Both Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Online are temporarily being shut down on Thursday to support the Black Lives Matter movement and in memory of George Floyd’s death, Rockstar Games announced this week. The online extensions of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2 will be taken offline from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET, Rockstar Games said. The announcement was followed up with a request that the consumers of Rockstar Games’ titles join the company and others in supporting Black-owned business and taking part in other efforts to support Black communities and fight against racial injustices.
Rockstar’s announcement was shared on social media well ahead of the planned downtime for Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Online. The time for the games going offline was followed by the urging for others to participate how they can in honoring lives lost and those who need assistance.
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.— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) June 4, 2020
Following the memorial, we hope you will join us in further honoring the many victims of America's racial injustices by supporting their families, black-owned businesses, those marching on the streets, and coalitions through the organizations listed here: https://t.co/yIQu2R1pJb— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) June 4, 2020
Both games referenced above are the online versions of their extremely popular single-player counterparts. While the games drew in a considerable number of players for their stories, it’s the online component of Grand Theft Auto V that’s kept players occupied for years after the game’s release and has contributed to its continued success. Millions of players will soon be unable to play in the online games once the servers are taken offline.
This is the first public comment Rockstar has made about the death of Floyd. Other companies have made similar efforts to postpone their plans for events, delay releases, and to donate money towards various organizations. Humble Bundle has pledged money towards Black game developers, for example, and Sony has delayed its PlayStation 5 event to free up space for more pressing matters to be discussed. Rockstar has not announced any more details about its plans for support whether that means donating or other efforts beyond shutting down the two online games.