Grand Theft Auto 6 may be at least a year and a half away (as per an ex-Rockstar employee), but that doesn't mean fans aren't already speculating about what the game may deliver when it finally launches.
Rockstar has barely even officially acknowledged the game yet – the most evidence we've seen that the title is in the works comes from a tax return that sees Rockstar asking for tax relief thanks to the production of a 'new title' – but most gamers are expecting the series to launch on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 when it does, finally, come out.
Ahead of any sort of of formal announcement about what we can expect from the game, Rockstar fans have been coming up with theories about the title.
And the latest one is just too good to ignore.
Over on the Fan Theories subreddit, user EMPIRES outlined what we think is a pretty interesting idea about the next Grand Theft Auto game.
The user posits that the GTA 6 protagonist will be a character named Sammy Bottino – a character referenced repeatedly in the series to date, but who we've never actually got to meet face to face... yet.
"In one of the missions in GTA 4, you get to meet Jon Gravelli, the head of the Gambatti Crime Family, in his death bed," writes EMPIRES.
"Jon’s former right-hand man is Sammy Bottino, and despite the fact that we never got to meet or even hear Sam’s voice via phone calls, he has a fairly rich history."
The redditor goes on to explain that Bottino's exploits are recorded in a database in GTA IV, and that you can search through his crim records in-game.
His crimes include, but are not limited to:
• 1981 - Grand Theft Auto
• 1982 - Hijacking
• 1984 - Manslaughter
• 1993 - Racketeering
EMPIRES also explains that the character is listed as being “wanted for a murder in Vice City” – a place in which the next GTA title is heavily rumoured to be set.
But the plot gets thicker yet.
"In GTA 5, there’s a random event where you get to save [Jon Gravelli's] daughter, Antonia, from being buried alive by whoever he made angry, and she tells you that Sam ran the east coast in the 80s and 90s," the post goes on to explain.
"[Sammy Bottino] was born in 1965 which means he was around 20 years old in 1985, for a character to run the east coast at such a young age is very interesting."
That means the setup for a new GTA game, set on the east coast, with a young but skilled protagonist, already has all the groundwork laid out.
"I believe Rockstar Games wants another go for a mob story like Godfather and Goodfellas in the HD universe, and the reason we never got to see or hear [Sam] is because he’s planned to be a pivotal character which requires a proper actor," concludes EMPIRES.
This is a fascinating theory, and as we sit and patiently wait for more information from Rockstar about this new game, we'll happily ponder the likelihood of this new 80s-inspired mafia story coming to Grand Theft Auto 6.