- Rockstar has been “working 100-hour weeks” on Red Dead Redemption 2

Whelp, I guess we all saw this coming. I guess I had hope that seeing as they had like 5 years to work on the game, they didn’t use that time to exploit their workers. That shows me as naive…

Dan Houser said that the team has been “working 100-hour weeks” several times in 2018, later adding that compared to previous Rockstar projects, “This was the hardest.”

It’s pretty fucking telling how these people don’t think about labor or crunch the same way we do. It’s almost like Houser is proud that he’s been making his employees work themselves to death.

“We have a hard-working company,” Zelnick said at the time. “It’s a privilege to work at our company and our labels. And I believe that our work practices are sound and appropriate. It is a very busy time, but it’s a time that people are anxious to participate in. And I stand behind it.”

“It’s a ‘privilage’ to work here, so shut up.” God, I wish I could be so arrogant. I guess we can see this mentality still exists from RDR1.

Small edit, the article is sourcing this Vulture article:


Not surprising, but very disappointing. It obviously looks very impressive, but they are also overdoing it for no reason. No one except Rockstar cares about horse testicles. It’s possible to deliver an impressive game in seven years without this bullshit.

Also very curious how much work that constantly needs to be redone, from mistakes and errors brought on by fatigue.


Motherfucker step off with that “it’s a privilege to work for us” horseshit. Work relationships are just that - relationships. You know what I’d tell a partner who said it was a privilege to date them?

…I don’t know either, but I can sure as fuck tell you it wouldn’t be very polite and they wouldn’t be my partner anymore.


Is there a way to donate to a union? I see both GMG and Game Workers Unite are in the starting stages of getting going, but I don’t see anyway to give.


I literal just wrote about this a couple days ago, it’s sad to see it become a reality.

In regards to donations to GWU, until its recognised as a legal trade union in the UK they wont be accepting donations, I spoke to somebody briefly about how to help the industry from the outside.


I’m curious, I wasn’t going to buy RDR2 anyways, it just doesn’t interest me, but is there anyone here that now won’t but it due to the exposure of these labor practices?

1 Like


Thanks for looking into it. I wonder if it’s the same for Unions around the U.S.

1 Like

My only slight hope when I first saw this is that Houser is so obviously proud of it that he thinks exaggerating will make them sound even better. But, judging from other comments this morning, that doesn’t seem to be the case. (And exaggerating, say, 60-80 hour weeks into 100 hour weeks is just a difference of degree, anyway.)

I’ll be honest, I am very conflicted.

I really want to play this game, but then I see this kind of thing and I wonder if it’s worth it.

Jason Schreier posted this:

It is important to talk about this while still appreciating our hobby, but I wish there was a way to do something besides just posting about how mad I am on social media. I’d like to give action or resources to help get these unions going, but I’m not in the game industry. And it doesn’t look like you can donate to a Games Union yet.

How do you all feel?


Yeah I get that line of argument. However, if you go far enough down that line you get to “well everyone does something so it’s just the way it works and OK” which is quite literally how atrocities get committed.

Plus, it seems very clear that change isn’t coming from inside the industry.

There are corollaries between this and support for famous English soccer teams. Life long supporters were upset with how corrupt the corporation of their team had become, the team being the thing they loved more than anything, and they decided to drop the team. Sending a message about soccer as a whole and the direction it was taking was more important than their old connection to their team, and they decided to act,

I think ultimately what’s important is that, especially with luxuries like video games, the only values we really hold are those we’re willing to actualize into the world. We have the choice to do so, we’re free to choose either way, and your choice says more about your values than any words.


You know I think I can live without shrinking horse testicles if that means that game devs don’t work themselves to death.


It’s a tough thing. Because of how little devs (at least the big ones) talk about working conditions it is hard to cut out the games that do abuse their employees. Then you have this dude from RS who is proud of how much stress and damage the production has caused…which sucks. But the game looks good to me and I’d like to play it. Ideally I would like my purchase to not benefit people like the guy who was interviewed here and directly benefit the devs but that is not the case.

Also, did anyone see the art that RS posted detailing their weapons? There is an old timey poster talking about the cattleman revolver that has a line in it which clearly references developers spending countless hours designing that gun.


The text bubbles around those weapons convinced me that the Housers are still writing these games… Because it was very bad and not subtle at all.

“It is made by skilled laborers who work tireless hours each week and on the weekends for little pay in order to bring you the finest revolver in the field today.” Source.



Jason misses a point: salaried employees get no compensation for the extra time they are forced to work. Indies, at least, have equity. Corporations exist to transfer wealth from worker to execs. Indies don’t have that fundamental abuse and exploitation built in.


Agreed! When you buy an indie made by one person who overworked themselves you’re not supporting a system of exploitation.

I wrote this in another thread, but I think we need to draw a line, and for me, this is that line. If that means boycotting all AAA games that can’t prove they didn’t exploit labor, then I’m ready to do that.

I have been excited for this game for months, but it feels unethical to financially support a company that is so cavalier about treating its workers like this. I will not be buying this game, and I invite anyone else with similar feelings to do the same.


That’s a very narrow and dangerous way to look at things. Sure, there was no one forcing me to work sixty hour weeks for six months during the last phase of my game’s development. But I still did it, because I feared that when I don’t push this thing out soon, my life will completely fall apart.
Turns out that my life fell apart regardless.

The exploitative system here isn’t the game industry, it’s just what capitalism does. It tries to extract as much value as possible from people and it doesn’t care if it hurts people in the process.


I dunno, this sounds like a really good argument for stealing RDR2, and donated your 60 USD to an organization focusing on organizing game development. Or at least, like, waiting to play it until you can buy it at Gamestop used.


As with all “problematic” material, you have to figure out where you personally draw the line. If thats not buying games anymore, if thats not buying Triple A games anymore, then so be it. I wasn’t planing on buying RDR2 anyways, so its easy for me this time. But you just gotta find what steps over the line.

1 Like

Is it possible to ethically enjoy something made unethically if you didn’t pay money to the people who made it? Isn’t having fun with it validating the horrific way it was made?