This is an older quote, but a good one. Speaking to French site Ecrans last November, Rockstar boss Dan Houser has expressed an interest in developing a future-set Grand Theft Auto, but cautioned that the developer doesn't do anything for the sake of it.
(The translation is Google's plus a little localisation work by yours truly, so don't necessarily digest it word for word. GSCE French only gets you so far.)
"We will do it the very second we have an idea," Houser replied, when asked whether the franchise would ultimately transcend the present day. "One of our strengths is the consistency of the game world. We're not necessarily the best writers in the world, but we how to write a video game.
"When we decided to make a Western, it was because we knew we had something to say," he went on. "We have no interest in going into science fiction for the sake of flying cars and laser guns. The best science fiction stories are those that speak about the human condition. So while this idea is very tempting and, by definition, anything's possible in a videogame, we lack the essential thing for the moment: a good reason."
Rockstar has a rich history of playing upon nostalgia for classic Hollywood IP, as in Red Dead. There are, of course, plenty of sci-fi flicks that might support this treatment - one wonders what the developer could make of Blade Runner or Logan's Run, for instance.
A move into science fiction could also be a way of rejuvenating the series for next generation hardware. Houser doesn't think GTA needs a refresh for the moment, however. "I'm not worrying about this for a good while yet," he went on, when asked about the difficulties of maintaining interest in elderly franchises. "In the past some of our titles have been successful, others less so, but as long as we have the ambition of making the kinds of games that nobody's ever made before, we're not going to get bored.
"To offer an analogy with cinema, some films can be told in one page of text. Once the basic situation is there, you know exactly how it will evolve. But if you're careful to change the narrative structure, it can change everything. Chris Nolan's Memento is a good example. That's the kind of approach we've achieved."
Don't expect a GTA-meets-Captain-Kirk outing for the foreseeable future, then. GTA 5 has ambition enough to fill the breach, I'd say - as detailed in our colossal GTA 5 info round-up, there's a campaign split between three characters which hinges on heists, and you'll be able to swim with Great White Sharks.
Rockstar is also working on a next gen engine.