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Rockstar: We Haven't Found The Right Game For A Female Lead

There are three protagonists in Grand Theft Auto V and all of them are male. Well, that makes sense, considering the subject material.

And this certainly doesn't mean that developer Rockstar would ignore the idea of utilizing a female lead. During a recent interview with The Guardian, Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser said that a female main character in GTAV "didn't feel natural," but women protagonists aren't out of the question for other games. Here's his explanation:

"We didn't really think about it this time. That's not to say that we couldn't or we wouldn't. This character set is just what came to us: it wasn't, 'we've got X and Y so we need Z,' we weren't trying to do it off a checklist--I don't think that will ever give you something that's believable or engaging.

In the future, could we do a game with a lead female character? Of course. We just haven't found the right game for it yet, but it's one of the things that we always think about. It didn't feel natural for this game but definitely for the right game in the future--with the right themes, it could be fantastic. But for GTA V, this was the organic thing that came up, these were the characters what [sic] would display the themes we wanted to think about."

And that's the right way to do things. You don't create art with a politically correct checklist, as Houser alluded to. You don't attempt to appease everyone and then try to create a narrative; if the story you wish to tell includes women or minorities, fine. If not, then don't squeeze them in for the sake of the overly sensitive. That's an insult to art, and we're glad Rockstar didn't fall prey to that.

When they have a game where a female lead does "feel natural," we'll be more than happy to check it out.

Tags: rockstar, grand theft auto, women in games, gaming industry

9/18/2013 9:23:12 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (12 posts)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 10:34:16 PM

Rockstar has the right attitude: Don't rule it out but don't do it until it feels right to do it.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 10:40:54 PM

Just because COD has done it with Ghosts multi - don't be a follower Rockstar

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 10:48:21 PM

I don't know, something about the comments just makes it seem like they have absolutely no desire to even look into a female protagonist. It seems such an obvious thing and would open up their world to a very fresh perspective. Don't get me wrong, I don't want them to force it for the sake of being politically correct either. But having a protagonist who falls into the category of 'the other half of the human population' doesn't seem limiting at all.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 11:07:41 PM

It's all about what works for the game. I'm white but I had no trouble adjusting to a black protaganist in GTA: San Andreas and even as a man, I had no difficulty adjusting to Femshep in Mass Effect. If the story can justify it and if the creators can do a good fleshing out the character then it's fine, but it should never be done just for the sake of doing it.
In the writing of "American Gods", Neil Gaiman said that some of the characters evolved in ways that he hadn't expected at the start and other characters that he had thought would be important, turned out not to be.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 11:00:13 PM

I can't imagine a Rockstar game where they could use a female main and have it not be weird. Just making a mean badass woman wouldn't be enough at this point. Personally I would have loved the challenge of fitting a woman into GTA but maybe the time will be right for them some day.

They've got too many other things to deal with now anyway, and it looks like Agent is alive again.

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Banky A
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 5:06:07 AM

A GTA woman lead means:

- Lesbian and can pick up prostitutes
- Becomes scandalous and lures guys into your vehicle for a quickie
- Kills people
- If mission fails you undoubtedly get sexually assaulted by the big mean guys :'(

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Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 5:36:01 AM

GTA just would not suit a female lead anyway, i mean can you see a chick hijacking a car, driving the wrong way through traffic on a motorway, shooting as shes driving, and leap off the car onto a boat right in front of her?
then once the jobs done just jump off the back of said boat like your jumping in your home pool.
no big deal.
nah, i dident think so!
plus, what are you going to do walking the streets?
strip clubs all full of men?
can you imagine the female version of the crazy a$$ f*cked up trevor?
i dident think so!
im all for diversity and such, but theres no point shoehorning something in just to please a certain group of people.
add something because it fits and enhances the experience, not because a group of whining chickens wont get of your back till you do.

think of their other franchises too.
max payne, FUCK NO!
whole essence of that game is maxs character, his personality, the game just would not work without him!
oh dear lord.........
maybe a red dead work quite well if done carefully.

Last edited by ___________ on 9/19/2013 5:38:07 AM

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Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 5:50:24 AM

Weird, I was thinking about this today...

I've seen a couple (not many) comments flying around saying it''s about time for a female protagonist.

Now, I'm not the biggest GTA fan, but I see no problem in this.
As an outsider looking in, I can't imagine a female protagonist in GTA's current form.
Maybe someday, but Rockstar shouldn't accommodate people purely for the fact that they want a female protagonist, if it doesn't contribute to the world or the story.

And I know people want for female protagonists, more females are playing video games, blah, blah...

But I want 'meaningful' female protagonists....memorable ones, that will have just as strong a presence as male characters.
Otherwise, there just in the game for the sake of being there and "gender equality" and all that...meh.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 7:18:50 AM

Yes, don't put a woman in a game if having one does not make any sense.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 10:38:56 AM

Don't forget though. At least they allow female characters in the upcoming multiplayer.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 7:02:40 PM

look i think it's plain and simple when the story is right then they'll have a female in there as part of the main story as a character or the main character but untill then in think we best leave the rest to rockstar.

happy gaming =)

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Sunday, September 22, 2013 @ 2:00:04 PM

I know Carolyn Petit of Gamespot took a lot of heat for saying that there should be more complex female characters in GTA, but I don't think she was necessarily saying it had to be a main character. She thought that all the ancillary women were very two-dimensional and annoying. What about an interesting female ANtagonist? How about a badass crime boss, like Aunty Entity in Thunderdome? It's when women are completely marginalized -- basically treated like afterthoughts, accessories, or property -- that I see misogyny. Give us an interesting story of even a really evil woman NPC and I wouldn't find that misogynistic. It doesn't have to be someone we play.

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