GTA’s 5 Biggest Controversies – What Will GTA 6 Add?

Looking back at the franchise's 5 big controversies before GTA 6 Trailer drops in December.

GTAs 5 Biggest Controversies - What Will GTA 6 Add?


  • GTA 6 Trailer drops in December.
  • This has been announced by Rockstar.
  • Previous games in the franchise have made for a lot of controversy.
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Rockstar Games has announced GTA 6, and the official trailer will be in Early December from Speculations regarding what should be added to GTA 6 regarding mechanics to rumored locations. Fans have been ecstatic ever since the announcement was made.


Another thing the GTA franchise is known for, apart from breaching limits in terms of innovation and quality, is that the games have had their fair share of controversies over the years.

Some of them have been minor, while others have not.


Rockstar Games has added a female protagonist to the franchise for the first time. And there were also reports that the studio has been working to clean up its frat-boy culture. It will be interesting to see how many controversies are caused by Rockstar’s latest title, if any.

While this is something we will only know in the foreseeable future, here are the top 5 times when the GTA franchise made for some nail-biting controversies in the past.

GTA 3 and Controversies Which Arose After Its Release

GTA 3 came much before GTA 6 but made a lot of controversy.
GTA 3 came a long time before GTA 6 but also brought a lot of controversy.

At the time of GTA 6‘s announcement, violence and unlawful acts in Video Games were normalized. That is because of the number of games that feature such elements. However, when the third installment in the franchise was released, the masses did not take kindly to the game’s offerings.


The media and the masses looked down upon acts of carjacking, homicide, and prostitution featured in the game.

The game’s release date which was months after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, did not make it any easier for the title. Despite the controversies, the game did sell well at the end. It sold 5.5 million copies around the world.

GTA 4: New York City’s Mayor’s Condemnation and Drunk Driving Controversy

GTA 4 was the first HD title in the franchise.
GTA 4 was the first HD title in the franchise.

GTA 6 will improve upon the engine used in the previous title. One which was first implemented in the series’ first HD title, GTA 4. one of the best, if not the best, game in the series.


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When New York officials, such as the Mayor’s office, figured out that Liberty City, where the game was set, was a knockoff of New York, they released a formal statement condemning it. They stated that the game highly exaggerated the number of crimes in New York.

While this didn’t lead to widespread outrage, the game was released without hiccups.


Another such mechanic in the game, which allowed the player to indulge in alcohol abuse and then drive vehicles, was heavily criticized. Many organizations strictly against drunk driving criticized this and appealed to the ESRB to switch the game’s rating from Mature (17+) to Adults only.

GTA Vice City and How It Made Headlines Due to Controversy

GTA Vice City's world will reported be the same one where GTA 6 will be set.
GTA Vice City’s world will reported be the same one where GTA 6 will be set.

GTA 6 is reportedly set in Rockstar’s interpretation of Miami, known as Vice City. GTA Vice City, released in 2002, also had its fair share of controversies. Akin to the previous title, GTA 3, the title was subjected to some of the same criticism. The same acts of carjacking, prostitution, and lawless killing of individuals. To top it off, drug abuse and racketeering were also elements of the game.

Apart from these, the game’s campaign included a gang war between Cuban and Haitian communities in Vice City. Miami’s Cuban and Haitian communities also spoke out against the game, which was reported to incite violence and turmoil.


The game’s version in 2004 had the concerned part of the campaign censored.

GTA San Andreas’ “Hot Coffee” Mod

GTA San Andreas made for a lot of controversy as well.
GTA San Andreas made for a lot of controversy as well.

While this wasn’t released in the copy of the game released by Rockstar, GTA San Andreas, released in 2005, was the follow-up to GTA Vice City.

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This took place very shortly after the game’s release. A modder had discovered that the game included a lewd minigame of sorts. Rockstar Games turned it off on release but was not removed or deleted entirely.

The game showed the game’s protagonist, Carl “CJ” Johnson, indulging in clothed intercourse with his romantic partners in the game. This was highly problematic for the game and the studio. This also caused the game to be suspended, and its rating ramped up from Mature to Adults only by the ESRB.

The Controversial “By the Book” Mission in GTA 6’s Predecessor, GTA 5

GTA 6's predecessor, GTA 5 had one of the most disturbing missions in the franchise.
GTA 6’s predecessor, GTA 5 had one of the most disturbing missions in the franchise.

Just before GTA 6, GTA 5 was one game that can be seen having various controversies. Some are made very apparent by Rockstar games. This was one of them. In a mission in the game titled “By the Book,” players take control of Trevor Philips, one of the three protagonists.


What follows is Trevor torturing an individual to extract information regarding a man’s whereabouts. The mission was most probably satire, given the game’s setting.

But regardless, it was one of the game’s most unpleasant and disturbing missions, with so many controversies created by GTA games in the past. It will be interesting to see just how many will be created just how many are created and supplied by GTA 6.

Although, the game will launch when society has become more accepting, inclusive, and mature. It will be interesting to note which way Rockstar Games goes with GTA 6. A title that will most likely disrupt the industry. The trailer for GTA 6 drops in early November.


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Written by Sparsh Jaimini

Articles Published: 452

Sparsh Jaimini Sharma is a video games enthusiast and a Games Writer. A true white-blooded Madridsta. He is often seen grinding away at EAFC 24's Ultimate team and learning to code when he is not writing. A Batman fan and Arkham Games connoisseur. He is the quintessential DC aficionado.