In a report from Kotaku, Rockstar Games has made several changes in its company culture following the release of Red Redemption 2 in October 2018.
“We have taken conscious steps to improve our approach to developing games in order to reduce the need for overtime,” says Jennifer Kolbe, a Rockstar executive in an email to staff members. “We realize we still have plenty to do in this area and will continue to take steps so we can more accurately predict and schedule games and DLC in a way that is more sustainable but still allows us the creative flexibility to iterate on the incredibly ambitious and complex games we make.”
Leading up to Red Dead 2‘s release, reports came out about Rockstar’s work culture which included crunch, with some people working 100 hour work weeks. Rockstar isn’t the only one that’s come under fire for crunch. Developers like Naughty Dog have had employees crunch which led to losing over 70% of their non-lead designers and developers who worked on Uncharted 4.
In addition to less overtime, Rockstar will offer flexible schedules for its developers, anonymous surveys for feedback, management and leadership training, and more updates on the company’s games and future. Additionally, they’ve held meetings about sexual harassment and conduct and gotten rid of management who contributed to cultural problems in the studios.
“In these last several months we have undertaken a lot of work across every area of the company, looking at our processes to determine what works and what doesn’t, what we are great at and what we could improve,” continues Kolbe. “We hope that the majority of you have felt s0me of these positive changes already and those that haven’t soon will.”
With the world going navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, Rockstar is letting their employees work from home. Additionally, they’ll be donating five percent of their revenue from GTA Online and Red Dead Online to COVID-19 relief efforts.
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