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Rockstar temporarily closes online games in support of Black Lives Matter

Kris Holt
Contributing Writer
A screenshot of a motorcycle race from GTA Online.

Rockstar Games will shut down access to Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Online from 2-4 PM ET today “to honor the legacy of George Floyd.” Anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests have taken place across the world after Floyd died on May 25th. Four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged in connection with Floyd's death.

The publisher expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement in its announcement. It also encouraged players to "honor the many victims of America's racial injustices by supporting their families, black-owned businesses, those marching on the streets and coalitions" through a number of civil rights organizations and charities.

Both games are home to large communities. Almost seven years after it was released, GTA Online is still a hugely popular multiplayer title. It had more than 160,000 concurrent players on Steam alone at one point this morning. A number of other publishers have postponed game-related events while the protests are ongoing, including Sony, EA and Epic Games.