GTA 6: First Female Lead Amid Rockstar Workplace Changes

Grand Theft Auto 6 will reportedly, for the first time in Rockstar history, have a female Latina protagonist lead following radical in-house changes within the company. The news surfaced from Bloomberg first, with mentions of the female protagonist in a series of tweets from Jason Schreier below. The female character “will be one of a pair of leading characters in a story influenced by the bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde.” Bloomberg’s report reads.

According to Schreier, Rockstar initiated an “overhaul” of the company in 2018 after several developers at Rockstar highlighted a crunch culture, bullying, and “frat-house antics.” In the four years since the overhaul started, Schreier says Rockstar have “ousted managers accused of abuse and promised to cut down on overtime.” One developer within Rockstar, Schreier adds, has described the company as a “boys’ club transformed into a real company.”

In a separate tweet, Schreier highlights the changes implemented by Rockstar more recently. These include the removal of transphobic jokes from a GTA V re-release, and the discreet cancellation of an online mode titled Cops ’n’ Crooks, following the George Floyd protests.

Currently, there are no plans to revive the shelved mode. Bloomberg’s report further highlights that while morale within the company “is higher than it’s ever been,” development on the next game “has been slower than impatient fans and even longtime employees have expected.”

There are numerous reasons for this, chief among which is the pandemic. The report details changes made within the company to improve working conditions, from the “restructuring of the design department and a pledge to keep overtime under control.” 

Plus, Rockstar is facing a significant creative challenge in trying to satirize a modern-day America for Grand Theft Auto 6. According to the report, Rockstar employees have suggested it’s hard to satirize a country “already a satire of itself.”

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