Last Updated on July 31, 2022
Grand Theft Auto VI — the most anticipated video game release of all time — has promised to be more “culturally sensitive” as Rockstar works to become a more “progressive” company. The Grand Theft Auto series has long been known for crass satire that targets all groups.
GTA VI — which has been anticipated for close to a decade — will be the first series entry to feature a playable female character. The famous outlaw couple Bonnie and Clyde will serve as the basis for the game’s main duo, according to a recent Bloomberg article.
Fans have largely been fine with a female protagonist, but a company promise to cut down on “culturally insensitive jokes” that target “marginalized groups” has fans up in arms.
Rockstar had already been shifting towards more outright promotion of leftist ideals in recent years. Following the George Floyd riots in 2020, the company removed GTA V’s “cops and crooks” game mode, which had been a staple of the series since its release in the 90’s. Rockstar also removed jokes that could be deemed “transphobic” from its GTA V Definitive Edition release.
Rockstar plans to continue moving in this direction with Grand Theft Auto VI, according to a report form Jason Schreier of Bloomberg. According to Schreier, developers are being cautious not to “punch down” by making jokes about marginalized groups in contrast to previous games.
Rockstar — one of the industry’s most successful studios — was the subject of controversy in 2018 after multiple employees spoke of long hours without breaks. Since the controversy, Rockstar has attempted to move away from its “frat house” culture in order to be a more “progressive company,” Schreier reports. One employee reportedly described it as “a boys’ club transformed into a real company.”
Rockstar removed transphobic jokes from the most recent re-release of GTAV and quietly canceled an online mode called Cops 'n' Crooks after the George Floyd protests. Grand Theft Auto VI will have a female Latina protagonist — the first playable woman in modern Rockstar history
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) July 27, 2022
“Between the company’s new mandate and the 2019 departure of Dan Houser, who led creative direction on many previous Rockstar games, all signs suggest Grand Theft Auto VI will feel very different than its predecessor,” Schreier wrote.
Grand Theft Auto V is currently the second best-selling video game of all time.