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Rockstar Games Devs Must Return To Office In April For Security and Productivity

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Psy @Psy

Rockstar Games Devs Must Return To Office In April For Security and Productivity

Rockstar Games is urging all employees to return to the office five days a week starting in April, aiming to enhance productivity and security as GTA VI enters its final development stages.

According to an email sent out to staff by Jennifer Kolbe, Rockstar's Head of Publishing, which was reviewed by Bloomberg, Rockstar Games will ask all employees to return to the office five days a week from April 2024.

Developers have enjoyed more relaxed working conditions over recent years, with many able to work remotely from home, however, following a number of high profile leaks throughout the development process, it seems Rockstar Games feel it would be best for all developers to return to the office. The hope is this will not only increase security and prevent any further leaks, but also improve productivity as the game heads into the final stages of development.

Jenn Kolbe acknowledged that there are "tangible benefits" to work in person and explained the decision to staff; "Making these changes now puts us in the best position to deliver the next Grand Theft Auto at the level of quality and polish we know it requires, along with a publishing roadmap that matches the scale and ambition of the game".

Bloomberg's Jason Schreier stated in a tweet that Rockstar's employees are "not thrilled" about this change to their working conditions, however.

Jason Schreier Tweet - Feb 29, 2024

The final stages of a video games' development often require all hands to the pump, with employees working as hard as possible to polish and fix any bugs in the game before its release. As the deadlines get tighter, the working day often grows longer.

Developers will hope that Rockstar Games stick by improvements put in place in 2020, where Kolbe herself explained they planned a number of changes to working conditions, including "flexible schedules for developers at Rockstar’s studios, from California to the United Kingdom; management and leadership training; anonymous surveys to collect feedback from employees; regular updates on the company’s future games and updates; and better communication all around" and explained “We have taken conscious steps to improve our approach to developing games in order to reduce the need for overtime”.

It's important to note that the recent email from Jenn Kolbe doesn't mean that the game is 'almost finished' and there is likely another full year of development before Grand Theft Auto VI is ready for release. With no official launch date announced so far, employees will hope the working conditions remain relaxed and without crunch despite the call to return to the office.

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