This morning, controversy struck after a large interview piece with Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser on the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2 contained a startling quote on the work hours put into the game. After this part of the interview caused a chemical reaction of sorts on social media and games reporting outlets, Rockstar Games sent out a statement, also from Houser, on the matter.
Here is the statement, 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.
The original quote alluded to “100-hour weeks,” which has spawned renewed commentary and discussion on the working conditions in the games industry, particularly with respect to crunch. Crunch remains a hot topic in games, especially in the wake of the events at Telltale Games.