On Wednesday morning, Jason Schreier revealed new specifics about the changing culture at Rockstar Games, the developers of the Grand Theft Auto series and Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2. Schreier’s report paints a picture of Rockstar attempting to transform itself into “a more progressive and compassionate workplace” after repeated accusations of workplace harassment and labor abuses, including a culture of crunch that sometimes lasted for months or years.
The most notable aspect of Schreier’s report was its focus on Rockstar’s changing work culture, and the company’s attempts to reduce crunch and address issues of employee harassment and abuse. Rockstar has been accused of labor abuses including reports of employees working 100 hour work weeks. Additionally, producer Imran Sarwar was accused of verbal abuse by several employees, and other stories of bullying and sexual assault at the company have surfaced in the past few years.
To address these issues, Rockstar has reportedly established a new chain of management with three separate directors. The studio has also added more producers to assess schedules and attempt to avoid the intense crunch that’s been normalized on previous games. Other changes include mental health and leave benefits and time off rewarded in exchange for overtime, which are in line with Rockstar’s recurring promise that “excessive overtime” will not be required for GTA 6.
Schreier’s report also confirmed more specific details about the content of GTA 6. The game is taking several “politically sensitive actions” to offset the reputation of the previous games for being intentionally offensive, including avoiding “punching down” with jokes about marginalized communities. The game will feature two protagonists modeled after Bonnie and Clyde, and will be set in a fictionalized version of Miami. While a solid release date is absent, the report notes that industry analysts expect the game to release in the 2024 fiscal year.