GTA 6 devs hit out at Rockstar’s ‘reckless’ return-to-office mandate

A number of Rockstar Games developers have criticised the company for telling employees they must return to the office full-time in April.

Earlier this week, Rockstar informed staff of plans to end its hybrid working policy for productivity and security reasons.

The move follows a number of high-profile Grand Theft Auto 6 leaks, and Rockstar head of publishing Jenn Kolbe said the company found there are “tangible benefits” from in-person work, Bloomberg reported.

The decision has been heavily criticised by the Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB) and a number of its members who are Rockstar employees.

They say the plan to withdraw remote working provisions for the majority of staff on April 15 represents the latest in a series of broken promises, and that it could lead to the return of unhealthy working practices at the company.

Last year, unionised Rockstar workers submitted a petition with 175 signatures, calling for continued remote work options in response to a mandatory transition to a three-day office week.

At the time, Rockstar reportedly stated in an employee-wide email: “This isn’t our first step to 5 days a week. No one wants to go back to the old way of working.”

An anonymous employee said: “Working from home has been a lifeline for many of us at Rockstar, allowing us to balance care responsibilities, manage disabilities, and relocate as we need. Now, Rockstar is snatching away that lifeline without a second thought for the workers who’ll be impacted most.

“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 Rockstar employee said: “As usual, there has been zero consultation with us: the people who these policy changes most affect. Just one of my concerns is being forced to work late hours in the office to maintain contact with global teams when before we could log on from home to attend late meetings. This will mean missing out on spending time with our families. I am also aware of colleagues who have health issues preventing full time office work who are now left in limbo.”

Speaking on behalf of their colleagues, another worker said: “We the staff care greatly about the games we make and our 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.”

In recent years, Rockstar has reportedly made progress in mitigating its once infamous crunch culture, which saw staff expected to work overtime at nights and weekends to keep projects on schedule. The first Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer was released in December, confirming a planned 2025 release date.

“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,” said IWGB game workers chair Austin Kelmore. “It is unacceptable that Rockstar leadership have gone back on their word time and time again and have ignored the workers’ requests for basic working conditions.

“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.”

Related Forum: Grand Theft Auto Forum



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Well if stuff was getting out they have to check everyone