The three acquaintances are drawn into Los Santos' criminal underworld "in the pursuit of the almighty American dollar".
According to Houser, each of the protagonists is unlike any primary character that has appeared in a Grand Theft Auto title to date: Michael represents a protagonist who "won" in life, and is now trying to adjust to a normal one after his story has come to an end; Trevor is a supporting character recast as a central protagonist; and Franklin is someone who has had no real exposure to a life of crime until the events of the game, and his attempts to avoid such a life end up thrusting him into the middle of it.
He said, "We wanted to have a couple of really strong bank robberies ...
It felt like that was a good device that we'd never used in the past.
The team's decided to focus on money as the game's central theme in response to the 2007–08 financial crisis; the effects of the crisis on the main characters are the catalyst for them to conduct heist missions.The three interwoven stories had a positive critical reception and confirmed the team's confidence that building Grand Theft Auto V around this model was an innovative decision.In early conceptualisations, the game would have told three stories; each through a different protagonist.Grand Theft Auto V was envisioned to exceed the core mechanics of the Grand Theft Auto series by giving players three lead protagonists to switch between.The team's main motivation for including three protagonists was for Grand Theft Auto V to innovate game storytelling and to prevent the series from feeling stale by not evolving the core structure of the gameplay.Repeating ourselves is a fear when we're doing games where part of the evolution is just technological".The team drew upon game protagonist archetypes during the scripting the characters.In gameplay, the three characters' differing personalities and qualities are intended to appeal to a broad spectrum of players, while offering players the option to learn more about the characters throughout the game.The central theme to the story of Grand Theft Auto V is the "pursuit of the almighty dollar".The use of multiple lead protagonists, as well as the cast in general, has received generally positive reviews from gaming magazines and websites.The three main playable characters in Grand Theft Auto V are Michael De Santa, a retired former bank robber who lives with his dysfunctional family on the proceeds of his former life; Franklin Clinton, a gang member who makes a living as a repo man for an unscrupulous Armenian car dealership; and Trevor Philips, Michael's former partner in crime, who lives alone in a trailer in the desert, where his reckless and psychotic behaviours are fuelled by drug addiction.