Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead to pause online access for George Floyd memorial
Out of respect for the George Floyd memorial on Thursday afternoon, videogame publisher Rockstar announced it will temporarily shut down online access for its games for two hours beginning at 2 p.m. ET.
"Black Lives Matter," begins a pair of tweets from the official Rockstar channel. "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."
Grand Theft Auto Online is the multiplayer online RPG for the Grand Theft Auto series, while Red Dead Online is the equivalent for the Western-themed Red Dead Redemption games.
Rockstar also pointed followers to the non-profit Charity Navigator "in further honoring the many victims of America's racial injustices by supporting their families, black-owned businesses, those marching on the streets, and coalitions through the organizations listed here."
Other actions from the gaming space have been taken in light of the on-going protests.
In a statement to Polygon, Take-Two Interactive will halt online activity for 2K Games and Social Point titles for the same two-hour window at 2 p.m. ET. At the start of the month, Activision delayed the launch of Modern Warfare season 4 and Call of Duty: Mobile season 7 to "later dates," Fortnite creator Epic Games delayed the live Device event until June 15 and the new Fortnite season to June 17.
Floyd died at age 46 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Three other officers were on the scene, two of which restrained Floyd. All four cops have since been taken into custody and charged following nationwide protests and rioting, with Derek Chauvin now facing a second-degree murder charge.
Many game studios and publishers have issued statements of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, while others announced financial donations to social justice organizations.
House House (Untitled Goose Game) donated $10,000 to community bail funds and mutual aid funds, Niantic (Pokémon Go) split $20,000 between the NAACP and Black Lives Matter, and Riot Games (Valorant) announced an unspecified amount to organizations that support "nationwide criminal justice reform," "longer-term solutions for systemic change to address racial bias," and "local communities with a focus on black-owned businesses."
To help combat systemic racism, please consider donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero, which is dedicated to ending police brutality in America through research-based strategies.
- Color of Change, which works to move decision makers in corporations and government to be more responsive to racial disparities.
- Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal services to people who have been wrongly convicted, denied a fair trial, or abused in state jails and prisons.
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