Grand Theft Auto VI will include a playable female protagonist, according to a Bloomberg report by Jason Schreier citing people familiar with development.
The woman, who is Latina, will reportedly be one of a pair of leading characters in a story influenced by bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde. In contrast to previous games, developers are also being cautious not to “punch down” by making jokes about marginalized groups.
Original plans for Grand Theft Auto VI, code-named “Project Americas,” were for it to be more vast than any Grand Theft Auto game to date, with early designs calling for the inclusion of territories modeled after large swaths of North and South America, the people said. But in its current state, the main map has been cut down to a fictional version of Miami and its surrounding areas.
Rockstar Games‘s plan now is reportedly to update Grand Theft Auto VI over time, adding new missions and cities on a regular basis, and hopefully leading to less crunch during the game’s final months of development. Despite this, the game’s world is said to remain large, with more interior locations than any previous Grand Theft Auto game.
All of this comes as part of a report about Rockstar Games’ attempts to reinvent itself as a more progressive and compassionate workplace, with Bloomberg citing interviews with more than 20 people who work there currently or left recently.
Some of those changes include restructuring the design department to keep overtime under control, changes to scheduling, converting contractors to full-time employees, the ousting of several managers employees saw as abusive or difficult to work with, new mental health and leave benefits, a “flexitime” Policy that allows staff to immediately take time off for every extra hour worked, and a promise that excessive overtime will not be required for Grand Theft Auto VI, unlike the company’s major releases in the past.
More producers have also been added to keep track of schedules. And while that has been a mostly positive move, it has also caused bottlenecks as some employees said they found themselves waiting to communicate through middlemen or felt like multiple people were in charge.
None of the Rockstar Games employees interviewed by Bloomberg knew of a firm release date for Grand Theft Auto VI, but said that they expect the game is at least two years away from release.