Rockstar was struggling with the development of Red Dead Redemption before Leslie Benzies was drafted in to save it.
That’s the claim, as reported by GameSpot, in court papers from Benzies’ lawsuit against the Grand Theft Auto developer.
The story of RDR’s development is cited as evidence of Benzies’ importance to the Rockstar development process.
In an email to Benzies, who was not initially involved with the project, Sam Houser said of the game’s development: "The ups and downs are VERY extreme. We have to fix this. Quickly. Help! I’m freaking!"
Another email the following day added: "[RDR] is a (recurring) nightmare. But one I/we need to get out of. I have problems with the camera all over the place. So much so, that I can’t be rational or specific about it. The darkness!!! PLEASE help me/us get RDR. I am a jabbering wreck right now. I need The Benz!’"
The papers claim that with Benzies’ help RDR was sorted within a few months” and Rockstar started demoing it to platform holders.
Benzies’ lawsuit so concludes: "As Sam Houser himself recognized, the Houser brothers were incapable of completing large and complex games without Mr Benzies’ oversight, management, and skill in taking unwieldy designs and making an understandable, cohesive, and enjoyable game.”