In an interview the Rockstar boss says letting us have Michael, Franklin and Trevor from the start would "hurt the gameplay and the story." We'll get to know them gradually.
It's unknown which of the three we'll assume first as Benzies gave nothing away in the French interview. However the entire GTA V map will be open straight away.
No massive wanted level for leaving the Los Santos city limits this time.
"Much of the game relies on the three characters and the way in which the lifestyle and actions of one affect the other two," said Leslie Benzies in the interview, translated by Google linguistic shamans.
"We think of the three characters from the start but we thought that it would hurt the gameplay and the story. We want to give the player the opportunity to know the three characters individually and explore the world of each of them, and it would not have been possible if the three had been available from the start."
The characters can meet up between major story elements however, provided you know the location of them like where they live, work or sometimes hangout - so the player can force interactions.
"You can meet each character if you know where they are," said lead designer Imran Sarwar. "For example, if Michael leaves after a mission and you play Trevor, you can go to meet him. You can also force things, if you wish, from one character to another and make them meet. They can then become friends and spend time together."
"We thought to make the characters appear on the map to be able to follow the day to day in the city, but we chose to focus our efforts on the system of interchangeable characters."
Grand Theft Auto V releases on Xbox 360 and PS3 September 17th. The first gameplay trailer posted last week.