GTA 6 Would Be Tricky To Make In Today's Political Climate, Says Rockstar Co-Founder

"It's really unclear what we would even do with it."

110 Comments
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Dan Houser, co-founder of Rockstar Games and writer of many of the studio's titles, has discussed the idea of making a new Grand Theft Auto in the current political climate. In just a day's time, Rockstar will launch Red Dead Redemption 2, a game that follows Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang as they attempt to survive in a world moving on from the days of wild west outlaws.

While RDR 2 maintains a fairly grounded, almost sombre tone, the Grand Theft Auto series has always been a vessel for biting satire of American culture and history. As such, it was more inclined towards ridiculous characterisations of larger-than-life figures, or exaggerated depictions of elements of modern society that can be torn apart and analysed through the lens of video games.

However, speaking to GQ, Houser indicated that the exaggeration and absurdity at the core of the Grand Theft Auto series' satirical commentary feels like it has manifested in the real world, which means tackling the sixth entry in the GTA series would be tricky.

"It's really unclear what we would even do with it, let alone how upset people would get with whatever we did," said Houser. "Both intense liberal progression and intense conservatism are both very militant, and very angry.

"It is scary but it's also strange, and yet both of them seem occasionally to veer towards the absurd. It's hard to satirise for those reasons. Some of the stuff you see is straightforwardly beyond satire. It would be out of date within two minutes, everything is changing so fast."

Rockstar as a whole has been under the microscope lately. Ahead of the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2, there have been discussions surrounding working hours and crunch at the studio. In a separate interview, Houser mentioned working 100-hour weeks several times in 2018, though it was later clarified that this was only undertaken by members of the senior writing team, including himself.

Naturally, the initial reports of 100-hour work weeks attracted criticism, as the negative impact of crunch is well documented. Rockstar employees were told to speak out about their own experiences, however, and while some noted that they had long work weeks in the past, it was also noted that environment had changed for the better over the years.

The difficulty in the situation was, of course, the perception that overtime could be seen as necessary through studio culture. And to clarify this Rockstar Lincoln, where much of the QA happens, recently held a meeting to tell employees that overtime is not mandatory, though it can occasionally be requested and schedules.

Red Dead Redemption 2 has been a multi-studio development effort from Rockstar and is the studio's biggest game yet. It is set for launch on October 26, and then the online mode is expected to arrive in November. Grand Theft Auto V launched in September 2013 and was re-released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One a year later. A PC version followed in April 2015. The game's online mode has been a huge success for Rockstar and still receives regular updates.

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Avatar image for fryman625
fryman625

if that's the case then they need to no longer make games, Rockstar represented the voice of the free and never game 6 flying fucks. the gta games also has been very against the radical left and they see the dangers socialism causes and what it did in the 20th century. so I say if they have to gave to the very VERY few minority of people who just yell and whine. then they need to hang it up and say it was a good run. they need to understand the only militants are on the right to keep the crazy lefties in check. and they need to understand it wouldn't even be a war and we'd blow them away in a week so there really isn't an issue. so make the game because of the simple of what are they gonna do? nothing. whats gonna happen to you? what? you make another billion and some snowflakes whine for a couple weeks. all the while the right warning them to calm the **** down. so id say if you're caving then its time to hang it up. because just by you saying that and not making a game because of it, is what makes the side you don't want to anger more angry. if you anger the left, who gives a ****. its the right, the ones with the guns you don't want to anger. so we say. go ahead make it, or hang it up.

Avatar image for coreypmc1
CoreyPmc1

It sounds like they are either looking for ad excuses not to make it, or (probably more likely, considering the money involved) trying to brave people for any potential fallout from the game once it hit shelves...

Avatar image for Anthonyccc
Anthonyccc

I like how they said far right, like the far right ever does anything. no, it's SJW that cause all the chaos and have ruined game after game, after game, and entire franchises with their political BS! R.I.P Battlefield :\

Avatar image for applefat
applefat

@Anthonyccc:

You're .... you're joking right? Maybe being intentionally ironic or something?

What about all the morality police fundie Christian groups originally screaming about GTA during the '90s? Well, pretty much all video games for that matter?

What about whenever a video game featured a strong female lead, (or a lead who is anything but a musclebound white man) all these insecure "conservative" men come out of the woodwork, whining about the good old days when females (and whatever other minorites) knew their place in video games?

Avatar image for coreypmc1
CoreyPmc1

@Anthonyccc: The fact that you can only see it from one point of view, strengthens his point.

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Aladan53

Just say **** it Rockstar. Grow a pair!

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Nelson85

In other words.... GTA6 is not going to happen this just their way of saying it. If it does happen don't expect it for at least 5-10 years from now.

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ChrisChronos

Like hell it would, just don't listen to the the small minority whiny get woke go broke SJWs and problem solved. You'll be rolling in cash. Be as offensive and edgey as you want. Majority of gamers don't care.

