Red Dead Redemption 2 will require players, on average, to invest over 60 hours of playtime. This number represents completion of the main story content alone. Over the course of the 60+ hours, hundreds of characters will come and go. Additionally, others serve as passerby characters, people players are likely to hear in passing yet never converse with. Someone, hundreds of someones, provided voices for these various individuals. In fact, according to recent word from Vulture, 700 voice actors are featured in Red Dead Redemption 2.
During an interview with Vulture, Rockstar Games Co-founder Dan Houser explained that of the 700 voice actors, none are “name actors.” He told the publication of a time when he directed actors himself. Houser specifically recalled working with the late Burt Reynolds on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Apparently, the two disagreed on the direction of a particular scene. As a result, Reynolds reportedly yelled, “Get the limey out of here.” Houser added,
I don’t want to speak ill of the dead, poor bugger, but we don’t bring in name actors anymore because of their egos and, most important of all, because we believe we get a better sense of immersion using talented actors whose voices you don’t recognize.
Houser also explained that he once had issues working with Public Enemy member Chuck D on San Andreas. Yet, Houser noted, “I think rappers really want to do the work right. We also always had a good experience with pop stars. But we haven’t used either significantly for a long time.”
Despite Rockstar’s reservations about hiring big names again, Red Dead Redemption 2 does feature one famous voice of note. Graham Greene of Dances with Wolves and The Green Mile fame has what Houser described as a small role in the forthcoming release. However, what Greene brings to the role is powerful and special. Houser said,
He did such a brilliant job of bringing this chief character to life. The government is coming down on him hard. He’s losing his rights as an independent king, and he’s a gentle soul in that violent world. [Greene] bought this great depth to [the story].
Red Dead Redemption 2 hits store shelves on October 26, 2018. Red Dead Online launches weeks later in November with beta testing.