April 14, 2024

A brand new report confirms that as Rockstar Video games is getting into the ultimate levels of improvement on Grand Theft Auto 6, the corporate is mandating that workers should return to the workplace 5 days per week beginning in April, to no applause from anybody.

Bloomberg reported on February 28 that the corporate’s head of publishing, Jenn Kolbe, made the return-to-office determination. In an e-mail to workers, Kolbe stated that the reasoning for the mandate got here all the way down to productiveness and safety issues, significantly following an enormous breach in 2022 that spilled the tea on the crime sim. She additionally stated that Rockstar Video games discovered “tangible advantages” from our bodies being in workplace seats.

“Making these modifications now places us in the perfect place to ship the following Grand Theft Auto on the stage of high quality and polish we all know it requires, together with a publishing roadmap that matches the size and ambition of the sport,” Kolbe stated.

That sounds good, however nobody’s shopping for it. On Twitter, builders from myriad studios decried the choice, calling the return-to-office mandate “bullshit.” “Return to Workplace Mandates are layoffs,” a former Bungie worker tweeted. “Distant employees are successfully instructed: Transfer or Stop.” “Headline needs to be ‘Rockstar lays off all distant employees,’” posted a Sucker Punch developer.

Devs fear about work-life steadiness at Rockstar Video games

It’s not simply people outdoors of Rockstar Video games which can be upset with this mandate. In accordance with a February 29 IGN report, builders on the studio are criticizing the corporate’s determination as nicely. Talking to the publication anonymously, one worker stated that working from residence has been “a lifeline for many people,” specifying that Rockstar Video games must “rethink their reckless determination making and interact with their workers” to seek out options that work for everybody. One other nameless worker stated they worry having to “work late hours within the workplace,” which might imply builders would miss out on “spending time with our households.”

Additional, the Impartial Employees of Nice Britain, a union that represents U.Ok. builders (Rockstar North in Edinburgh, Scotland is main improvement on GTA 6), has additionally slammed Rockstar Video games for the return-to-office transfer. The group’s chair, Austin Kelmore, claimed to IGN in the identical report that firm administration will “pull the plug” on distant entry know-how on April 15, primarily forcing workers to come back into the workplace or else. He continued:

The employees within the IWGB Recreation Employees Union at Rockstar are pushing for transparency over pay and promotions, a wholesome and inclusive office tradition, and work life steadiness [centered] round what every employee wants. It’s unacceptable that Rockstar management have gone again on their phrase time and time once more and have ignored the employees’ requests for primary working circumstances. Employees throughout the business are performed with letting executives make reckless and dangerous selections and the Rockstar employees are exhibiting us the beginning of what’s to come back in the event that they’re regularly ignored. There’s no higher time than now to affix our union and push for this to be the wholesome and sustainable video games business we all know it may be.

Kotaku has reached out to Rockstar Video games for remark.

Return-to-office mandates have been a hot-button subject within the video games business because the covid-19 pandemic upended longstanding methods of doing enterprise. Work-from-home insurance policies have opened the door for a lot of people to seek out employment at studios they won’t have in any other case, significantly disabled builders who can’t all the time make it to an workplace. Rockstar Video games isn’t the primary developer to insist upon a return to workplace. Activision Blizzard demanded the identical of its workers in February 2023.


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