Rockstar explains male-only protagonist roster for Grand Theft Auto V

Cofounder Dan Houser says "the concept of being masculine was so key to this story"; open-world game will span 100 hours.

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Rockstar Games cofounder Dan Houser has offered some insight into why none of Grand Theft Auto V's three playable protagonists are female. In an interview with The Guardian, Houser said the decision came down to narrative design.

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"The concept of being masculine was so key to this story," Houser said.

GTAV's three playable protagonists are Trevor, Michael, and Franklin. The game's online component, GTA Online, will allow players to create a female character. This game mode will launch on October 1 as a free update to the game.

Also in the interview, Houser said GTAV boasts more than 100 hours of gameplay and that Rockstar Games spent 100 days in Los Angeles conducting "research trips" for the game.

"Out and about, all night long with weird people, strange cops showing us around, a lot of first-hand research," Houser said. "We spoke to FBI agents that have been undercover, experts in the Mafia, street gangsters who know the slang--we even went to see a proper prison. These poor buggers in the middle of the salt flat desert, miles away. It was eye-openingly depressing."

GTAV launches in eight days on September 17 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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