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Will Rockstar's New Policies Affect Grand Theft Auto?

Rockstar Games has had its fair share of controversies over the years. None, though, has come close to the revelation that Rockstar was overworking its employees pretty severely. It all started when Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser boasted that he and the Red Dead Redemption 2 writing team were working 100-hour workweeks. Rather than conjure up admiration, this comment set off an investigation that discovered a horrendous culture of crunch behind closed doors at Rockstar.

Anonymous developers described working 60-to-70-hours a week while dealing with managers who looked down on them if they went home. The story sounded like a nightmare when it first broke, but it seems some good came out of it. Rockstar pledged to improve — now we're seeing the company make good on that promise.

Rockstar is now allowing for more flexible development schedules and is doing more to put its employees first. These new policies will affect development of the next Grand Theft Auto title which, in case you missed it, was confirmed. According to Kotaku's Jason Schreier, instead of publishing huge, sprawling games like GTA 5 or Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar will release a "moderately sized title" (which he rightly points out would still be huge) and then expand upon it with regular updates. This strategy should minimize the need for crunch. On the flip side, this means we'll have to wait longer for Rockstar games to be completed.

We have yet to see an official reveal of the newest GTA title, so the odds are good we're a long way off from getting the final product — especially now that Rockstar is allowing for more dev time. Production is just now getting started, according to reports, and it's anyone's guess as to how long it will take to finish the game. Once GTA 6 is released, continual updates will keep us coming back for more... which seems like a good deal for both players and the hard working developers at Rockstar.