Rockstar Games improves workplace culture ahead of GTA 6

by Adam Fitch  · 
Rockstar Games improves workplace culture ahead of GTA 6
Rockstar Games

Rockstar Games has been cleaning up its workplace culture, according to a Bloomberg report.

Going through changes: The report cites over 20 sources, including current or recently departed employees.

  • Bloomberg's sources previously described Rockstar Games as having a "workplace culture full of drinking, brawling and excursions to strip clubs."
  • Like many games studios, Rockstar was guilty of having staff working way beyond their designated hours to see a game through to release. Now, it's made changes to ensure this is minimized, including a 'flexitime' program that allows staff to immediately take time off for every additional hour that they work.
  • Having faced criticism over the years for the gender pay gap within the company, it has since worked to narrow the difference. In 2021, its gender pay gap hit a mean of 48.4% and a median of 13.8%. Its female headcount rose 15% for the year but the gap will fluctuate as women rise through the ranks at the studio.

It's in the game: These changes are reflected in the work that the studio produces.

  • Rockstar removed transphobic jokes from the most recent console release of Grand Theft Auto V and developers are now increasingly conscious of not punching down at marginalized groups through jokes.
  • GTA 6, whenever it sees the light of day, will include a female playable protagonist for the first time. The Latina character will serve as part of a duo based on bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde.
  • In helping with reducing the crunch many employees feel as a game ramps up towards release, Rockstar has drastically reduced the scale of the map for the upcoming title. What once included large parts of North and South America is now reportedly a fictitious version of Miami.