Rockstar Developers Are Frustrated With Rockstar Games For ‘Reckless’ Return-to-Office Mandate


Rockstar Games

Rockstar Developers Are Frustrated With Rockstar Games For ‘Reckless’ Return-to-Office Mandate

Dhruv Bhatnagar
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News reports confirmed that Rockstar Games is entering the final stages of development on Grand Theft Auto 6. The company mandated that all its employees return to the office five days a week starting in April.
However, multiple developers have hit out against the company's return-to-office mandate and accused Rockstar of 'broken promises.'

There’s no doubt that the landscape of video game development is often tumultuous, marked by constant progress and rapid changes. A notable shift occurred recently at Rockstar Games, the company behind the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto (GTA) 6. Rockstar Games mandated that all employees return to the office full-time as GTA 6 draws closer to completion. The decision aligned with the game’s advancement into the final stages of development and indicated a focus on security and collaboration during this crucial phase. However, this has come along with some developers at Rockstar Games unhappy with the changes.

Rockstar Developers Oppose Rockstar Games’ Return-to-Office  Mandate 

News of Rockstar’s mandate swiftly sparked outrage across social media platforms, with developers from various labels labeling the decision as draconian. On behalf of its members working at Rockstar Games, the British IWGB Game Workers Union slammed the company for the return-to-office move. Some of the members called the move “reckless decision making" and accused the studio of “broken promises.” 

The accusation refers to an email sent out by Rockstar Games to all workers last year on the occasion of calling workers back to the office for three days a week, which seems to have said, “This isn’t our first step to 5 days a week. No one wants to go back to the old way of working.”

The union said, “Workers criticizing the move have pointed to the widely accepted benefits of remote work, and highlighted the difficulties that this decision will pose to employees with disabilities, care responsibilities, or health issues.” They further added, “Additional concerns have been raised by those who have moved their lives further away from the studios or made adjustments around their families that would now need to be repealed in under 6 weeks to comply with the demands.”

Another added “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”

It’s a known fact that return-to-office mandates have been a burning issue in the gaming industry since the COVID-19 pandemic upended ways of doing business. The work-from-home policies allowed many folks to find employment at studios, which they wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise, particularly disabled ones who couldn’t make it to an office. Rockstar Games isn’t the first developer that has asked developers upon a return to the office. We’ve seen Activision Blizzard demanding the same of its employees back in February 2023.

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