Rockstar Responds To Accusations of Labor Exploitation in the making of Red Dead Redemption 2
A few days before the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar Games was involved in an unusual controversy for the company, accustomed to giving something to talk about the content and themes of their games. The revelation of Dan Houser, co-founder of Rockstar, that the process of developing the western game involved a 100-hour weekly workday burned the fans on the web and the same manager has tried to clarify the situation.
After Rockstar Games came into a controversy because of Dan Houser’s statements regarding the hours of work invested in the development of Red Dead Redemption 2, which was severely criticized, the co-founder, producer and creative vice president spoke about it and through a statement sent to Kotaku, they tried to clarify the situation.
To begin with, Houser said that his words were misinterpreted and explained what really happened: “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.
Subsequently, Dan Houser said that his words and the confusion that arose around them do not mean that Rockstar Games exploits its workers and explained that when there are periods of heavy workload there are those who decide to give more than agreed, but in no case it is compulsory: “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.”
Red Dead Redemption 2 will arrive on October 26 on PS4 and Xbox One.