Rockstar reportedly removed transphobic content from Grand Theft Auto Online and the Grand Theft Auto 5 remaster, including a Captain Spacetoy doll with interchangeable genitalia and “drag queens” that emerged outside a nightclub.
The switch to the Captain Spacetoy doll was reported earlier this month by the redditor Jay Prosperowho shared an image comparing screenshots of the PlayStation 4 version of GTA Online to the E&E edition – expanded and improved – on the PlayStation 5. Pink sweater and promising “interchangeable genitalia” is clearly gone.
Kirsty Cloud, fan site administrator GTANet, also noted on Twitter that the “trans caricatures” that appeared at the Cockatoos nightclub have also been removed. Templates are still accessible in Director Mode, but their dialog options have been disabled.
The models still exist in Director Mode at the moment, but their dialogue options have been removed (presumably this means that the protagonist’s dialogue lines to these NPCs about using hormones etc are also not used now). PC vs PS5. Thanks @SpiderVice for the PC screens. pic.twitter.com/rjkKkMfBtGApril 8, 2022
Rockstar has not commented on the reasons for the changes (or even acknowledged that they were made), but they come several months after Out Making Games, a UK-based LGBTQ+ advocacy group working in the gaming industry, sent a open letter to the studio asking to “remove transphobic elements” from the GTA remasters. OMG said the letter was requested by a September 2021 kotaku ask Rockstar to “leave the transphobia of 2013 behind”.
The group thanked Rockstar for the update on a new post and acknowledged that while the changes may seem small, they are significant and likely required considerable effort to bring about.
“Grand Theft Auto V is a hugely popular game with millions of players around the world and this change could have a big impact on the way these players view trans people,” wrote Out Making Games. “Thanks to everyone at Rockstar who prioritized this issue – we are game developers ourselves and we understand that even small changes like this require coordinated time and effort.”
The remastered edition of Grand Theft Auto 5 was released for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series XS on March 15th. It’s unclear if the content change was also made in the PC editions – I’ve reached out to Rockstar to ask and will update if I get a response.