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Grand Theft Auto VI could have been much larger

The original plan was to feature multiple cities across North and South America.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more controversial game series than Grand Theft Auto. While some games are more violent or sexually explicit, Grand Theft Auto has long been the popular target for critique. Recently, it was the gaming industry criticizing developer Rockstar’s crunch culture and hostile working environment.

Back in 2018, many Rockstar Games employees spoke out against the company’s terrible practices and work hours. But it seems like the company may be turning itself around. A recent report from Jason Schreier of Bloomberg discussed the state of its upcoming Grand Theft Auto VI and how Rockstar is trying to turn itself around.

The company is trying to be more inclusive and less draining on its employees, and apparently, there’s been some success in this regard. One of the consequences of this, though, is that Grand Theft Auto VI will be on a much smaller scale than initially intended.

“Original plans for the title,” says Schreier, “were for it to be more vast 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. But the company reeled in those ambitions and cut the main map down to a fictional version of Miami and its surrounding areas.”

Grand Theft Auto

Making Grand Theft Auto VI less enormous

Rockstar has apparently changed a lot of its design principles regarding the GTA series. It’s always been known for its biting commentary on America, taking an “attack everybody” angle on American politics and culture. The problem is that it also reflected what occurred behind the scenes. Issues like toxic management, a draining seven-day work week, and a gender pay gap changed Rockstar’s image to one that resembled the targets it frequently lambasted.

With its recent initiative towards a better workplace, Rockstar has tried to take things a little more seriously. The fact is, America has changed a lot over the past few years, as has the nature of parody. For many, the damn-them-all-regardless-of-who-they-are attitude that defined Grand Theft Auto doesn’t translate as well in the 2020s.

Schreier pointed to this cultural shift as a reason behind Grand Theft Auto VI’s extended development. “Some workers say they’re still trying to figure out how to make games at this new iteration of Rockstar and wonder even what a Grand Theft Auto game looks like in today’s environment. Besides, several Rockstar employees pointed out that you can’t really satirize today’s America — it’s already a satire of itself.”

What do you think of Rockstar’s plans for Grand Theft Auto VI? Are you excited for what the game has in store? Let us know!

Via Eurogamer.

Daniel Hein

Daniel Hein is either A) a lifelong video game fanatic, writer, and storyteller just sharing his thoughts on things, or B) some kind of werewolf creature. We're not quite sure which yet. He also makes mediocre video game retrospectives (and other content!) on YouTube where you can watch him babble on for hours about nothing.
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