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Rockstar Games Is Cleaning Up Its Act

Rockstar makes changes to work practices and sets the scene for a cleaner GTA VI

It has come to light that Rockstar Games was working on a new game mode for Grand Theft Auto Online in 2020. However, after the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer, the game design company shelved the controversial game mode indefinitely.

The canceled game mode, Cops ‘n’ Crooks, involved separating players into teams of police officers and criminals. While Grand Theft Auto has never shied away from violence, the game mode would have been inappropriate in the wake of protests against police violence. 

GTA V gets a retouch

Rockstar has also made GTA V more politically correct by removing transphobic comments from the title. Additionally, the video game giant has dramatically diminished its gender pay gap.

Now, these internal company changes are being reflected in the design for GTA VI with the upcoming title rumoured to be the first in the franchise to feature a female protagonist. Also – in a switch from earlier GTA games – insiders are reporting that Grand Theft Auto VI will avoid making fun of marginalized groups.

These changes are surprising coming from a company known for a game series where female characters primarily exist to be objectified and violence against innocent parties is rampant.

Rockstar Games was also a famous longtime perpetrator of requiring employees to work excessive amounts of overtime to complete titles on time. However, the game developer is attempting to offer a more compassionate work environment, leading to a higher level of morale among employees. Other changes include removing abusive and difficult managers, offering employees better mental health benefits, a new flextime policy and less overtime as the games industry as a whole makes moves to clean up its act.

While these changes are improving Rockstar Game’s work environment, it’s also leading to the delay in GTA VI’s development. Several Rockstar employees have said they don’t expect the game to be released for at least two years.

As the first details begin to break cover, GTA VI was set to have the largest game world in GTA history, including large areas of North and South America. However, Rockstar has reeled in its plans, choosing to make the game map centre around a fictional city inspired by Miami. Additionally the company are planning to add new missions and other content over time.

What’s new in games?

While GTA VI is currently Rockstar’s most significant project, other exciting games are also in the works at other studios. EA is in the early stages of developing an open-world Black Panther game. Additionally, Nacon is developing games based on Robocop and Terminator. And social favourites Snap Inc recently launched Ghost Phone, the company’s first game.

Written By

Jack Brassell is a freelance journalist and aspiring novelist. Jack is a self-proclaimed nerd with a lifelong passion for storytelling. As an author, Jack writes mostly horror and young adult fantasy. Also an avid gamer, she works as the lead news editor at Hardcore Droid. When she isn't writing or playing games, she can often be found binge-watching Parks & Rec or The Office, proudly considering herself to be a cross between Leslie Knope and Pam Beasley.

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