Will GTA VI see a critical backlash?

So I was having this discussion with friends recently and I think it’s a really interesting hypothetical. I’m going to try to stay neutral (in this first post at least) in an attempt not to tint the thread with my own thoughts, but it’s an objective fact that the games industry is vastly different to where it was in September 2013, particularly in the journalism/news area.

We’ve seen the rise of YouTubers and G*mergate, and the critical and commercial fall of previous juggernaut franchises as Halo, Assassin’s Creed, and Mass Effect.

What are your thoughts on the inevitable release of GTA VI and the climate it will be released into? Even with the same level of gameplay polish and well-crafted open environments, can the franchise maintain momentum if it keeps its story tropes, politics, and gameplay styles?

At the very least, I think that the thinkpieces around the time are gonna be… really something.

I’m unsure of what value speculation at this point could serve.

Rockstar, while often… problematic? in some respects, tends to craft very… intentional, and complete products.

Looking at GTA:V, and saying “Oh man, GTA:VI is gunna die on the critique table” seems… premature?

(and I immediately want to just delete instead of post this, as it offers very little, if anything for discussion, but… what… what is… your goal for this thread? It seems like the only thing we know about GTA:IV at this point is that… it’s going to exist, like… for sure?)

As I’ve said before, the mainstream enthusiast (as in the big sites but still in the enthusiast domain) response to GTA V was already cringe-worthy including “pre-release outrage” surface criticism missing the point of scenes where the writers almost literally turn to the camera to explain their intent.

Caro’s extremely positive review on GameSpot (a review as buying advice, not as criticism - as was the house style at the time) was already the focus of a huge harassment campaign. None of that looks to have significantly changed since 2013.

And there’s been some good criticism that has emerged in the years in which GTA V has been a consistent top-seller on every platform it has released on. It is still in the top 10 all-format sales. And GTA Online makes R* a small fortune in sale of the online currency. They are not in any hurry to rush out a sequel and can take their time to look back on what did and didn’t work with the three protagonist model and refine the storytelling potential of that for open world games. Almost certainly with a target of releasing at some point on the next generation of consoles because RDR2 is coming soon and that will presumably be given space to breathe (R* North are not known for short development times and some of the R* machine is still building Online content).

The next GTA will probably be a lot like the reception for GTA V.

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I don’t want this to come across as a bashing thread or anything! Was just an interesting speculative conversation I had with friends the other day on the changing standards of criticism in the medium and I thought others might have viewpoints on the subject.

My intention is absolutely not to say ‘GTA VI is gonna die on the critique table’ because I don’t know if that is the case or not - mainstream appeal is still staggeringly high and obviously game criticism is still an area for enthusiasts when compared to say, film criticism.

If I thought the answer to my thread title was as simple as ‘Yes’, then I probably wouldn’t have posted. Honestly was not intending to create an echo of GTA bashing or anything, just felt there’s some curious points to be discussed on the role of blockbuster titles in the changing landscape. I’m sorry if you don’t feel the thread has value, and if others agree there’s no discussion to be had there then I’m doubly sorry!

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I think the biggest consumers of GTA… typical gamer boys… will remain unchanged. They’ll be just as affected by new thinkpieces dissecting problematic social elements of the game as they were when Fox News was slamming the older GTAs for “encouraging cop killing” or whatever. They think its all just people being too sensitive and don’t see the difference. Even if the game is absolutely blasted by critics… I just can’t imagine many of them caring