The much anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2 is due this week, but Rockstar is working to counter an unexpected controversy. After comments on 100-hour work weeks, the studio has repeatedly tried to tell the fans that they do not expect so many hours. Rockstar reportedly held a meeting on Friday to tell its staff that overtime is not compulsory although they are occasionally requested and planned. Rockstar's Jennifer Kolbe said the meeting was held to clear up misunderstandings about what was expected of employees.
"Some people have said that they considered it imperative because they were expected to, in the face of the discussion on this topic today, we have brought the team together to make sure they understand that OT work is not mandatory, "she said. "We also urge that every OT work more flexibly on the schedule (ie, work, if it makes sense to you)."
Rockstar Lincoln is said to have worked the longest hours before the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2, with some weeks over 60-70 hours. The meeting came to light after Flik Green, an animation assistant at Rockstar North, talked about it on social media. She went on to say that when she was a QA tester at Lincoln, she and her staff did not consider overtime optional ̵
The controversy began when co-founder Dan Houser casually mentioned in 2018 that he had to work 100-hour weeks. Later, he made it clear that he was referring only to the senior writing team, but he had triggered a larger discussion about developmental crises and issues, the expectations of developers
Rockstar encouraged his staff to comment on their own experiences, and some told anecdotes about their time in the company. Many anecdotes found that the studio breaks through, but that the environment has improved over the years and is not as extreme as the 100-hour week.
Red Dead Redemption 2 comes on October 26th. For more details, see our Pre-order Manual.