio has begun "preliminary work" on the next major instalment to Grand Theft Auto although it's unclear whether it will be a full numerical jump to GTA 6 or if they're going the subtitle route like with GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas. One such subtitle could have been GTA: Tokyo reveals a report.
The creators of the crime-riddled sandbox franchise opted to go elsewhere as "the road system" in the Japanese city was an issue for the team. Rockstar had gone to the trouble of registering GTA: Tokyo, GTA: Bogota, and GTA: Sin City a ways back. Tokyo was researched as a possible destination around the time of Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City.
Fans of the series are familiar with Rockstar's penchant of revisiting cities from the original game - released under DMA Design - which included Liberty City (New York), Vice City (Miami) and San Andreas (California / Nevada). Grand Theft Auto 3 was a trip back to Liberty City, followed by GTA: Vice City and then GTA: San Andreas.
Many believed the next destination would have been a plane ticket to the United Kingdom since GTA: London 1969 was a standalone expansion to the original Grand Theft Auto. No such ticket has been booked to-date by the studio. Instead we got Grand Theft Auto IV which went back again to Liberty City. Rockstar released mini-expansions telling wildly different stories with The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, although each narrative weaved together and focused on smuggled diamonds in the city.
Grand Theft Auto V decided to reinvent San Andreas again but narrowed the focus to their fictitious Los Santos (Los Angeles), leaving out San Fierro (San Francisco) and the neighbouring Las Venturas (Las Vegas) which were big parts of GTA: San Andreas. If Rockstar is following a pattern then we could well see Vice City making a comeback, although in what era? The 1980s is why Vice City remains a staunch favourite among fans. Let's also not forget the quite excellent and futuristic Grand Theft Auto 2.
Rockstar Games is notoriously secretive with their plans surrounding any game they're working on and they take their time. Thanks to the massive commercial success they enjoy, Take-Two know better than to try and hurry along the studio teams. Grand Theft Auto is a billion dollar franchise and quickly makes up for its long development schedule and budget in a matter of days if not hours.
Another significant factor now for the future of the series is GTA Online, which is proving a steady stream of revenue for the company. A new GTA could jeopardise the success of the multiplayer gamble that's handsomely paid off for Rockstar. Would they experiment with letting characters and their ill-gotten gains being transferred to a new location? It would certainly be an enormous boon if you could hop on a plane from Los Santos International to a new destination, otherwise you risk splitting the community.
Where will we travel next with Grand Theft Auto and is this a full leap or a smaller trip?
In other Rockstar-related news, many believe a new Red Dead entry will be unveiled this year and there are still rumblings on a Bully sequel, and there's still no word on the long awaited and once PS3 exclusive Agent that was set during the Cold War in the 1970s.