With the sheer scope of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, it’s completely understandable that not all plans will come to fruition. It may be disappointing to hear that plans for a GTA title set in Tokyo never developed further than the planning phase, but an unnamed representative from Rockstar has confirmed just that.
The source claims that the team went so far as to conduct research trips to the Tokyo area, but due to complications with the road system, the concept simply fell through. This took place prior to the release of GTA IV, which effectively solidified the US-based setting of the franchise even further. Additional trademarks have been filed since then, such as GTA: Bogota and GTA: Sin City, but no further information has surfaced in regards to either.
When dealing with a franchise as renowned and significant as GTA, careful steps must be taken when developing further instalments. While a trip to Tokyo may seem like an exciting idea on paper, it may also bring up a range of new developmental roadblocks. It’s interesting to dream about all the new possibilities that dramatic changes can bring to the table, but a developer must keep consistency in mind.
As a final note, the Rockstar representative dropped one additional piece of information, announcing that preliminary work on the upcoming GTA 6 is underway. No location has been established at this point, and it will likely be some time before we see any further news break.