×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rockstar Games Co-Founder Responds to 100-Hour Work-Week Uproar

The 100-hour work week that Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser mentioned in a recent interview — and which sparked uproar among the broader game development industry — was in reference to the schedule of four people, including Houser, the co-founder said in a statement sent to Variety.

He said the company would never expect anyone else to work that way.

“We were working 100-hour weeks,” Rockstar’s Dan Houser said, referring to multiple occurrences this year, in an interview with Vulture. The wide-ranging interview also noted that the game will include “300,000 animations, 500,000 lines of dialogue, and many more lines of code.” The section of the story references both the immense amount of polishing, rewrites and reedits involved in “Red Dead Redemption 2” and also the impact “all of their labor” has on the final game.

“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,” Houser wrote in an email statement sent in response to Variety’s request for comment. “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.”

The response to the Vulture story Monday morning from those in the game industry ranged from outrage that a studio as powerful and profitable as Rockstar is overworking its developers, to those using the comment to note that the issue of “crunch” is a major problem in the multi-billion-dollar game industry.

At least one former Rockstar employee noted that working on a previous game at the studio was “hell.”

This isn’t the first time Rockstar has come under fire for its working conditions.

In 2010, an anonymous blogger using the name “Rockstar Spouse” wrote about the working conditions at Rockstar San Diego. That letter noted mandatory 12-hour days six days a week, limited vacation time and extended crunch-time.

Rockstar later responded on its official website, implying that the allegations were being made by a few unhappy former employees. Rockstar had, about a year earlier, settled a lawsuit brought against the office in 2006 for unpaid overtime.

More Gaming

  • 'Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the

    'Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch' Is Still a Fantastic Anime Adventure

    Six years after it’s original release “Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch” is coming back with a Nintendo Switch version and remastered edition on PS4 and PC. It’s time for more long-winded, adorable JRPG action. It’s odd since comparing the new version of the Level-5 developed classic with the original game is pointless [...]

  • ‘Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot’ Highlights The

    ‘Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot’ Highlights The Mundane Side of The Anime

    There have been dozens and dozens of games based on the popular anime “Dragon Ball Z.” While most focus on recreating the series’s electric fight scenes, very few have explored the more mundane and humorous aspects of the characters’ lives. Fortunately, “Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot” (releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2020) [...]

  • 'Empire of Sin' is a Bloody,

    'Empire of Sin' is a Bloody, Strategic Take on the Criminal Underworld of 1920s Chicago

    When Paradox Interactive and Romero Games announced their new strategy game, “Empire of Sin,” a lot of fans were disappointed. They wanted another intensely violent and fast-paced game from John Romero, one of the original creators of “Doom.” They shouldn’t be though as ‘Empire of Sin’ is a deep, violent take on criminal management and [...]

  • 'Marvel's Avengers' is Crystal Dynamics' Indistinct

    'Marvel's Avengers' is Crystal Dynamics' Indistinct Take on a Comic Classic

    After 22 films in the leadup to “Avengers: Endgame,” the culmination of everything the Marvel Cinematic Universe built up towards, you’d think any other take on the classic team of superheroes would fall flat on its face. New faces would be eclipsed by the likes of Chris Evans’ perfect Captain America, Robert Downey Jr.’s dashing [...]

  • The Inner Machinations of John Wick's

    The Inner Machinations of John Wick's Mind

    Many games have you play as a character but very few let you inhabit their psyche. That’s the aim behind “John Wick Hex,” a strategy game that puts you inside the scenarios found by the titular movie character. And if a choreographed action sequence is nothing more than a combination of well thought out punches [...]

  • ‘LEGO Star Wars’ Is Rebuilding ‘The

    ‘LEGO Star Wars’ Is Rebuilding ‘The Skywalker Saga’ Brick by Brick

    There was a lot of chatter about EA’s “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” at E3 this year, but that wasn’t the only “Star Wars” game on display. Freshly announced at Microsoft’s media briefing earlier this week, “LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” combines all nine core “Star Wars” movies, including the yet-to-be-released “The Rise of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content