This is an announcement that most players around the world have been looking forward to. It’s now a reality, GTA 6 is in development and the game will be the next big production from Rockstar Games. Alas, this is not the announcement that everyone has been waiting for. There are already a lot of worries about this new production which would not be ready to arrive. At the same time, we learn that working conditions in the studios of "the starred firm" seem to be improving from month to month.

GTA 6 – A game at the beginning of its development?

So it’s official, it’s in a long file with journalist Jason Schreier (who just left office), which we learn via an official statement from Rockstar Games, that their next big project is currently in production. And by "next big project", the starred firm specifies that it is the next chapter of the Grand Theft Auto saga. A statement that should delight players around the world. However, this statement worries many players. In fact, in this same file and in this same declaration, Rockstar specifies that this next GTA should be “modest in size” (but which, according to Rockstar standards, would always be a big game) which would be continually fed with new content. But why such a change? And why such a young development?

Since February 2020, things seem to have changed a lot in the ranks of Rockstar Games, since the departure of its co-founder Dan Houser. Significant changes are taking place within the various Rockstar studios. The company has 10 studios worldwide with some 2,000 employees. In October 2018, just before the release of Red Dead Redemption II, Rockstar Games had been pinned by this same Jason Schreier for big problems in terms of working conditions. Over the past year and a half, things have been improving greatly to the point of slowing the pace of game development.

Rockstar Games: Big changes in the ranks

Rockstar Games Launcher

© Rockstar Games

“We have flexible hours for developers from Rockstar studios in California and the UK; management and leadership training; anonymous surveys to collect employee feedback; regular updates on future games and company updates; and better communication all around our studios. (…) We have taken conscious steps to improve our approach to game development to reduce the need for overtime. We realize that we still have a lot to do in this area and will continue to take steps to be able to more accurately predict and plan games and DLC in a more sustainable way, but one that still gives us the creative flexibility to iterate on incredibly ambitious projects and complex games we do. "

These words are signed Jennifer Kolbe, producer at Rockstar Games who announces big changes in the studio in recent months and for the months to come. A desire for Rockstar to offer a better quality of life and better conditions for its employees and developers. In a Kotaku survey, things have been improving for more than a year and a half. A total of fifteen employees (who are still with Rockstar or who have been gone for less than a year) who testify and confirm the new measures taken by the starred firm.

It seems to be a healthier culture overall. We will see in a year or two if I pull my hair out, but it looks like we are going in the right direction to be a company the size we are.

Anonymous developer at Rockstar Games

It’s like there is an operation to get rid of bad eggs. There are still bad eggs around, don't get me wrong, but it looks like their days are numbered.

Anonymous developer at Rockstar Games

The changes have been good enough for me to stay and give them a chance, but let's see what happens when the pressures to deliver a final product come true.

Anonymous developer at Rockstar Games

The problem with Red Dead Redemption 2 was not just a matter of scope. The culture was very focused on the idea that if you don't work overtime, you don't work hard.

Anonymous developer at Rockstar Games

I wish you were there (in 2018) to hear the sigh of global relief when people learned that overtime was becoming optional.

Anonymous developer at Rockstar Games

A series of testimonies that is really fun to read. The future looks bright for teams with better working conditions. But what about the future of the Rockstar business?

GTA 6, a game that already worries fans?

GTA VI Captain Hishiro logo

© Captain Hishiro

Since the announcement of a "modest" game that will be continually fed with new content through updates over the months, players have been constantly worried. In parallel, Jason Schreier also announced that the development of the game was only at its beginning. So GTA 6 wouldn't be ready to hit our consoles. Another worrying statement when you think that GTA V will celebrate its 7 years in September. Many well-informed sites around Rockstar Games news have confirmed that GTA 6 has been in development since 2015. So, why make such a statement? A statement confirmed by Rockstar in the Kotaku article. Is this a new warning sign of the consequences of Dan Houser's departure? Would the game be at the beginning of its development, simply because it would be starting from scratch? Would the initiative to create a “modest” size game compensate for this new start from scratch so as not to release the game too late? Could Rockstar abandon the idea of ​​a game like we used to know about them for an even more online mode game, as was the case with GTA V and GTA Online?

It is far too early to confirm or deny this kind of information. Rockstar is also a master in communication, everything seems possible to this day. It’s best to wait and wait for official information.