Red Dead Redemption studio lays off 40 employees

Rockstar San Diego may be looking a bit more like a tumbleweed-infested ghost town amid reports that it has cut approximately 40 workers. Kotaku sources suggest that the studio has laid off a "significant" chunk of its employees, although the studio didn't comment on the exact figure in an official statement issued to the site.

"As is typical with game development, our team sizes have always fluctuated over the course of the development cycle. As Rockstar San Diego transitions from the launch of Red Dead Redemption onto future projects, we are realigning our resources in order to continue to develop games as effectively as possible," Studio Manager Steve Martin said in a statement.

Martin continued to say that the restructure will not affect future Red Dead Redemption content. "We are ensuring that all employees who are affected by these changes are being treated with care. While we have no announcements to make regarding a sequel to Red Dead Redemption, the team here are hard at work on the development of downloadable content for the game."

The layoffs come after Rockstar San Diego's recent success with Red Dead Redemption. Released in May, the Western video game has been a critical hit selling more than 1.5 million copies in its first month of sales in the United Sates. Red Dead Redemption continues to sell strong with June sales just shy of one million. The title has also topped the UK all formats chart for five weeks running.
 

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21 Comments

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Can't blame a crappy game on piracy... Sorry to all those who enjoy this title. It sucks just like the last 3 GTA games. Rockstar games should come with a mandatory minimum of a 5 day no questions asked return policy.

Maybe these guys stated the obvious, online play = weak, offline play = weak.

You have to, sooner or later, trim the fat to stay successful. The majority of the owrk probably justified the employment of those people but now that the core elements are in place, they are not needed. It's a business people....

speedstr3789 said,
You have to, sooner or later, trim the fat to stay successful. The majority of the owrk probably justified the employment of those people but now that the core elements are in place, they are not needed. It's a business people....

you may have a point and all but still... people need jobs that they can depend on to give them a steady paycheck.

How arent these guys being kept on for a sequel?? Game was one of the best ive played in a long time worth every damn dime.

Osiris said,
How arent these guys being kept on for a sequel?? Game was one of the best ive played in a long time worth every damn dime.

i agree that it's one of the better games out there. i think some of it has to do with the Western theme as it's something different from your typical crap that most game companys release.

p.s. for the record the best single player game i played to date is still 'Mafia' (2002) and good news is Mafia II is due out Aug 24th 2010. it's going to be the best game since the original Mafia which is a masterpiece. i must have replayed Mafia (on PC) at least 10-15+ times which i almost never do for single player games. it's basically can rival quality films that you don't get tired of.

Osiris said,
How arent these guys being kept on for a sequel?? Game was one of the best ive played in a long time worth every damn dime.

Indeed but for a sequel they can use cheap laborer because most of the jobs is done.

If they do a sequel or some other game they'll most likely restaff pretty quickly (and maybe rehire some old folks). Let's hope so.

WICKO said,
That's what happens at the end of a project, contracts end! gasp!

I'm sorry, I didn't see anywhere in the article where it mentioned these people were on contracts, and not full time employees who were just layed off. You don't lay off people when their contacts are up, you don't do anything at all. These are people were full time employees who put out an A+ title and should have been kept for sequels and/or new projects.

thornz0 said,
These are people were full time employees who put out an A+ title and should have been kept for sequels and/or new projects.

You don't know that. Even if they used the term "laid off", they're grouping 40 people together, it's more than likely that they were let go for different reasons. I'm not saying none of them were working fulltime, but I can almost guarantee that not all of them were. Speaking from experience here, not just pulling stuff out of my ass. As in, I've been in a similar position as these 40 people.

-KJ said,

I don't get it.

I get it.. unless your refuring the X studos that MS laid off or the recent turn of advents from Infinty ward. Most PC studos never lay any one off over a sussfull code title

Pixil Eyes said,
Kinda puzzling why they don't keep them around for a RDR 2.

I'd bet it's because for the debut production, dev, and release of any game you employ a wide breadth of creative talent from artists to coders and marketing types. Once the core game is launched and your brand assets are in place, you really don't need the core artists, etc anymore. Much of that work can be offloaded for maintenance and 'addon' work with a greatly reduced staff. Cheer up though folks; I'd wager those let go by Rockstar are being taken care of just fine

I think they should make a sequel cause I enjoyed the game.

Just add an unlockable car this time car those horses take forever lol. And I hope they do away with that stupid exclusive unlockable content that people who didn't preorder the game can't get access too.

"Thanks for helping us create this game, we've made alot of money from it, but... we don't need you anymore".

SCRISP said,
"Thanks for helping us create this game, we've made alot of money from it, but... we don't need you anymore".

Maybe they were caught pirating the very game they created?

I know of one such game level designer that did that on Prototype.

Morisato said,

Maybe they were caught pirating the very game they created?

I know of one such game level designer that did that on Prototype.

They don't get free copies of their own game??

SCRISP said,
"Thanks for helping us create this game, we've made alot of money from it, but... we don't need you anymore".

Why aren't you complaining about your plumber that isn't getting paid anymore? After all, you continue to get a lot of value from the pipes he installed.