Rockstar Games are said to be close to announcing Grand Theft Auto V – 10 years after the last instalment of the best seller was released.
Reports from Bloomberg said the formal announcement could come as early as this week as the video game studio celebrates its 25-year anniversary.
In February last year, Rockstar confirmed it was working on the latest instalment of GTA, saying active development was “well under way”.
Citing sources close to the game’s development, Bloomberg said a formal announcement is set for this month and a trailer is due in December.
The outlet previously reported that the newest instalment will take place in a fictionalised Miami and feature the series’ first female playable character.
Last year, early development gameplay was leaked online after a hacker gained access to Rockstar’s Slack channel.
They released 90 minutes of footage after threatening the developer, which showed some of the locations the new game will feature and the two protagonists.
Rockstar Games said on social media at the time: “We recently suffered a network intrusion in which an unauthorised third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems, including early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto.
“At this time, we do not anticipate any disruption to our live game services nor any long-term effect on the development of our ongoing projects.
“We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all in this way.”
Arion Kurtaj, 18, and a 17-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, were found by a jury in London to be members of the Lapsus$ hacking group, which carried out high-profile cyberattacks on Rockstar Games, Uber, and Nvidia.
Kurtaj tried to blackmail Rockstar by threatening to “leak the stolen source code for the Grand Theft Auto sequel onto internet forums”, the indictment stated.
GTAV is the second best-selling video game of all time, beaten only by Minecraft, with more than 185 million units sold as of August.
Jason Schreier, games journalist at Bloomberg, previously told Sky News that because of GTAV’s incredibly popular multiplayer mode, there has not been “quite the same urgency” to release a sequel.
According to Steam Charts, which only counts PC gamers, GTA Online had an average of 88,700 players in the last 30 days, with 166,618 players at its peak.