Avatar image for James_xeno
James_xeno

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! No seriously! **** what the morons of the extreme left and right think/say/cry about! Haters gonna hate and whiners gonna whine..ALWAYS! FULL STOP! I can't believe i'm reading this. The logic of this seems like something right out of the onion! How about not trying to make it true to life? You know, like the games before IV.. the last great games of the series!

We know exactly what/who you're talking about.. There is only one group of snowflakes currently so tinfoil hat level insane/demented and hysterical, that even satirical commentary or off-the-wall jokes would lead to anything more than some complaining.. let alone real actual backlash! Please don't tell us you're actually scared, or worse, of the perpetually offended/triggered/whining/crying/screeching 'adult children'!

Wonder if and how much of this has to do with milking GTA Online longer?

Avatar image for clay544888
clay544888

@James_xeno: Come on dude GTA4 was pretty terrible compared to GTA5. It had a pretty good story but the gameplay was sooo bad. Not to mention the lack of guns, bland world, can't go underwater, bad graphics, etc. GTA 5 was the exact opposite! Much better game overall!

Avatar image for James_xeno
James_xeno

@clay544888:

No lol.. I meant since pre IV. "like the games before IV.. the last great games of the series!"

Agree 100% on V >>> IV

Avatar image for clay544888
clay544888

@James_xeno: Ohhh OK good then.

Avatar image for edwardnygma
EdwardNygma

Come on Rockstar. Please don’t cave to liberal idiots like our corrupt media.

Avatar image for Dragerdeifrit
Dragerdeifrit

We won't be seeing GTAVI for another 5 years anyways. :/

Avatar image for anodyn3
Anodyn3

Translation: there are so many unhinged liberal snowflakes out there, we don’t know how many compose our fanbase. Even if it’s just a minority, they have a tendency to mob up and garner mainstream media attention/backing.

P.S. alot of them are game journalists

Avatar image for ssdd_again
ssdd_again

@anodyn3: Are you being satirical? I honestly can't tell. I suppose this could be a literal comment . . .oh wait, I just got what Mr Houser was saying. Yeah, now really isn't the time for a new GTA. . . .maybe when you're all old enough (mentally).

Avatar image for fryman625
fryman625

@ssdd_again: good job strengthening his poing

Avatar image for clay544888
clay544888

@anodyn3: I bet deep down you're like "Yeah I got a lot of likes!"

Avatar image for anodyn3
Anodyn3

@clay544888: it is nice to know there are other sane, normal people in the world, yes

Avatar image for edwardnygma
EdwardNygma

@anodyn3: You are absolutely correct.

Avatar image for twogirlsonecub
TwoGirlsOneCub

@anodyn3: Actually, what he said was "Both intense liberal progression and intense conservatism are both very militant, and very angry."

Next time, read the article as what he's talking about is your type of comment being precisely part of the problem. GTA has always made fun of every side of the isle. That's part of what made it great and exactly why it now more than ever would at the very least be a source of comfort for the majority of people who tend to be moderate and have to watch ridiculous people taking their politics to the extreme grasping control of the national conversation.

Avatar image for anodyn3
Anodyn3

@twogirlsonecub: i did read the article. I know they said the PC “both sides” can be like x, y, z. But we all know who the triggered nutcases are 99 out of 100 times. It’s the aptly named liberal NPC’s

Avatar image for twogirlsonecub
TwoGirlsOneCub

@anodyn3: Based on the responses in this thread, and yours being a case in point, it's evident that the ratio would be close to 50/50 with right wing nutcases being just as triggered.

Avatar image for fryman625
fryman625

@twogirlsonecub: no the groups and people like Antifa are such a small minority that just make a lot of noise, they would get blown away in a week

Avatar image for justthetip
JustTheTip

@anodyn3: I completely agree. Liberals are ruining everything. They get offended by everything.

Online
Avatar image for nabinator
Nabinator

@justthetip: And hard-right wingers freak out when women are protagonists and start crying "SJW". Both sides need to learn how to use their brains to assess a situation

Avatar image for goldero
goldero

@nabinator: Looks like a third of the main characters in RDR2 are women. Sadie Adler features prominently. I haven't heard a peep of complaint about that. Very few people have problems with female protagonists, so long as they aren't shoehorned in due to an agenda.

Avatar image for nabinator
Nabinator

@goldero: You seem to be confusing side-characters with protagonist. Protagonist traditionally refers to the main character of the story.

Avatar image for Dragerdeifrit
Dragerdeifrit

@justthetip: yes, but right wingers are also easily offended by wamen in friggin videgames, the second they add a girl to the roster of playable charcaters (if there is one) the righties will go batshit insane and boycott the game, like every game they dont like because of SJW paranoia.

Avatar image for edwardnygma
EdwardNygma

@Dragerdeifrit: Did you just say wamen? Even liberals don’t use that anymore and they aren’t very bright.

