The first GTA 6 trailer has launched - and Tom Petty is all over it

GTA VI advertising illustration
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The sixth instalment of the Grand Theft Auto action-adventure game isn't due to hit PlayStations and XBoxes until the year after next, but the first trailer is already with us – and Tom Petty provides the soundtrack.

The trailer for the eagerly-awaited GTA 6, launched today by Rockstar games, features Petty's 1989 song Love Is A Long Road, which first appeared on his debut solo album Full Moon Fever. Originally co-written by Mike Campbell and inspired by a motorbike he owned, the song now accompanies footage from the game, with downtown Vice City and its less salubrious inhabitants front and centre.

"Grand Theft Auto VI continues our efforts to push the limits of what’s possible in highly immersive, story-driven open-world experiences,” said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. "We’re thrilled to be able to share this new vision with players everywhere."

Praise for the trailer – which premiered early after being leaked while thousands of fans awaited the official launch on YouTube – has been overwhelmingly positive.

"Let's talk about the trailer in a little more depth," write Games Radar, in a live blog covering the launch. "The thing with Rockstar is that the devil is always in the detail. Let's take the first 10 seconds of the trailer: A pan over a highway packed with vehicles in traffic as boat speeds off towards a distant horizon, the view flooded with colour. It doesn't appear as if all that much is going on, but it signals that GTA 6 is still interested in one thing above all else – simulation of a realistic world. It's how the AI reacts once we are let loose where the game will connect.

"You hit that 15 second mark of the trailer and god damn am I in love with the GTA location reveal of Vice City there. The deep-blue ocean, the glowing beach, and the leafy green bushes – the last line of defence against a city descending into debauchery. You love to see it. It's a classic Rockstar camera pan, one which reveals both the scope of the space and the detail which is being driven into the incidentals."

Grand Theft Auto VI is scheduled for release in 2025. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.