‘GTA 6’ And The Female Protagonist Dilemma: How Rockstar Can Make It Work [Opinion]

Speculations and details about GTA 6 have been emerging from the rumor mill for years now, with speculations stating that the upcoming Rockstar title would feature numerous improvements over its direct predecessor, the critically and commercially acclaimed GTA V. One of the most notable rumored improvements in the upcoming AAA title would be the idea of having a female protagonist, something that has never been done before. Inasmuch as this idea is might be tricky to pull off, Rockstar’s expertise might just be enough to make a compelling tale of crime with a female main character.

The GTA universe has managed to become one of the most complex worlds ever featured in a video game. Spanning numerous years, the story of Grand Theft Auto titles have gotten more vast with each release. Such an expansion is also expected to be featured in the upcoming GTA 6 title, with rumors stating that the game would most likely be set in either a foreign country or the entire United States, according to a report from TrustedReviews. This, of course, leads to the game being able to explore and experiment with the idea of having rather unorthodox protagonists.

GTA V set the standard in the gaming industry by featuring not one, but three protagonists. Unlike usual games where players are stuck playing as a character they initially chose, however, the lineup of main characters for Grand Theft Auto V was part of one big, interrelated story. Thus, each of the three protagonists in GTA 5 was pivotal to the plot at one point, and gamers were able to fully get acquainted with each of them over the course of the game.

Rockstar Games has discussed the evolution of the franchise’s protagonists before, stating that the decision to have three main characters for GTA V was a huge moment for the franchise. According to Rockstar co-founder and vice president Dan Houser, the decision to pursue multiple characters in the game was partly fuelled by a desire to step away from traditional archetypes, according to a Games Industry report.

“Having three protagonists allows us to create nuanced stories, not a set of archetypes. Rather than seeming like you’ve got this super-criminal who can do everything effortlessly, they’re all good and bad at different things. We liked the idea of a protagonist retiring with a family, and how awful that would be. We’ve never done anything like that and you don’t really see it in games — to feed into these concepts of parenting and pseudo-parenting.”

As for the idea of a female protagonist in a GTA game, however, Houser himself stated that Grand Theft Auto V was simply not a good fit for a female main character.

“The concept of being masculine was so key to this story.”

Houser’s statements are quite true in a lot of ways. The entire GTA franchise, after all, is built on the idea of a being a crime simulator, a game where players could play unrestrained. Unfortunately, a female protagonist would be quite difficult to fit into the game’s storyline, considering that the franchise still plays by conventional mores and norms of crime and the criminal world in general.

A female protagonist would be tricky to pull off, but it is possible. History, after all, is filled with a formidable lineup of female criminal figures. Take Bonnie Elizabeth Parker, for example, whose run with her lover Clyde Chestnut Barrow became the stuff of legend. If GTA could make a story that is compelling enough, a female character would work.

This is definitely good news for GTA fans, however, as stories are something that Rockstar really excels in. Whether a female protagonist would really make her debut in Grand Theft Auto 6 is up for question, but under Rockstar’s expert hands, such a drastic change in the game’s main characters could very well work out for the better.

[Featured Image by Rockstar Games]