Avatar image for Atzenkiller
Atzenkiller

Then leave that crap out. Who actually enjoyed looking at those shitty satire websites they've put into GTA4 and even more of that crap in GTA5? The earlier games were fine without it and Rockstar really needs to focus on what matters.

Avatar image for fryman625
fryman625

@Atzenkiller: no. if you leave that crap out, you don't have a gta game, I enjoyed looking at the "impeach the socialists get a brian you morons" poster

Avatar image for clay544888
clay544888

@Atzenkiller: I did. And I loved the funny ass radio stations. It was literal comedy. "What's endorphins? Who carrrresss, it's in high demand and needs to be sold quickly!" Or some shit. I don't remember the rest but that shit was hella funny. Funnier than a lot of other comedy out there. I would even sometimes just stop the car and listen to that shit. Hella funny, I don't care what anyone says.

Avatar image for Atzenkiller
Atzenkiller

@clay544888: Well, someone will always like it. But most people didn't buy the game for that, I'm pretty sure.

Avatar image for clay544888
clay544888

@Atzenkiller: Well I'm not most people buddy!

Avatar image for jamesbr27
JamesBR27

I agree with anyone hating on Rockstar right now. I too lost all respect and admiration for them. I dont even want to know about them until they get out of their high horses and announce GTA 6. Yeah, I came straight to the comments section without reading nothing but the title of the article. Hope you all enjoy RDR2, I wont and im proud of that.

Avatar image for clay544888
clay544888

@jamesbr27: You're pathetic. Who gives a shit, just play the game. If they make great games, they could support mass murdering for all I care! I don't care who they are, I just play their games. Were people always this sissy pants offended by slightest extra hair on someone's head in the past?!?? Holy Jesus Christ!

Avatar image for ssdd_again
ssdd_again

@jamesbr27: Ha, yeah you're right, they should 'get out of their high horses'; that's really not the place to be. They should get ON their high horses and look down upon the idiots writing stupid comments about them on the internet.

Unless you were being satirical, in which case, bravo.

Avatar image for twogirlsonecub
TwoGirlsOneCub

@jamesbr27: LOL, Dan is totally right. I can't even tell if this post was satirical or not anymore.

Avatar image for Atzenkiller
Atzenkiller

@jamesbr27: Herp derp, I don't really know what I'm talking about and whatever, but I'm proud of it.

I hope you've posted this on all your social media profiles. I'm sure all your friends and family are burning to hear it.

Avatar image for legendaryh1tman
legendaryh1tman

How about lets just fix the current game and do a 4k update how about that. First off improve the movement and add crouch. Get back to making DLC for Campaign. You already made Billions, and dude I can pretty gut an old lady in her own backward. Soooo where the hell is our sequel to Manhunt?

I want Manhunt back, that gory stuff may of been too much back then for politics but now hell come on! have you seen World Star and Live Leak, let alone what is shown on TV nowhere days? Manhunt is child's play compared to what is going on today. So bring it back!

Manhunt BattleRoyale = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Avatar image for Atzenkiller
Atzenkiller

@legendaryh1tman: Go slaughter some pigs in real life. Butchers even get payed for it. Otherwise get help, if you're playing games only for the gore.

Avatar image for clay544888
clay544888

@Atzenkiller: I think you need to get help with some intelligence. Game gore and real life gore are 2 different things. Get some intelligence to know the difference.

Avatar image for Dragerdeifrit
Dragerdeifrit

@Atzenkiller: Or you know... he actually knows the difference between reality and fiction. Nothing wrong with enjoying violence in videogames, it's awesome.

Avatar image for Atzenkiller
Atzenkiller

@Dragerdeifrit: Then I assume you enjoy watching children and animals and anything else being tortured in videogames? Cause it's not real after all, so it's somehow great.

You guys got issues.

Avatar image for James_xeno
James_xeno

@Dragerdeifrit:

This! People today.. dear god.

Avatar image for clay544888
clay544888

@James_xeno: We live in a time where peace is at its highest and people's primitive need for drama is on strike! So they need to make some drama somewhere even if it's useless drama!

Avatar image for James_xeno
James_xeno

@clay544888:

QFT!

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

they sound like cowards to me... very afraid of how the game will be judged and/or critcized. well, guess what? social commentary and art are sometimes intended to provoke and get people talking so that would mean it served it purpose. sometimes art is intended to make people laugh as well... rockstar caving to the potential backlash and controversy is not something i thought would ever happen. what a sad state for the gaming industry.

that said, this all but confirms gta 6 is NOT in development and likely will not see the light of day. bully 2 appears to be next in line, though.

Avatar image for clay544888
clay544888

@Xristophoros: Agreed. People are so scared of confrontation these days that they'll hide their true voice to avoid trouble. Well if people don't express their differences, we'll risk becoming all the same! The only way to stand out is through confrontation! That's the price you must pay to own your differences!