Red Dead Redemption 2 is a little under two weeks away, and we're starting to get a better idea as to its colossal scale and scope. And while the game is definitely looking pretty impressive, Rockstar's shoot for the stars approach seems to have come at quite the cost, with developers reportedly working 100-hour weeks to finish it.
This wholly depressing little tidbit comes via a recent interview between Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser and Vulture. While discussing the later stages of Red Dead Redemption 2's development, Houser comments on the sheer amount of work required to polish and finish the game, an effort that had devs "working 100-hour weeks": The Vulture report claims this happened several times during 2018.
While this was no doubt intended to be a point of pride for Houser in relation to the effort put into creating what sounds like a hugely detailed game (the finished product is said to include 300,000 animations and 500,000 lines of dialogue), not everyone is particularly happy with the revelation. As more and more focus is being placed on unfair and unhealthy work practices in the industry, namely involving 'crunch', many industry figures are calling out Houser's claims as making light of a serious issue.
They should be thoroughly ashamed by such incredibly unhealthy and dangerous work practices. The whole industry should be ashamed. https://t.co/2EP1On1m6HSte Pickford (@stepickford) October 15, 2018
This needs to stop being a point of pride, no matter how bittersweet you make it sound. I don't want devs to work 100-hour weeks, even if the end result is a game of the year. No game is worth that kind of burnout. https://t.co/CGGpE9QMFsPeter S. Pumpkins (@Peter5tewart) October 15, 2018
If I ever boast about my team having to do overtime because I can't manage them properly, and actually use that as a selling point, please screencap this tweet and send it to me hundreds of times until I depart this godforsaken website in shame.Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) October 15, 2018
Hey Rockstar: we’re not proud of you. Crunch is a) manufactured, b) unnecessary, c) leads to mistakes. Let your devs plan and proceed properly in earlier stages so that they don’t have to Crunch.Devs: Sending you all the love and hopes that it will be better next time... https://t.co/bt51LGQCF0— IVEIC or TREAT witch Con (@nicterhorst) October 15, 2018
Normalised Crunch Shouldn't Be A Badge Of Honour "Rockstar has been "working 100-hour weeks" on RDR2": https://t.co/OZeIuWASiM— Anisa Sanusi (@studioanisa) October 15, 2018
Making your devs work 100 Hours weeks on a game should never be a selling point for how good your game is.https://t.co/NgJGlPIZtK— Simon Cooper (@scoop_cooper) October 15, 2018
The abusive management at @RockstarGames encouraging employees to work excruciating 100 hour weeks is why game developers need to organize a labor union. Management doesn't care about you. A job isn't a privilege it's a trade. Don't be gaslit.https://t.co/tqLvCvgJNN— Robert Spookes @Sphynxian) October 15, 2018
From what we've seen of Red Dead Redemption 2, there does seem to be a huge level of polish and detail, though with its workers required to work 100-hour weeks, it's definitely worth asking the question of whether or not it's all worth it.