Rockstar's decision to only feature playable male characters in Grand Theft Auto 5 was necessary for the story of the game, studio co-founder Dan Houser told The Guardian.
Despite the studio's knack for highlighting culturally relevant themes in its games, Houser stated the lack of playable female characters in the game was because "the concept of being masculine was so key to this story."
GTA 5 allows players to switch between three playable characters, something that Houser says "allows us to 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." The result, he says, is a group of rounded and believable characters. "We liked the idea of a protagonist retiring with a family, and how awful that would be. 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."
Grand Theft Auto 5 is set to launch on Sept. 17 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.