Rockstar is the latest giant in the video game industry to show its support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Earlier today, the UK-based studio, responsible for creating some of the most popular and successful entertainment franchises of all-time in the form of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, confirmed in a post on Twitter that it would be temporarily taking the servers for both games’ online modes down in an effort to raise awareness of current events and to “honor the legacy of George Floyd.”
The full statement reads as follows:
Black Lives Matter. To honor the legacy of George Floyd, today, 6/4/20, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET, we will be shutting down access to our online games, Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Online.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man from Minneapolis, Minnesota, died on May 25th while in police custody as a result of asphyxiation from neck compression. Police officer Derek Chauvin has since been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter and the tragedy has once more reignited debate and protests over racial inequality both in the US and around the world.
Rockstar follows suit with games companies such as Bungie, Square Enix, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo in publically supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and donating to charities both directly and by matching those pledged independently by employees. Additionally, Sony confirmed earlier this week that it had decided to cancel a special event due to go-ahead earlier today that had originally been intended to showcase its upcoming PlayStation 5 hardware, deeming it to be timed inappropriately, given the circumstances.
Following the conclusion of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Online‘s scheduled downtime, Rockstar says it hopes fans of its games will join it in “further honoring the many victims of America’s racial injustices” in whatever way they can.