Grand Theft Auto 6 will have a female playable character, according to a report published by Bloomberg.
The report, which focuses primarily on improvements in Rockstar Games' internal development culture, states that "Rockstar's next game, Grand Theft Auto 6, will include a female protagonist for the first time, according to people familiar with the game." It further claims that the woman will be "Latina" and will be "one of a pair of leading characters in a story influenced by bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde." The report does not specify the gender of this second character, or whether that character will also be playable.
Other purported details in the Bloomberg report including that GTA 6—or whatever it's eventually called—was originally codenamed 'Project Americas' and has been in development since 2014. Early designs for the game "called for the inclusion of territories modelled after large swaths of North and South America." However, the company has "reeled in those ambitions", reducing the initial scope of the game to "a fictional version of Miami and its surrounding areas."
Furthermore, the report claims GTA 6 will be released in a fashion similar to that of live-service games like Destiny, with Rockstar planning to "continually update the game over time, adding new missions and cities on a regular basis." This, Rockstar's management allegedly hopes, "will lead to less crunch during the game's final release." Even in this reduced form, however, GTA 6 will apparently have "more interior locations than previous Grand Theft Auto games."
Considering the backlash Rockstar has received for having no playable female characters in any game it has developed in the last decade (if not longer) the inclusion of one in GTA 6 is not enormously surprising. Nonetheless, assuming Bloomberg's reporting is accurate, it would be extremely welcome news.
Similarly, the alleged attempt to alleviate pressure on developers with a staggered release of content also sounds like a smart idea. That said, it's worth noting that a live-service style game release does not guarantee a crunch-free life, and can in fact make the situation worse, as developers are committed to meeting an endless sequence of deadlines. The crucial factor in reducing crunch is not so much the method by which a game is released, but how the project is managed during development.
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