The next title in the popular Grand Theft Auto series will feature a female protagonist for the first time.
In a report from Bloomberg, a person close to the game’s development said that a woman, who is Latina, will play as one of a pair of leading characters in a story heavily influenced by the bank robbers, Bonnie and Clyde.
The game has had a working title of “Project Americas” during development, and will apparently be set in a fictionalised version of Miami, Florida and the surrounding areas, which would indicate that the game could also be returning to Vice City, which was the setting for 2002’s GTA: Vice City and 2006’s Vice City Stories.
The series has had a troubled reputation for their representation in video games, often depicted as little more than sex objects.
The change is seen as part of a company-wide overhaul to Rockstar Games’s work culture, which was described as “full of drinking, brawling and excursions to strip clubs”.
The developer has also had an issue with “crunch” which is a term used in game development to signify long hours of unpaid overtime, including nights and weekends.
Rockstar Games also removed transphobic content from the recent console re-release of GTA V as well as cancelled planned content for GTA Online titled “Cops and Crooks” in the wake of George Floyd’s killing.
The development of the next Grand Theft Auto has been in place since 2014, but there are still no signs of an expected release date. While it is slower than expected, due in part to the pandemic but also some of the changes Rockstar Games has implemented across the company. But according to employees, morale has never been higher.
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