Rockstar reportedly removed transphobic content from Grand Theft Auto Online and the Grand Theft Auto 5 Remaster, including a Captain Spacetoy doll with interchangeable genitals and ‘drag queens’ that appeared outside a nightclub .
The change to the Captain Spacetoy doll was flagged earlier this month by editor JayProspero, who shared an image comparing footage from the PlayStation 4 version of GTA Online with the expanded and enhanced E&E edition on PlayStation 5. The Captain Spacetoy action figure with “articulated vomit steering” remains on the wall, but the one wearing a bright pink sweater and promising “interchangeable genitalia” is clearly gone.
Kirsty Cloud, administrator of fan site GTANet, also noted on Twitter that “trans cartoons” that appeared around Cockatoos nightclub had also been taken down. Models are still accessible in director mode, but their dialog options have been disabled.
Models still exist in director mode at the moment, but their dialogue options have been removed (this probably means that the lines of dialogue from protagonists with these NPCs about using hormones etc. are therefore also unused). PC vs. PS5. Thanks @SpiderVice for the PC screens. pic.twitter.com/rjkKkMfBtGApril 8, 2022
Rockstar hasn’t 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 advocacy group for LGBTQ+ people working in the gaming industry, sent an open letter to the studio asking them to “remove transphobic elements” from GTA remasters. OMG said the letter was guest by a September 2021 Kotaku article calling on Rockstar to “leave 2013’s transphobia behind”.
The group thanked Rockstar for the update in a new post and acknowledged that while the changes may seem minor, they are significant and likely took considerable effort to come to fruition.
“Grand Theft Auto V is a hugely popular game with millions of players worldwide and this change can have a huge impact on how those players view trans people,” Out Making Games wrote. “Thank you to everyone at Rockstar who has prioritized this issue – we are game developers ourselves and understand that even small changes like this take time and coordinated effort.”
Grand Theft Auto 5 Remastered Edition was released for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series XS on March 15. It’s unclear if the content change has been made to the PC editions as well. I get a response.