'GTA VI' Developers Express Displeasure With Rockstar Over a Mandatory Return to Office

Come April, employees are expected to be in-office five days a week.

Gaming
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Developers at Rockstar are at odds with the company following a mandatory return to office five days a week, the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) detailed in a new report.

Just the other day, Rockstar asked those working on GTA VI to resume work in person by April to wrap up the game. The reasoning likely stems from the copious leaks of the game – one of which saw a teenager sentenced to life in a prison hospital – and wanting to mitigate that risk.

Most of Rockstar’s operations take place at its headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland, though the company does have locations in the UK and abroad.

The IWGB is now criticizing Rockstar for the imposed return to the office, which it says the studio based on unproven “security concerns and reduced productivity.” Last year, 170 employees had signed a petition with the IWGB rallying against a mandatory three-day in-office week.

The Union is saying that Rockstar had sent an email saying, “This isn’t our first step to five days a week. No one wants to go back to the old way of working.” It also says that despite promises of flexible work-from-home arrangements, the studio is threatening to pull the plug on employees’ access to remote working technology by April 15.

“Workers criticizing the move have pointed to the widely accepted benefits of remote work, and highlighted the difficulties that this decision will pose to employees with disabilities, care responsibilities, or health issues,” the IWGB said. “Additional concerns have been raised by those who have moved their lives further away from the studios or made adjustments around their families that would now need to be repealed in under 6 weeks to comply with the demands.”

The IWGB interviewed current Rockstar employees, who told the Union that they weren’t consulted about the decision and feared they’d be forced to work overtime to attend meetings with global teams, while they’d previously be able to attend those late-night meetings from home.

Other employees cited similar concerns, as well as the inability of some colleagues with disabilities to return to the office.

“After so many broken promises we now fear management may even be paving the way for a return to toxic ‘crunch’ practices,” one employee said. “Senior leadership need to rethink their reckless decision making and engage with their staff to find an arrangement that works for everyone.”

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