Rockstar Games have announced that they will be turning off the servers for Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Online this evening to honour the memory of George Floyd and act in solidarity with the anti-racism protests in America and around the world.
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
The servers will be offline today, 4th June, between 2-4PM EDT on the East Coast of America. That’s 11AM-1PM PDT on the West Coast, 7-9PM BST in the UK, and 8-10PM CEST in Europe.
We’ve seen a lot of messages and tributes over the last few days from video game companies standing with the Black Lives Matter movement and protests in America and around the world. A number of companies are turning those words into actions, whether it’s delaying game announcements in deference to the protestors, making donations to charity, or symbolic gestures such as this that will help to continue to raise awareness.
Others are pledging to make more meaningful changes going forward, through actions and policies in companies to promote minority representation, and though making promises to more stringently combat racism in already released games.
The protests have spread through the US and around the globe following the killing of George Floyd. He died after police officer Derek Chauvin restricted his breathing by placing a knee across his neck, despite protestations from Floyd that he could not breathe. After days of protests, Chauvin has since been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
George Floyd’s death was the latest in a long line of killings of black individuals by police through heavy handed approaches, and it seems to have been the spark that set off a powder keg. As the protests have spread, cities across the US have put curfews in place though this has not stopped confrontations between police and protestors, with many more instances of the police using violence without provocation being recorded over the last week.