GTA 5 Doesn’t Include Female Protagonist Because ‘Being Masculine’ is Key to Story

Masculinity is a central theme in the upcoming Grand Theft Auto 5.

The Grand Theft Auto series is known for taking risks, as well as spilling a bit of hot coffee on the laps of the general public from time to time. Crime, sex, prostitution, and a multitude of other controversial issues have been tackled within what many people see as the biggest open-world franchise of all time, but we’re yet to see a female protagonist included in the core narrative. Studio co-founder Dan Houser has heard the criticism, and speaking with The Guardian, admitted that the story of Grand Theft Auto 5 just didn’t allow any of the three protagonists to be female.

Gender equality is, without a doubt, a culturally relevant issue, but Houser said that the lack of playable female characters in the game is because "the concept of being masculine was so key to this story." This character swapping, which is something that the developer hasn’t yet tried up until this fifth game, let’s the team “create nuanced stories, not a set of archetypes. Rather than seeming like you've got this super-criminal who can do everything effortlessly, they're all good and bad at different things.

"We liked the idea of a protagonist retiring with a family, and how awful that would be,” he continued. “We've never done anything like that and you don't really see it in games – to feed into these concepts of parenting and pseudo-parenting."

GTA 5 will likely feature a pot-stirring scene or two, so look to hear all about Rockstar’s next big hit when it launches for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Sept. 17.