Rockstar Games found itself in a quagmire last week following co-founder Dan Houser’s statement about working 100-hour weeks during Red Dead Redemption 2‘s development. Although Houser attempted to clarify his remarks, numerous reports subsequently surfaced, highlighting a toxic work environment at the company. Allegations include mandatory overtime, long-lasting crunch, and a culture of fear.
Last week, Rockstar lifted company restrictions on social media, allowing employees to share their experiences of working at the studio. However, that wasn’t enough to quell an increasing number of accounts from former and some (anonymous) current employees who corroborated reports of Rockstar’s questionable work ethics.
In a new statement provided to GamesBeat, the company has reiterated that although it asked employees to work overtime on occasions, they weren’t required to do so.
Overtime is not mandatory. We have absolutely asked people in all locations to work beyond regular hours at times in order to help achieve certain milestones on what is a very large project, and plenty of people in all locations have done overtime. For that we are very grateful. At the same time, plenty of people have not worked meaningful overtime, and they are also highly valued members of the team. That has been reflected in the average hours worked numbers we have already shared publicly.
Worth noting that Rockstar Lincoln recently relaxed its policies surrounding overtime. According to a QA tester at the studio, overtime is no longer mandatory as of this week.
Rockstar Crunch Controversy: New Statement Denies Mandatory Overtime