Rockstar has reportedly removed transphobic content from Grand Theft Auto Online and the Grand Theft Auto 5 remaster, including a Captain Spacetoy doll with interchangeable genitalia and "drag queens" that spawned outside a nightclub.
The change to the Captain Spacetoy doll was reported earlier this month by redditor JayProspero (opens in new tab), who shared an image comparing images of the PlayStation 4 version of GTA Online with the E&E—expanded and enhanced—edition on PlayStation 5. The Captain Spacetoy action figure with "poseable vomit direction" remains on the wall, but the one wearing a hot pink jumper and promising "interchangeable genitalia" is clearly gone.
Kirsty Cloud, an admin at fan site GTANet, also noted on Twitter that "trans caricatures" that appeared around the Cockatoos nightclub have been removed as well. The models are still accessible in Director Mode, but their dialog options have been disabled.
The models still exist in Director Mode at the moment, but their dialogue options have been removed (presumably this means protagonist dialogue lines to these NPCs about using hormones etc are therefore unused now too).PC vs PS5. Thanks @SpiderVice for the PC screens. pic.twitter.com/rjkKkMfBtGApril 8, 2022
Rockstar didn't comment on the reasons for the changes (or even acknowledge that they'd been made), but they come several months after Out Making Games, a UK-based advocacy group for LGBTQ+ people working in the games industry, sent an open letter (opens in new tab) to the studio calling on it "to remove transphobic elements" from the GTA remasters. OMG said the letter was prompted (opens in new tab) by a September 2021 Kotaku (opens in new tab) piece calling on Rockstar to "leave the 2013 transphobia behind."
The group thanked Rockstar for the update in a new post (opens in new tab) and acknowledged that even though the changes might seem minor, they're meaningful, and likely took a considerable amount of effort to make happen.
"Grand Theft Auto V is a wildly popular game with millions of players worldwide and this change can have a huge impact on the way that those players see trans people," Out Making Games wrote. "Thank you to everyone at Rockstar who prioritized this issue—we ourselves are game developers and understand that even small changes like this take coordinated time and effort."
The remastered edition of Grand Theft Auto 5 was released for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X-S on March 15. It's not clear whether the content change was also made to the PC editions—I've reached out to Rockstar to ask and will update if I receive a reply.
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