Grand Theft Auto VI will feature the series' first ever playable woman protagonist, per a report published Wednesday by Bloomberg.
The game will star a duo loosely based on notorious bank robbers and partners Bonnie and Clyde. The woman will be Latina, and the game will take place in a fictionalized version of Miami, Florida and the surrounding areas. Development studio Rockstar Games declined to comment.
The inclusion of a woman protagonist is a sign of larger change at Rockstar Games, as the studio reckons with its reported toxic and masculine culture. It has removed transphobic jokes from Grand Theft Auto V, and significantly shrunk its gender pay gap. Developers working on GTA VI have also been cautioned against making jokes at the expense of marginalized groups.
As Rockstar addresses these issues — as well as that of intense crunch — employees report morale at an all-time high. But development on GTA VI has been slower than even longtime employees expected. The pandemic has disrupted work, but so have some of the changes Rockstar implemented to improve work-life balance. Those changes include a restructuring of the design department and a commitment to keep overtime under control. The team also lost Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser, who led development on the GTA series for decades and left the studio in 2019.
GTA VI has already had some of its ambition scaled back, with plans for playable areas in North and South American cut and moved to potential post-launch support.
Rockstar currently expects GTA VI to be released before March 24, but some employees are skeptical that target can be hit.