The release of Grand Theft Auto VI was leaked, and then followed by an official trailer that had a surprise twist: the game’s release date is set for 2025.

The much-awaited preview for Grand Theft Auto VI was released earlier than expected due to a leaked copy being shared online.

Rockstar Games released its first look for the sixth game of the hugely popular video game series Monday evening — roughly 15 hours before the planned Tuesday morning unveiling — while citing the leak.

The company Rockstar Games posted on the platform X (formerly Twitter) at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, informing that their trailer has been leaked and suggesting to watch the official version on YouTube.

Rockstar Games and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., based in New York, did not disclose any additional information about the leak. The company did not promptly reply to The Associated Press’ inquiries for comment on Tuesday morning.

However, dedicated followers of Grand Theft Auto were able to glean some information from the 90-second preview. It revealed that the upcoming game will take place in a Vice City inspired by Miami and feature a female lead character named Lucia, a first for the series. The conclusion of the teaser also confirmed that the game will not be available until 2025.

Some were expecting it to come out earlier, including Raymond James & Associates researchers. In a recent update, analysts from Raymond James stated that they had initially predicted Grand Theft Auto VI to release during the 2024 holiday season.

On Tuesday, the stock of Take-Two Interactive declined by approximately 1%.

Although Take-Two has not revealed a specific date for 2025, experts in the industry anticipate that the game will be released within the first few months of that year. This is based on the company’s estimated bookings of approximately $8 billion for the 2025 fiscal year.

The analysts at Raymond James stated that although investors may not be completely satisfied with the exact timing, they predict a small decrease in the stock’s value as a result. However, this does not alter their belief in the potential significant impact of the release when it becomes available. It is merely a change in timing rather than a decrease in anticipated success.

In 1997, the initial Grand Theft Auto was released for sale. Its immense success resulted in numerous follow-ups throughout the years, although there were often lengthy gaps between each new game. Grand Theft Auto VI will come out over ten years after the launch of Grand Theft Auto V in 2013.

On Monday, Rockstar Games and Take-Two announced that the sixth installment will be accessible for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles.

Stifel analysts observed significant excitement and high demand after the release of the teaser for Grand Theft Auto VI, with tens of millions of views within just a few hours. As of approximately 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, the official trailer on Rockstar Games’ YouTube channel had been watched over 94 million times.

According to analysts from Stifel, the release date for Grand Theft Auto VI may have a significant impact on the release schedule for the gaming industry. This could potentially lead to a stronger lineup of games being released in the second half of 2024 as other companies try to avoid competing with Grand Theft Auto VI.