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Rockstar Games has acquired a new culture; A different future awaits GTA

BingMag.com <b>Rockstar</b> <b>Games</b> has <b>acquired</b> a <b>new</b> <b>culture;</b> A <b>different</b> <b>future</b> <b>awaits</b> GTA

In the summer of 2020, after a police officer killed George Floyd, Rockstar Games quietly dropped a game mode it had planned for GTA Online ( Grand Theft Auto Online) was abandoned.

This mode, which was called Cops 'n' Crooks, seemed to be a take on a children's game where children are divided into two groups, good and bad, but according to The circumstances of the time and its violent tone and the violent actions of the American police made Rockstar withdraw from his decision. The company's senior executives, worried about how this would be interpreted in an era of heightened suspicion and mistrust of American police, dropped it. They have not yet made plans to bring it back, according to people familiar with the project's development.

It was one of several politically sensitive moves Rockstar has made in recent years. The company removed transphobic jokes from the latest console version of Grand Theft Auto V and significantly narrowed its gender pay gap. Also, according to people familiar with the studio's projects, Rockstar's next game, Grand Theft Auto VI, is set to host a female main playable character for the first time.

This character is a Latina woman. , will be one of the two main and playable characters of the next work of Rockstar. These two main characters are inspired by Bonnie and Clyde, a pair of American robbers and lawbreakers. Unlike previous games, the developers are also careful not to make bad jokes about marginalized groups.

BingMag.com <b>Rockstar</b> <b>Games</b> has <b>acquired</b> a <b>new</b> <b>culture;</b> A <b>different</b> <b>future</b> <b>awaits</b> GTA

According to the published report, the main characters of GTA 6 are a man and a woman, inspired by the famous and real thieves "Bonnie" and "Clyde".

These decisions seemed unimaginable to Rockstar at the time, since their best-selling franchise is a satirical depiction of America that puts you in the role of gangsters who kill civilians and break the law, and where women are mostly portrayed as sex objects.

Grand Theft Auto V was a nihilistic parody that insulted everything from right-wing radio shows to liberal politicians. According to the employees, the culture inside the company was not much different. Rockstar was a well-known symbol of one of the studios' biggest problems in the industry, the overtime and overwork of employees known as the "crunch".

This strategy was financially successful, and the theft Bigger made Cars 5 the second best-selling game in history with 165 million copies sold. This also led to attrition and attrition among studio employees and public controversy in 2018, which saw hundreds of Rockstar employees speak out about the difficult working environment at the studio.

However, it seems that in These years, Rockstar Peace has been in the process of reforming and improving conditions. According to interviews with more than 20 people who work there or have recently left, Rockstar has tried to rebrand itself as a more progressive and caring workplace. One employee described the situation as Rockstar going from "a boys' club to a real company". produce? Some employees are not sure. Employee morale across the company is higher than ever, according to many employees. But the development of Grand Theft Auto VI is slower than the impatient fans and even long-time employees expected. is that the company has implemented efforts to improve working conditions, such as restructuring the design department and committing to keep overtime under control. Some employees say they're still trying to figure out how to make a game in this new Rockstar approach, and don't even know what a Grand Theft Auto game looks like in today's society. In addition, several Rockstar employees pointed out that it actually satirized America today because it is satirical.

BingMag.com <b>Rockstar</b> <b>Games</b> has <b>acquired</b> a <b>new</b> <b>culture;</b> A <b>different</b> <b>future</b> <b>awaits</b> GTA

Given this new approach in the way the studio works and the departure of Dan Houser, the manager and creative director behind many Rockstar games, all indications are that the development conditions of GTA 6 will be very different from its predecessor.

Rockstar Games was founded in 1998 by a small group of British game developers as a subsidiary of Take-Two. With 2001's Grand Theft Auto III and its sequels, the company revolutionized open-world video Games and employs thousands, with offices in California, new York, across the UK and beyond. According to available official information, GTA-related products accounted for about 31 percent of TikTok's total revenue of $3.5 billion in fiscal 2022.

Jamie King, one of the founders who left the studio after eight years, He stated that the studio was built on a seven-day-a-week culture, but he said that this type of culture was unsustainable. Games like Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3 required what some employees referred to as "death marches," which involved working 14-hour days for months on end and even working weekends, which cost lives. , the mental health and sometimes the marriage and marital life of the employees were affected.

Rockstar's positive changes and developments in the field of culture and working conditions include changes in work schedules and plans, converting contract employees to full-time employees and dismissing several managers. Employees find their behavior offensive or difficult to work with. Also, when the corona pandemic started, employees received care packages, cloth masks and amazing bonuses. Amid protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by police officers, the company announced donations to Black Lives Matter charities, as well as employee benefits such as mental health counseling and new vacations. given. A new policy called "flex time" allows employees to take immediate time off for every hour of overtime worked, and for the past four years, management at the studio has promised that for Grand Theft Auto VI, one of the most anticipated video Games of all time, is, overtime will not be necessary.

BingMag.com <b>Rockstar</b> <b>Games</b> has <b>acquired</b> a <b>new</b> <b>culture;</b> A <b>different</b> <b>future</b> <b>awaits</b> GTA

It's been years since the last depiction of Vice City, or Miami, in the GTA series. Early plans for the game, codenamed Project Americas, were to be more expansive than any other GTA game. The initial designs of the game's map were based on placing large parts of North and South America, but in the end, the studio decided to lower the initial scale a little and put a fictional version of Miami and its surrounding areas in the main game.

new missions and cities. Rockstar studio management hopes that this approach will cause less crunch in the final months of GTA 6 development. Of course, due to this reduction in scale, the map and the world of the game are still very large, and its internal locations are more than any game in the GTA series, and its world is even supposed to get bigger over time.

For Avoiding overtime, Rockstar has brought on more producers to keep up with the show, a move that developers say has added more and more positives to the studio but also created bottlenecks. Some employees said that they waited to communicate through intermediaries or that they felt that there were many people in charge, which sometimes left them confused about who should make the final decision and tell them. /p>

Industry analysts expect the next GTA game to be released in Tiktok's fiscal year 2024, which covers the period from April 2023 to March 2024. However, the developers are a little hesitant about this position. The game has been in development in some form since 2014, but the developers have stated that they expect the game to be in development for another two years. Earlier this year, a group of designers walked out of Rockstar's Edinburgh office, telling colleagues they were fed up with the game's lack of progress. Still, many others say they're happy working at a company where there's little pressure to release a new game.

Obviously, recent developments in better working conditions and improved studio culture prevent crunch. It's been great, but we'll have to wait and see if Rockstar manages to strike a balance between this and still deliver the final output of the project that avid GTA fans have come to expect.


Source: Bloomberg

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