Games Since February of this year, it has been official that Rockstar Games is working on the next installment of the Grand Theft Auto series. Since then, rumors have repeatedly seen the light of day. According to a report, the game has now been delayed due to a culture shift at the developer: GTA 6 is not allowed to feature jokes about marginalized groups.
This is how renowned game journalist Jason Schreier, formerly at Kotaku and now for, describes Bloomberg, some details of the development of the highly anticipated triple-A title. According to the industry insider, he’s referring to nearly two dozen former employees or current developers at Rockstar Games. While Schreier is usually very reliable, all information is unofficial rumors, as Rockstar Games itself has remained silent about the new Grand Theft Auto until now.
The US can no longer be parodied
According to the report, as part of a cultural shift, the developer has reconsidered how to handle issues and political content that are currently sensitive, especially in the US. For example, no more jokes can be made at the expense of fringe groups, which will undoubtedly lead to a debate about political correctness among players – the “biting satire” has been a core part of the GTA series until now.
Fittingly, Rockstar Games has already removed some statements that question the dignity of transsexual people in the new version of GTA 5 for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S released in the spring. Aside from the obvious reason for not consistently relegating members of the relevant minorities to a joke for the sake of boring entertainment, the developer also argues with the current state of the United States: In 2022, the country is just a satire on itself, which cannot be further denounced. If the rumors are true, GTA VI would mark a turning point in the iconic game series – after all, its predecessor was supposed to be understood as an almost nihilistic parody of everything and everyone, as Schreier points out.
Sister and brother as protagonists in Miami
Moreover, Rockstar Games wants to create a new image of women and not only use female characters as annoying supporting roles or merely as sex objects. Instead, GTA 6 will feature a woman protagonist for the first time in the series history. A twin brother can also be played as a second character. According to the report, the siblings are from Brazil, were separated at a young age, and are now clashing — on opposite sides — in a drug war. Rockstar Games probably uses the story of the criminal duo as inspiration for the plot of Bonnie and Clyde.
Geographically, Schreier dictates that the upcoming Grand Theft Auto will be in southern Florida; the large map with more interior spaces is intended to provide an adaptation of Miami and the surrounding area. The state capital was already the setting for GTA Vice City, while both GTA 5 and GTA San Andreas were set in a twist on Los Angeles. Rockstar Games was originally supposed to have multiple cities and a larger area in South America, but the project turned out to be too ambitious. Instead, suitable content can be submitted in the years following the release of GTA 4.
Rockstar Games has problems too
The employees dated the latter to 2024 at the earliest, but postponement to 2025 is also an option. The changes in the described content made the job more difficult, as did a restructuring at the developer: Rockstar Games has recently been criticized more often for a notorious corporate culture; Parallels to the scandals at Activision Blizzard or allegations of harassment at Ubisoft are obvious.
As a result, daily work at Rockstar Games in the past has often been characterized by alcohol and regular trips to strip clubs, as well as systematically oppressing female employees. As a result, numerous executives have now been fired; Dan Houser, an influential developer of GTA 5, left the company in 2019. Salaries were also adjusted and more permanent jobs were introduced instead of temporary workers. The developer also wants to avoid crunch phases. In any case, the morale of the staff has risen significantly as a result of the changes.
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