The studio's experience with L.A. Noire has Rockstar thinking about a game without guns.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Rockstar development VP Jeronimo Barrera said that his company would "absolutely" consider making a game without the usual video game gunplay.
"We're flirting with that in [L.A. Noire] – there are cases when you never draw a gun or chase a criminal," Barrera said. "It's something that's going to happen sooner than later."
Barrera says that L.A. Noire makes guns unnecessary because the game focuses more on conversation than bullets, and he happens to believe that that makes things far more interesting.
"At Rockstar, we're always trying to push the medium," continued Barrera. "If games are only going to be about shooting things, dying and starting over, that's a pretty boring future for us. So here's an opportunity where we thought, how can we make having a conversation be the focus of the gameplay?"
Rockstar, of course, is best known for the GTA series, so L.A. Noire is taking the brand in a new, more cerebral direction. Barrera says that it's been difficult, but the studio isn't afraid of new ideas.
"We're taking the same risks with L.A. Noire as we did when we published GTA 3," Barrera said. "At that time, I remember trying to explain to people that there aren't really any levels, you can go where you want, you activate missions when you want. It was going over people's heads. They thought it was absurd.
"Well, this game is a bit more cerebral, you have to talk to people, you have to figure out if they're telling you the truth, but it's taking that same sort of step that GTA took. We're going from having a cinematic experience that you can control to a human experience that you can control."
It's highly unlikely that shooters will ever fully disappear - the genre is far too popular - but given everything we know about L.A. Noire, Rockstar might not be crazy if they tried to make a game without the stereotypical gaming violence.