Out Making Games today published an open letter to Rockstar Games, asking the developer to rethink transphobic elements of Grand Theft Auto 5 for the game's upcoming Enhanced and Expanded re-release on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S next year.
The UK-based group of LGBTQ+ game professionals said it was inspired to pen the letter by a recent Kotaku article describing how the game leans on transphobic stereotypes and litters its world with transphobic jokes.
"As Carolyn Petit writes in Kotaku, unlike for other random NPCs in GTA 5, the game appears to purposefully play into extremely harmful stereotypes of trans and gender diverse people to encourage players to be repulsed by them and even to relish hurting and killing them," Out Making Games said.
The Group added, "Given the cultural impact GTA 5 has around the world, Rockstar has a social responsibility to your players (many of whom may be LGBTQ+), to your staff and to the world at large to not promote violence against trans and gender diverse people."
The Kotaku article also suggested Rockstar change the transphobic parts of the game or provide players with critical context, much as film and animation studios often preserve their works in their original form, but with added disclaimers or video extras acknowledging and explaining those flaws.
GamesIndustry.biz reached out to Rockstar for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.