There are many titles that have marked the history of video games, but very few of them can boast of such great longevity as the GTA license, especially its latest opus. Developed by the famous Rockstar Games studio, this trashy and limitless game has become the second best-selling title of all time. However, the long-awaited Grand Theft Auto VI could be less provocative, following a questioning and a maturity acquired within the studio.
Grand Theft Auto V
Become the biggest criminal again in this new installment of the GTA saga!
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A game like the studio
To the saga Grand Theft Auto is above all a satire of American society, the various episodes only reflecting the physical and verbal violence visible in the country. Racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, the series has swept away all the most sensitive themes and this, very often without taking gloves. It is moreover to this impression of having no limits that she owes her success. And if this feeling was so well transcribed in the game, it is because the studio was in its image.
Alcohol, drugs, fights, strip clubs, the developers of Rockstar Games have seen all the colors. The studio imposed harsh working conditions on them, with a sustained work pace. This prompted a number of employees to speak out in 2018 in order to denounce, for the first time on such a scale, the phenomenon of “crunch”.
In order to avoid any delays in game release schedules, developers had to work hard and work dozens of unpaid overtime hours, even sleeping at their workplace. One of the Houser brothers, founders of Rockstar Games, even said that some of his employees worked 100-hour weeks when working on Red Dead Redemption 2.
If this intervention helped to free the word of developers from other studios, Rockstar Games had to redouble its efforts to make a clean sweep of this heavy liability. It took a new direction and the departure in 2019 of Dan Houser, one of the sulphurous founding brothers, for the studio to experience a real metamorphosis. Changes in work schedules, ousting of abusive managers and hiring of contract workers, these are the many, but necessary, measures that have been taken. Not to mention the ability to take time off for each overtime hour worked, as well as new mental and physical health benefits. A much healthier and benevolent environment then frames the developers of GTA. An appeasement that is likely to be found in the next opus.
And GTA not like the others
According to information collected by Bloomberg with about twenty employees of Rockstar Games, GTA VI will be very different from the other episodes of the series. The much less unhealthy and off-limits atmosphere is reflected in both the content and the form of the game. For the first time in the history of the license, one of the playable protagonists will be a woman. This latin However, she will not be alone, since she will form a duo inspired by Bonnie & Clyde, the famous couple of bank robbers. Added to this new representation is a desire for inclusion. always according to Bloombergthe developers are careful that the humor does not hurt marginalized groups of people.
The new working conditions also make it possible to develop the game on a human scale. Exit the pharaonic project to reconstitute large territories of North America! Make way for a more “modest” project, a fictional version of Miami and its surroundings. But Rockstar Games intends to adopt a new strategy. If, when the game is released, the explorable area will certainly be of a similar size to that of GTA Vthe studio wants to update the game over time by adding new missions, but also and above all, new areas to discover, such as new cities. This sixth part will also give pride of place to interior spaces with the exploration of numerous buildings.
While some specialists are planning the game to be released between 2023 and 2024, the developers remain skeptical: the new measures taken would slow down the development of the game. Hiring developers to reduce working hours would also generate internal communication problems. . Especially since the post of design directoronce occupied by Imran Sarwar, is now in the care of three people, causing contradictions and wasting time. A small group of designers even left the Edinburgh studio earlier in the year, exasperated by the game’s lack of progress.
Expected for almost ten years, Grand Theft Auto VI arouses extraordinary enthusiasm, but one unknown remains: if this opus turns out to be less immoral than its predecessors, will it once again establish itself as one of the best-sellers in the industry? A success would end up establishing the new, more respectful working methods within Rockstar Games, when a failure (even at a minimum) could raise voices in favor of the studio’s old habits, even if they were abusive. So much so that some would not hesitate to see it as a catharsis support for its creators.