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GTA6 could feature a female protagonist — but don't expect it soon

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(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Officially, we’ve known about Grand Theft Auto 6 for five months. Unofficially, however, we’ve known that Rockstar has been working on a Grand Theft Auto 5 follow-up for a while. A new report suggests that the game has come a long way since it started development eight whole years ago. 

Among other things, the game will feature a playable female protagonist, which the series hasn’t seen since 2000. But fans will probably have to wait at least two more years to see her in action, as the game’s release window, at present, may be sometime in 2024.

Jason Schreier, a reporter for Bloomberg (opens in new tab), interviewed a number of current and former Rockstar Games employees to learn a few key points about GTA6. Most of Schreier’s findings were about the development culture at Rockstar, which has had something of a troubled history with crunch and sexism. If you’re interested in the business side of the gaming industry, it’s well worth a read.

The two big takeaways about GTA6 itself, however, were the new protagonist and the release window.

Rockstar employees described one of the game’s playable characters: a Latina bank robber who teams up with another protagonist in a “Bonnie and Clyde”-style story. While this isn’t the very first time the GTA series has included a female protagonist, the series has generally skewed much more male in the past. Case in point: The last female protagonists in a GTA game were Gretchen and Candy in the 2000 Game Boy Color port of Grand Theft Auto 2.

The Rockstar devs have also hinted at a possible release window, although the evidence seems circumstantial. According to Schreier, industry analysts have pegged GTA6 for a 2024 release date. This seems concordant with the devs’ assertion that the game is “at least two years away.” Knowing how long GTA games to develop, it’s possible that the development cycle could still stretch beyond 2024. But since Grand Theft Auto 5 came out in 2013, 11 years is probably long enough to wait between full installments.

In the meantime, the company is still hard at work on GTA5's massively popular Grand Theft Auto Online mode. It’s not clear whether GTA6 will have similar multiplayer features, although the devs anticipate adding single-player content over time, including standalone missions and perhaps even full cities.

In the meantime, since you’ve got at least two years to wait, you could check out our list of the best open-world games and see if any of them can scratch the GTA itch.

Marshall Honorof
Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.