Rockstar, the creator of Grand Theft Auto, is rebuilding itself as a nicer, gentler corporation four years after a public debacle. Employees are skeptical that the firm can continue to develop the chart-topping games for which it has become renowned.
The creation of Grand Theft Auto VI has been slower than eager fans and even longstanding employees expected, despite many employees reporting that morale is stronger than ever.
With the company’s new direction and Dan Houser’s retirement in 2019, who oversaw creative direction on several past games, all indicators point to Grand Theft Auto VI feeling considerably different from its predecessor.
According to sources close to the project, the game will have a playable female protagonist for the first time. The woman is Latina, and she will be one of two main characters in a narrative inspired on bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde.
In contrast to past Grand Theft Auto games, developers are also taking care not to “punch down” by making jokes about marginalized groups, according to the sources.
The game’s release is likely two years away
Industry analysts anticipate that the next Grand Theft Auto will be out sometime in Take-Two’s 2024 fiscal year, which runs from April 2023 through March 2024, but developers are skeptical. The game has been in development in some form since 2014. Although there are loose schedules in place, people interviewed for this article said they didn’t know of any firm release date and that they expect the game to be at least two years away. Earlier this year, a group of designers quit Rockstar’s Edinburgh office, telling colleagues they were sick of the lack of progress.
Rockstar wanted to include large portions of North and South America but had to be reeled in
Original plans for the title, which is code-named Project Americas, were for it to be bigger than any Grand Theft Auto game to date. Early designs called for the inclusion of territories modeled after large swaths of North and South America, according to people familiar with the plans.