It was during the weekend that New York Magazine published its story on the making of Red Dead Redemption 2. In the article, Dan Houser, who is the co-founder of Rockstar Games, talked a lot about the process of making something as huge as Red Dead 2. While it's an extremely informative piece, Houser has been picked apart by many media outlets for his line discussing 100-hour work weeks, and he has now responded to the backlash he received.
Houser clarifies his comments to Polygon, by stating that he was "only referring to some of the game’s writers ". You can read the response in full down below.
There seems to be some confusion arising from my interview with Harold Goldberg [in New York Magazine]. 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.
Although some of the more majestic games to be released over the past decade offered an intense scale, that all comes at a cost, whether it is actual dollars or time spent developing the game. The gaming industry has been filled with numerous horror stories over the years where developers begin "crunch" times to when it gets closer to the time of completing games, resulting in overwork of a studio's staff.
While Houser does state that "crunch" time is a choice, it's hard to say just how many elected to not work those kinds of hours. Regardless, Red Dead Redemption 2 will be available starting next week for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.