Why it matters: Besides an official greenlight from Rockstar, everything we have heard about the Grand Theft Auto VI has been leaks, speculation, and rumors. The latest is that the upcoming title stars a female protagonist for the first time in franchise history.
Bloomberg reports that anonymous sources familiar with Grand Theft Auto VI’s development claim that the game will have a female playable character. The Latina protagonist is part of a “Bonnie-and-Clyde-like” duo, indicating that Rockstar is continuing the multiple character perspectives it introduced for the first time in GTA5.
The only additional information about the game the insiders revealed is that Rockstar will take a more PC approach to the narrative and avoid “punching down” at marginalized groups. However, making the game more politically correct may turn off some players.
Part of the franchise’s charm is that it has no charm. It has consistently poked fun at just about everyone without bias. Nobody was safe from GTA’s sometimes raunchy humor, from political fundamentalists on the right and left to geeky couch potatoes. The politically incorrect radio commercials are particularly hilarious.
Tip-toeing around issues because a small number of people who don’t even play the game are unable to laugh at themselves is particularly uncharacteristic for Rockstar in general and Grand Theft Auto in particular. The shift to something more placating may backfire on the developer, but that’s just one person’s opinion.
Of course, the change’s impetus can largely be attributed to the current backlash experienced in many game studios regarding a hostile “fratboy” environment. Bloomberg notes that even Rockstar has been accused of fostering a “boys’ club” company culture — an image it is currently fighting to change. However, many employees are puzzled about the direction GTA6 has taken and can’t even imagine how the reenvisioned game will look.
Bloomberg’s insider leaks add another color to the speculative canvas that is the yet-unrevealed but work-in-progress game. Be sure to take this leak with an extra dose of salt since most rumors regarding GTA6, old and new, have contradictory at times.
For example, in 2017, Rockstar’s mo-cap stuntman and actor Tim Neff appeared to have posted a résumé on multiple websites indicating he would be working on Grand Theft Auto 6. He later denied the rumor blaming the postings on “trolls.” However, as the YouTube channel Silentc0re points out above, this was likely poor damage control on Neff’s part since he has leaked his work many times over the last several years.
There were also rumors that GTA6 would return to Vice City, but later leaks indicated it would span multiple cities. Subsequently, Tom Henderson combined that speculation to say that the game would have an “evolving world” incorporating a “modern Vice City,” and Reddit users claimed it would have a plot “inspired by Netflix’s Narcos.”
So who knows what we’ll be getting in the next Grand Theft Auto. All we know for sure is that GTA6 is definitely on Rockstar’s development calendar and that the studio has ramped up work on the project by pausing the production of GTA5 and Red Dead Redemption remasters. And even that news was from anonymous sources, so take it for what it’s worth.