Will GTA 6 Receive an M or R+ Rating?


Grand Theft Auto (GTA) has always been a controversial video game series due to its overt depictions of violence, drug use, and sexual content.

So it’s no surprise that fans are wondering what the rating will be for the highly anticipated next installment, GTA 6.

History of GTA Ratings

Every mainline GTA game since GTA III has received an M (Mature 17+) rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

This includes

  • GTA Vice City – M
  • GTA San Andreas – M (Temporary got AO rating for Hot Coffee mod)
  • GTA IV – M
  • GTA V – M

The M rating is given for games with intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and drug/alcohol use.

The GTA series has always pushed the boundaries of what’s allowed under an M rating.

Some advocates have argued certain GTA games should’ve received an AO (Adults Only 18+) rating.

But Rockstar Games has managed to avoid this by making last-minute content changes to stay within M rating guidelines.

Expect GTA 6 to Also Be Mature

Given the series’ history, it’s expected GTA 6 will receive an M rating.

Some gamers were hoping GTA would eventually aim for a T (Teen 13+) rating to reach a wider audience.

If GTA 6 somehow received a T or MA15+ rating, Rockstar would have to tone down certain elements like:

  • Graphic violence and gore
  • Nudity and sexual content
  • Drug use, especially in a positive light
  • Strong profanity and language
  • Certain morally corrupt themes or activities

But Rockstar likely sees no reason to tone down the edgy content.

Part of GTA’s identity is built around being controversial and “mature” entertainment.

Based on the dark tone of the first GTA 6 trailer, it will likely contain the same levels of violence, profanity, and sex/nudity as past games.

Major cuts would disappoint the core fanbase expecting an authentic GTA experience.

Outside Chance of an AO Rating

There’s an extremely slim chance GTA 6 could potentially get slapped with an AO adults-only rating.

Getting an AO rating would seriously impact sales and availability.

Most major retailers refuse to stock AO games, and console makers generally don’t allow them.

However, Rockstar might be tempted to push boundaries even further this time for publicity.

If any game could absorb the AO rating blow, it would probably be GTA.

GTA is one of the most valuable entertainment franchises ever created, generating over $6 billion in revenue.

Of course, Rockstar understands the risks and likely has no intention of going the AO route.

But some fans speculate they could strategically release certain content updates post-launch with AO ratings.

What About Other Rating Systems?

While the ESRB determines ratings for the US, other regions use their own rating boards.

For example, GTA games have often received 18+ ratings in Europe.

So even if GTA 6 gets an M rating stateside, certain countries could assign a higher rating based on cultural differences.

Australia in particular has given some GTA games their most restrictive R18+ rating.

The Verdict?

When GTA 6 arrives, sometime between 2024-2026, the most likely rating will be a familiar M or R+.

This will allow Rockstar to depict the criminal underworld of GTA with all the maturity, violence, debauchery, and controversy that fans expect.

Unless Rockstar shockingly pivots to a more family-friendly approach, the GTA 6 rating will surely prevent anyone under 17/18 from purchasing.

For better or worse, GTA is still not for kids.

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