Red Dead Redemption 2 is releasing next Friday, i.e. October 26th. Despite the hype and anticipation, a recent “100-hour week” debacle might have affected the game’s reputation.
In an interview with Vulture’s Harold Goldberg, Rockstar Games Vice President Dan Houser said, “We were working 100-hour weeks”. This single sentence led to a massive controversy and media outlets started distributing the news aggressively. However, most of these outlets overlooked the words that followed this sentence – “several times in 2018”.
As inaccurately reported by major outlets, not all Rockstar employees work 100-hour weeks in 2018 or during the game’s seven-year development period.
In the original interview, Dan only discussed how the “narrative and dialogue” was crafted and not about the different processes of the wider team. Here’s his statement clarifying the situation (via Kotaku) –
There seems to be some confusion arising from my interview with Harold Goldberg. The point I was trying to make in the article was related to how the narrative and dialogue in the game was crafted, which was mostly what we talked about, not about the different processes of the wider team.
After working on the game for seven years, the senior writing team, which consists of four people, Mike Unsworth, Rupert Humphries, Lazlow and myself, had, as we always do, three weeks of intense work when we wrapped everything up. Three weeks, not years.
We have all worked together for at least 12 years now, and feel we need this to get everything finished. After so many years of getting things organized and ready on this project, we needed this to check and finalize everything.
More importantly, we obviously don’t expect anyone else to work this way. Across the whole company, we have some senior people who work very hard purely because they’re passionate about a project, or their particular work, and we believe that passion shows in the games we release.
But that additional effort is a choice, and we don’t ask or expect anyone to work anything like this. Lots of other senior people work in an entirely different way and are just as productive – I’m just not one of them!
No one, senior or junior, is ever forced to work hard. I believe we go to great lengths to run a business that cares about its people, and to make the company a great place for them to work.
Crunch in the video games industry has existed since the beginning of time. In fact, during the release of Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar Games found itself circled around the Spouse incident.
Allegedly, spouses of employees at Rockstar San Diego, the lead team working on Red Dead Redemption, wrote an open letter claiming the work environment was unsettling and that the team was expected to work 60-hour weeks, including Saturdays.
The 100-hour week controversy is still on the rise. Many more outlets are covering the debacle frequently and forum websites are filled with long-end discussions.
Let us know what you think of it.
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