As protests against racial injustice and police brutality have spread across the United States following the death of George Floyd, many game developers and publishers have made public statements of support. Rockstar Games, 2K Games, and their parent company Take-Two Interactive announced addition action on Thursday, saying that they will shut down the servers for games such as Grand Theft Auto Online, Red Dead Online, and NBA 2K for two hours on Thursday afternoon “to honor the legacy of George Floyd.”
Floyd, a black man, died in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis after being pinned to the ground by multiple officers, one of whom pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Two autopsies have ruled Floyd’s death a homicide. Outrage over the incident has spilled into streets of all 50 states and around the world, leading to calls to reform the criminal justice system and more.
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
“Black Lives Matter,” said Rockstar Games on its official Twitter account. “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.”
“Following the memorial,” Rockstar added in a follow-up tweet, “we hope you will join us 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.”
Rockstar ended its thread with a link to Charity Navigator, a nonprofit organization that maintains a vetted list of civil rights-focused charities.
In addition to Rockstar’s titles, additional games from 2K Games and Social Point will go offline as well from 2-4 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Take-Two Interactive said in a statement to Polygon. The list includes NBA 2K, Dragon City, and Monster Legend. Private Division, whose portfolio includes The Outer Worlds and Kerbal Space Program, will also “suspend” its activities during the window.
“George Floyd’s memory will serve as a reminder that racism and the violence it incites cannot be tolerated,” Take-Two Interactive said. “We are committed to supporting efforts to eradicate racial injustice and stand in solidarity with the Black community against this systemic issue that causes conflict and division in our society.”