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Rockstar breaks its silence on GTA content

There's no denying the coronavirus — also known as covid-19 — has managed to turn the world upside-down. The games industry in particular has been affected pretty significantly, as a number of companies have instituted work-from-home policies. You might be stuck at home yourself now, thanks to a shelter-in-place order or a remote work directive from your own employer. That leaves a lot of extra time for gaming, which begs the question — will some of your favorite live-service titles keep getting updates, despite all the chaos that's happening outside?

For Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Redemption Online, at least, the answer is yes.

Rockstar Games took to Twitter on Tuesday to ease the minds of players who suddenly have more time to play its two biggest titles. Even though most of the developer's staff will be logging hours remotely, it seems Rockstar is still dedicated to delivering new content to its fans.

"As we mentioned recently on Twitter, we are doing everything we can to ensure that our games are up and running for you as we are now all spending a little extra time at home," Rockstar said. "To that end, we will be maintaining our regular weekly programming schedule, but stay tuned for more events inside GTA Online and Red Dead Online to help keep things fresh and fun for our community."

If you're hoping to see new missions and new rewards in the online portions of Grand Theft Auto 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2, it sounds like Rockstar will still have you covered. In these uncertain times, it's somewhat comforting to know our favorite games will keep on trucking even though the people behind them will be working at home in their pajamas, just like us.

Rockstar isn't alone in making sure players are still entertained during the pandemic. Nintendo and Bethesda are still managing to push out Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal tomorrow. Capcom just dropped a demo for the Resident Evil 3 remake, which still appears to be on track for an April 3, 2020 release. Square Enix seems ready to hit the April 10 launch date for Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

Other live-service games are still powering through, as well. Overwatch just released Echo as a new character yesterday. The folks at Bungie have been working at home for the past few weeks now, and actually managed to launch an entirely new Destiny 2 season in the process. Perhaps when this whole thing is over, companies across a variety of industries will take a good hard look at why offices even exist. Do we really need those corporate Petri dishes when many can do their jobs from anywhere?

As the crisis rages on, though, there are serious questions about the toll it'll take on the economy, and whether or not bigger game releases will still go ahead as planned.

Think about The Last of Us Part 2 for a moment. If that game were coming out tomorrow, it's likely Sony would press forward. May 29, 2020 is a long way off, though, when you consider how wildly the coronavirus situation can change from day to day. Sony is all about huge retail launches. By the time we reach the end of May, there's no guarantee stores like GameStop or Best Buy will even be open for business. Sony could release The Last of Us Part 2 as a digital download only, but how much would sales suffer as a result?

It'll be very interesting to see if the release date for that game holds. The same question can be raised for Ghost of Tsushima and, later on, Marvel's Avengers and Cyberpunk 2077. It wouldn't even be that crazy to ask if the PlayStation 5 and Xbox One X will make 2020. Some analysts believe those consoles will be pushed back into 2021. Because there's no real light at the end of the tunnel as far as the coronavirus is concerned, a whole lot of this year is very much up in the air.

We can at least take solace, though, in knowing the people behind some of our favorite games are still hard at work keeping them running. The engineers who keep PlayStation Network and Xbox Live upright are still doing their jobs. It's not clear at this time when life will get back to normal; when commutes will become a thing again or when a trip to Best Buy won't be considered a huge risk. We do still have our games to pass the time, however. Thank goodness for that.