Rockstar co-founder: ‘not everyone here works 100-hour weeks’

Red Dead Redemption 2’s dev team isn’t working 100-hour weeks, according to a clarification released by Rockstar Games.

This follows an interview with Vulture, in which Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser stated “we were working 100-hour weeks” on the Wild West epic. Understandably industry folk have responded with a mixture of derision and discontent at the perceived ‘badge of honour’ attributed to this massive amount of overworking.

In a statement sent to Kotaku, though, Rockstar’s co-chief pedalled back on the initial statement, attributing the ‘100-hour’ weeks to just himself and three other writers over a three-week period, as well as a few select staffers:

“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.”

There are some interesting choices of wording in there, namely the ‘no one is ever forced to work hard’ bit, intimating those who don’t work long hours also don’t work hard. But hey, Red Dead Redemption 2 is out October 26, and it’s definitely going to sell millions.

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