Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser has provided further elaboration on Red Dead Redemption 2 developer workloads in the wake of an interview with Vulture in which he said, "We were working 100-hour weeks" on the game.
The original remark was widely reported this morning in light of growing concerns about industry crunch and past issues at Rockstar, including the Rockstar Spouse letter written around the first Red Dead Redemption's development.
In response to concerns, Houser provided a reply to Kotaku in which he endeavored to clarify that the 100-hour weeks were limited to the four-person senior writing team (including himself) and only took place over three weeks. He goes on to note that some employees can and do opt to "work very hard" at the company, but added, "No one, senior or junior, is ever forced to work hard."
Here is Houser's statement in full as shared with Kotaku:
"There seems to be some confusion arising from my interview with Harold Goldberg. The point I was trying to make in the article was related to how the narrative and dialogue in the game was crafted, which was mostly what we talked about, not about the different processes of the wider team. 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."