Rockstar Games, known for its boys-club mentality, is looking to clean its image if a new report from Bloomberg is to be believed.
Jason Schreier, prominent reporter from Bloomberg posted a Tweet today outlining the scrubbing of the image Rockstar Games has made for itself over the many years in the gaming industry. A studio once known for cultivating a ‘frat-boy culture’ has made giant strides towards becoming a centre of equality, according to a Bloomberg report that went live earlier Wednesday morning.
The report goes on to mention scrapped online game modes that were likely to be considered tone-deaf such as a new game mode for GTA Online called ‘Cops n Crooks,’ that was never released due to the influx of police violence that was taking place in the same timeframe. But the decision to move away from that idea is part of the cleaning process, the report points out.
This was one of several politically sensitive actions Rockstar, a division of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., has taken in recent years. The company removed transphobic jokes from the most recent console release of Grand Theft Auto V and significantly narrowed its gender pay gap. Rockstar’s next game, Grand Theft Auto VI, will include a playable female protagonist for the first time, according to people familiar with the game. The woman, who is Latina, will be one of a pair of leading characters in a story influenced by the bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde, the people said. Developers are also being cautious not to “punch down” by making jokes about marginalized groups, the people said, in contrast to previous games.– Bloomberg Report, Jason Schreier
The report goes through Rockstar Games’ rocky history, even the backlash from employees in 2018 following Red Dead Redemption 2‘s release was mentioned as a proverbial turning point for the company, with a focus then being placed on employee mental health, paid leave, and just general fairness from the studio that produced the second-highest selling game in history with GTA V. The Bloomberg report goes on to say one of the 20 employees spoken to at Rockstar Games suggested “a boys’ club transformed into a real company.”
With the transition of Rockstar, and the exciting report that a main GTA VI protagonist will be a Latina and set in a fictionalized version of Miami, morale at the company seems to be pushing itself to new limits. Although GTA VI‘s release date is far from concrete, the report goes on to suggest the title won’t see a release date for “at least” two years.