Dec 5, 2023 - News

Every Miami landmark in Grand Theft Auto VI

A character poses on a Miami balcony in a scene from the Grand Theft Auto VI trailer. Photo: Rockstar Games

Miami is a glitzy, grimy paradise in Grand Theft Auto VI, the upcoming installment in the legendary video game franchise, which takes place in a fictional Vice City that perfectly parodies South Florida.

Driving the news: The game doesn't come out until 2025, but we analyzed the new trailer that came out this week to spot the real-world landmarks depicted in the game.

  • Players can cruise down Ocean Drive, take in some art in Wynwood or hit Miami's famous club scene.
  • Ride past flamingos and alligators on airboats in the Everglades or run into a gator at your local convenience store. Watch out for the partiers sticking their bodies out of their cars to twerk and pose for videos.

Why it matters: GTA is not just one of gaming's biggest franchises — it's one of entertainment's biggest, Axios Gaming's Stephen Totilo reports.

  • The most recent entry, 2013's GTA V, has sold 190 million copies and earned $1 billion three days after its release, according to publisher Take Two Interactive.
  • The GTA games are popular interactive playgrounds, a mix of story-driven crime adventure and playable sandbox, where players grab any car, boat or plane available and go for a joyride.
  • The GTA VI trailer — released Monday night and set to Tom Petty's "Love Is a Long Road" — had been viewed nearly 60 million times on YouTube by Tuesday morning.

We enlisted the help of Daniel Ciraldo, executive director of the Miami Design Preservation League, to break down the trailer and see how accurate the Vice City map is.

A side by side photo shows South Beach in Grand Theft Auto compared to real life.
The South Beach skyline in the trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI (left) versus the same buildings in real life. Photos: Rockstar Games, Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

What we found: The opening scene of the trailer shows the Art Deco hotels of South Beach surrounding Lummus Park.

Further south on Ocean Drive, Ciraldo notes that you can see the Breakwater Hotel and Hotel Victor — renamed the Boardwalk and Hotel Dixon in Vice City. (The Clevelander Hotel with its neon-lit palm trees seems to make a cameo, too.)

  • The trailer takes us down the Venetian and MacArthur causeways to get to mainland Vice City.
  • Along the MacArthur, we pass by the Kaseya Center where the Heat play and can see the Marquis Residences, with its rectangular gap, Ciraldo notes.
  • We pan through Brickell, Wynwood, the Everglades and the Florida Keys.
A side by side photo shows Ocean Drive hotels in the GTA VI video game and in real life
Ocean Drive and the Breakwater Hotel in the trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI (left) and the same street in real life. Photos: Rockstar Games, Rhona Wise/AFP via Getty Images

Other details: The police cars in the game have the same color scheme as both Miami-Dade Police and Broward County Sheriff's Office cruisers.

  • Blue and white umbrellas on the beach appear to spoof the design of beach concessionaire Boucher Brothers.

What they're saying: "I must say the depictions are pretty exciting, it looks like they took the best of South Florida from the Everglades to South Beach and everything in between," Ciraldo tells Axios.

  • "The architecture looks very realistic, though some buildings are out of order or on the wrong block!"

Flashback: 2002's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was also set in Miami.

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