Many companies in the gaming space have been responding to the ongoing protests in the United States, spurred by the deaths of black Americans like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Today, Rockstar announced its own response: a moment of silence, or at least, a moment without GTA Online.
Posting to Twitter, Rockstar Games confirmed that both Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Online would be shut down from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET. to honor the legacy of George Floyd. Reiterating the phrase "Black Lives Matter," Rockstar also shared an aggregate of charities promoting civil rights causes in the United States.
Rockstar joins a growing list of companies who have spoken up about ongoing tensions over racial injustice in America. Nintendo voiced its support for the black community, as well as publishers like Ubisoft and Riot Games.
So while the alien gang wars and outlaw bounty hunting will come to a brief pause, it provides a few hours to reflect and learn. Most streams and announcements set for this week, in the vacuum of E3 2020's cancellation due to coronavirus concerns, have also shifted dates. Electronic Arts, CD Projekt Red, IGN's Summer of Gaming, and the big PlayStation 5 games reveal from Sony have all been pushed back to later on.
Players have also been organizing their own means of protest, as well as forming charity efforts around their shared hobby. A number of Mortal Kombat players, including Dominique "SonicFox" McLean, are competing in a charity tournament this weekend. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Splatoon 2, users are sharing in-game messages supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.