Rockstar has just announced that both GTA Online and Red Dead Online will be offline for two hours today, June 4, to honor the legacy of George Floyd. Both GTA Online and Red Dead Online will be unavailable today from 2pm to 4pm EST / 7pm to 9pm BST / 11am to 1pm PT.
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.June 4, 2020
Rockstar's announcement and decision to shut down both online servers is done in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and black communities. It comes amidst ongoing protests against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, and the demand from protestors worldwide to reform policing in America and hold police accountable for deaths.
After the initial announcement Tweet, Rockstar implored fans to further honor the "many victims of America's racial injustices by supporting their families, black-owned businesses, those marching on the streets, and coalitions" through organizations listed on the Civil Rights Charity Navigator website (opens in new tab). While many other video game organizations have shared support for the Black Lives Matter movement (which we have covered and are continuing to update here (opens in new tab)), this is one of the more tangible actions made by community members. In another example, EA recently donated one million dollars in support of Black Lives Matter (opens in new tab).
Both Red Dead Online and GTA Online center around players partaking in "criminal" activity that often pits them up against other players or NPCs in the form of police officers or other members of the criminal justice system.
If you're looking for ways you can help the Black Lives Matter movement, check out this feature from Elle Osili-Wood, entitled Black Lives Matter: Here's what you can do to help (opens in new tab).
In other news, Hollywood has rallied around John Boyega following his Black Lives Matter protest speech (opens in new tab).