It seems that the recent controversy surrounding the overtime practices at Rockstar Games has reached a conclusion, with the formerly mandatory overtime during the final months of the game's development period now becoming optional.
Variety is reporting that Rockstar Games has confirmed that all overtime work going forward is optional. The schedule for all overtime work is also going to be changed in order to make it more flexible for the needs of the employees.
The controversy surrounding the overtime issues at Rockstar Games started earlier this month when the VP of the company told Vulture that the staff had been putting in one-hundred hours of work per week in order to ensure that Red Dead Redemption 2 was ready for release. This statement caused a stir among fans and pundits alike, especially in regards to the recent revelations concerning the working practices at the now-defunct Telltale Games.
The issue was exacerbated when a Rockstar employee took to Reddit and confirmed that all overtime at the Lincoln studio was not optional. The employees were paid for the overtime but they weren't allowed to refuse it. If an employee was unable to work for any reason, then they would have to make it up at a later date, which included giving up their weekends.
The impending release of Red Dead Redemption 2 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has likely forced Rockstar's hand and made sure that they resolved this issue as quickly as possible, as they don't want any negative press surrounding this huge game that has been in development for years.
There have also been some other changes made to the rules at Rockstar Games, such as a loosening of the policy surrounding employees being able to comment on company practices on social media, which was previously a huge no-no. The Reddit commentator had confirmed that employees were under a strict NDA when it came to talking about internal events at Rockstar, which is why these harmful practices took so long to come to light.
The question now is whether these new policies will stick or will be abandoned when the spotlight shifts after the release of Red Dead Redemption 2. It's possible that we see all of these events played out again when Grand Theft Auto VI is finally released.