Grand Theft Auto games include protagonists like CJ Johnson, Niko Bellic, and Trevor Phillips, and there’s a distinct pattern there — they’re all men. Grand Theft Auto 6 will reportedly be changing that.
For the first time, we’ll be getting a female protagonist in a GTA game. That’s “according to people familiar with the matter” who spoke to Bloomberg. Specifically, she’ll be a Latina woman, paired up with another criminal for a Bonnie and Clyde-inspired story set in a Vice City-like version of Miami. Considering the sense of humor the GTA series often has, it would be understandable to have some concern about a leading woman of color, but Rockstar is also reportedly aiming to not punch down with its writing.
Fans have been eagerly anticipating the new game ever since a potential tease was spotted in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition. In terms of the Grand Theft Auto 6 release date, the game is expected to arrive in about two years. The last we heard (in February of this year), development has been “well under way” for some time, so a 2024 release window feels right. For what it’s worth, analysts have predicted it will launch during fiscal year 2023, which runs from April 2023 through March 2024, which narrows down the potential window a bit.
This purported information comes alongside a second report from Bloomberg, detailing important cultural changes at Rockstar. “More than 20 people who work there or left recently” spoke to Bloomberg anonymously, saying that the studio is trying to redefine itself. Historically, it’s a workplace known for high levels of crunch and no-holds-barred satirical writing. Changing that perception means narrowing the gender pay gap among Rockstar employees, converting contractors to proper employees, getting rid of problematic managers, and establishing a better development schedule.
These changes have reportedly already reduced the scope of Grand Theft Auto 6. Originally intended to present multiple areas based on regions of North and South America, it’s now scaled down to the aforementioned take on Miami. Considering the staggering success of GTA V and GTA Online, which just saw another big update, Rockstar can safely release a game of any scale, and smaller certainly seems healthier for its employees.