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With GTA 6‘s tropical locale revealed, some are wondering if the game’s map is based on Florida.
As a part of the video game juggernaut’s official return (thanks to the debut trailer of Grand Theft Auto 6), developer Rockstar Games confirmed several details about the upcoming title, including a new location named Leonida.
While the game features familiar locations like Vice City (which was the focus of 2002’s GTA: Vice City), the rest feels wholly unfamiliar as the GTA 6 map looks to be the biggest the series has ever seen.
While the location of Grand Theft Auto 6 looks and sounds like Floria, there are still questions about whether it takes place in the Sunshine State.
Thanks to a press release that debuted alongside the monolithic GTA 6 trailer, Rockstar Games revealed the title will take gamers to “the state of Leonida” which is “home to the neon-soaked streets of Vice City and beyond:”
“‘Grand Theft Auto VI’ heads to the state of Leonida, home to the neon-soaked streets of Vice City and beyond in the biggest, most immersive evolution of the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ series yet.”
This seems to be the first confirmation that GTA 6 does not, in fact, center on the real state of Florida but instead focuses on a fictionalized version of the same location.
As seen in the trailer, the Floridian energy is put front and center. The central metropolitan sprawl of Vice City is clearly based on Miami, with hopping nightlife, white sand beaches, and plenty of street culture.
Other Floridian mainstays like the Everglades, the Florida Keys, and wildlife such as dolphins and crocodiles are all present in the trailer.
The trailer even seemed to take inspiration from some of the real-life state’s most viral moments with glimpses of croc wrangling in a backyard pool, booty-shaking on top of cars, and memeable moments from some of the one-of-a-kind residents only found in Florida.
This does bring up some continuity questions, as GTA 4 included mentions of Florida by name, but this is likely a retcon done by the development team at Rockstar.
The Vice City in 2002’s Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was situated in Florida proper, but it has since been made clear the classic 3D GTA games do not take place in the same continuity as GTA 4, 5, and 6.
While Leonida is not Florida itself, it seems to be Florida in spirit. This is what the GTA series has been doing for decades with the likes of Liberty City, San Andreas, and Vice City being fictionalized takes on New York, Los Angeles, and Miami respectively.
Given GTA 6 is now confirmed to be taking place in this sensationalized version of Florida, there are a couple of things fans can (and should) expect to appear in the open-world sandbox when it releases in 2025.
Earlier this year, insider Tyler McVicker hinted GTA 6 will also take gamers across the border from Leonida to the island republic of Cuba (or a fictionalized take on the Caribbean nation).
While nothing from the recently released trailer indicates that is true, Rockstar has been known to hold things back from their debut trailers. One has to remember the developer infamously held back the idea that GTA 5 would feature three protagonists until much later in the marketing cycle, so a potential Cuba inclusion could be waiting in the wings for GTA 6.
Another Florida staple that will likely get the GTA treatment is the mega-theme park known as Disney World.
While the House of Mouse will not appear by name, it would not be all that surprising if ‘The Most Magical Place on Earth’ had some sort of representation in the game.
Lastly, given the satirical nature of the Grand Theft Auto series, one can almost surely expect some sort of take on the Mar-a-Lago compound (aka the tropical Floridian home of former U.S. President Donald Trump).
Given it has been a decade since GTA 5 was released, Rockstar has not gotten the chance to give its take on the former president.
With GTA 6 keeping its finger on the pulse of pop culture (as evidenced by heavy social media use, influencer culture, and some in-game advertisements seen in the trailer), the upcoming title will assuredly have some Trump-themed content, and Mar-a-Lago would make the most sense.
Grand Theft Auto 6 is set to release on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S in 2025.