Hundreds of viewers are watching a Grand Theft Auto VI Twitch stream as a mysterious countdown timer slowly ticks down to zero, but the clock is counting down to the start of April Fool’s Day. Although moderately elaborate and official-looking, this smells like an obvious prank, and it’s possible that Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar Games will be none too pleased with being impersonated.
The yet-unannounced Grand Theft Auto VI is all that’s on many gamers’ tongues right now, with rumors and fantasies of returning to fan favorite location Vice City fueling an avalanche of speculation about the game’s every unrevealed detail. Rockstar itself helped to stoke these frantic murmurs, having caught the watchful eyes of scrupulous players when making domain changes to sites bearing the sequel’s name. Alongside a slew of other fan theories and perceived teases by Rockstar, the Grand Theft Auto community has become a powder keg of excitement, and it’s just been a matter of time until opportunistic pranksters took interest in the unlit fuse.
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A Twitch stream by the stunningly bold name of GTAVI popped up recently, and it’s gotten a ridiculous amount of viewer attention despite its fakery, reaching a unique audience of over 70,000. Screen Rant reached out to Rockstar about the validity of the countdown, but there has been no response. However, an answer longer seems necessary, as the admittedly phony channel now reads only:
“Hello, thank you for tuning into our GTA VI project. This has been the product of multiple people with a shared love of the Grand Theft Auto series. We did not expect it to get this huge and we deeply apologise to Rockstar Games for misleading the dedicated fans who also love this series. We want to use this time to appreciate the series and also the incredible fans. Thank you for tuning in. We are sure GTA VI is in the works and we cannot wait.
– Z, J, & R”
Originally, its feed consisted of simple – but believable enough – promotional art with a palette and imagery reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, a fan-made Grand Theft Auto VI logo, and a lower left-hand corner countdown timer, which would have hit zero at 12:00 AM CST on April 1. Fans can’t be entirely faulted for buying it due not only to the staggering fact that Grand Theft Auto V released seven years ago, but also because other series have used similar countdown streams on the lead-up to reveal trailers; at first glance, GTAVI’s looked about as legitimate as they come even though it wasn’t a verified account or promoted by Rockstar on any other platform.
With the stream creators’ quick reversal, there’s the strong potential that Rockstar Games or publisher Take-Two Interactive have taken or threatened legal action against them if the stream didn’t quickly stand down, and it seems obvious who won that brief standoff. It appears almost like overkill considering the fact that an April release date for GTA VI should seem highly off to most with the launch of the Xbox Series X and PS5 right around the corner, but the flagrant impersonation of the multi-billion-dollar Grand Theft Auto brand was bound to turn some heads of the responsible legal teams. Contrary to the wishful thinking of some fans feeling the sting of April Fool’s disappointment early this year, the wait for Grand Theft Auto VI continues.
Not all hope is lost, though, as there are strong telltale signs that the game is happening. Rockstar will continue to drag its feet and let fans’ tension build to a fever pitch as long as they can, but there are clearer and possibly more reliable indicators of when Grand Theft Auto VI might release out there for deceived devotees. For now, though, they’d do well to over any info they discover during the next 72 hours with fine-tooth comb.
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