It feels like GTA V was only just released, but it’s been almost four years since Rockstar’s flagship franchise returned to the sunny streets and beaches of Los Santos, a fictional composite of Los Angeles. Even though the studio is gearing up for their sequel to Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar cannot escape speculation regarding their plans for the next installment of the Grand Theft Auto game series.

As of now, no official word has come from the company about a new GTA title. Recent legal battles between the franchise creators have fans wondering if a new installment will even happen, but the record-breaking sales of the last release will undoubtedly force the Houser brothers and Leslie Benzies to deliver a new one shortly.

If the next GTA is set in the past, it won’t be the first time. However, we wager it will likely stay set in current times, as the last two have. With this in mind, one has to wonder what they will include as far as activities, events, and story lines are concerned. This is because the GTA games are nothing if not known for their attempt to mirror pop culture in a satirically twisted way. Whether it’s online dating, cannabis legalization, social media mania, or hybrid cars, the latest trends often make their way into the worlds created for the Grand Theft Auto games.

While it’s pure speculation, here are some possibilities for which cultural waves will make their appearance in GTA VI:

Flirt/Dating Apps

Fans of the GTA franchise may recall GTA IV including an online dating feature. Back then (2008) the player had to drive to an internet cafe to access the web and attempt to arrange a date or two. Despite it being less than a decade ago, the idea of “logging on” for online dating sounds pretty outdated. With the rise in popularity of Tinder, it won’t be surprising if the next GTA includes a similar in-game app for the character(s) to access in pursuit of someone to love.

Vaping

Drinking, smoking, and toking have made their appearances in previous GTA installments. Therefore it won’t be surprising if vaping becomes something characters can do in-game, probably with a little bit of humor involved. Flavor options could provide a spread of perks for the player such as improved shooting accuracy or enhanced driving ability. The choices may not be as diverse as the Zamplebox catalog, but three or four flavors available in game would be an appropriate nod to the growing cultural shift away from cigarettes and towards vaping.

Drones

If you played GTA: San Andreas, released in 2004, then you probably remember the mission with the RC airplane. Those who didn’t, just consider yourself lucky for avoiding the PTSD that ordeal caused those who did. Knowing Rockstar’s habit of including such missions in GTA games, it’s not a stretch to see drones being used for similar missions in the next installment. And if drones make an appearance, it most definitely means armed drones will be there too. Fingers crossed.

Rideshare

The GTA games revolve around earning money, mostly from criminal activities. However, “honest” work exists too, and one example is the player’s ability to earn money as a cab driver taking fares around the map. Perhaps this time around the GTA universe will include rideshare as an added option. Players can turn the app on and take fares just like in real life. Though if this is all you use GTA for, we have to wonder why you’re playing and not just doing it in real life to make real money.

Self-Driving Cars

Lastly, despite it seemingly going against the fundamental aspect of the game, we speculate the inclusion of self-driving cars in the next installment of Grand Theft Auto. It’s possible it will be a feature only allowed in between missions, and after the player has reached a certain point in the game and gets access to a self-driving vehicle. If this is the case, it will likely play a major role in a mission or two.

Well, we hope this doesn’t turn out to have been a huge waste of reading time. If the next GTA is set in the 70s or some other period in the past, then this will have definitely been a futile attempt at video game speculation. However, if set in current times, the next GTA will almost certainly include one or more of the aforementioned trends making waves in pop culture.


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