GTA 6 developers blast Rockstar’s “reckless” decision to return to office full-time

Developers at GTA 6 studio Rockstar Games have criticised the company for telling employees they must return to the office full-time next month, calling leadership’s decision “reckless”.

As reported yesterday, employees at Rockstar have been told to return to the office five days a week, now that GTA 6 is entering the final stretch of development. Studio management cited security and productivity reasons for this upcoming change, which will come into effect in April.

Since this announcement, the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has blasted Rockstar for its plans to withdraw remote working provisions for the “majority” of its staff, noting the studio said any exceptions to the new rules will be “rare”.

The first trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6.Watch on YouTube

Referencing a petition signed by 170 Rockstar Games workers last year opposing mandatory three-day office work, the union said the studio’s latest decision “marks a U-turn from previous statements in which the company insisted flexible work options would remain available”.

In addition, several members of the development team have spoken to the IWGB, voicing concerns about a return to full-time office work. An anonymous Rockstar employee told the union that working from home had been “a lifeline” for many members of staff. “Now, Rockstar is snatching away that lifeline without a second thought for the workers who’ll be impacted most,” they said.

“After so many broken promises we now fear management may even be paving the way for a return to toxic ‘crunch’ practices. Senior leadership need to rethink their reckless decision making and engage with their staff to find an arrangement that works for everyone.”

Another employee said there had been no consultation from management prior to the change. Again, they cited concerns that staff will soon be expected to “work late hours in the office to maintain contact with global teams”. Previously, staff had been able to log in to meetings held outside normal working hours remotely if required.

“This will mean missing out on spending time with our families,” they said, adding concerns for “colleagues who have health issues preventing full time office work who are now left in limbo”.

Rockstar’s developers all “care greatly” about the games they make, one worker said, adding the team’s “passion, skill, and talent should never be taken for granted by studio management”.

“It is together, through collaboration and a healthy work life balance and workplace culture that we continue making some of the most beloved and spectacular games in our industry,” they said.

The union itself also released a statement, which said it was “unacceptable” that leadership had decided to go “back on their word time and time again”.

“The workers in the IWGB Game Workers Union at Rockstar are pushing for transparency over pay and promotions, a healthy and inclusive workplace culture, and work life balance centred around what each worker needs,” IWGB Game Workers chair Austin Kelmore wrote.

“Workers across the industry are done with letting executives make reckless and harmful decisions and the Rockstar workers are showing us the start of what’s to come if they’re continually ignored. There’s no better time than now to join our union and push for this to be the healthy and sustainable games industry we know it can be.”

Eurogamer has asked Rockstar for further comment.

GTA 6 is scheduled to launch in 2025 on both Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. Rockstar is yet to give a timeframe for a PC release. For more on the game, here’s everything we know about GTA 6 so far.


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