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Controversy surrounds Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 staff working 100-hour weeks

Written by Abbie Jukes on Friday, 19 October 2018. Posted in Wellbeing, People

Rockstar Games, producer of Red Dead Redemption 2, faces a social media storm after claiming that employees work 100-hour weeks

Controversy surrounds Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 staff working 100-hour weeks

Long working weeks – commonly known as “crunch culture” –  have become the norm for many modern day workers. But when does it become too much? Thanks to videogame studio Rockstar Games, we  may have found the answer.

The business has found itself in hot waters after Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser almost bragged to Vulture that workers were putting in 100-hour working weeks to meet the game Red Dead Redemption 2’s highly anticipated release. Now, many critics have questioned why it’s necessary for Rockstar employees to be working such long weeks. 

For instance, Tommy Millar, who is seemingly a former game studio employee, argued on Twitter that this phenomenon is not something new in among game developers. “[I] personally almost died (not hyperbole, I was six stones in weight working 13-hour days with organs failing) in an AAA studio,” he tweeted.

However, Rockstar employees have taken to Twitter to defend the company. One is Vivianne Langdon who said: “I have never worked more than maybe 50 hours a week (and that's a rare occurrence), but I generally work about [two to six] hours of paid overtime per week.”

Defending itself, Rockstar later provided The Guardian with statistics on Rockstar employees from January 8 2018 to the end of September. The data reported that “the average working week was between 42.4 and 45.8 hours.” That rose to over 60 hours during the game studio’s busiest week.

Clearly, attitudes to working hours in the game company industry may be facing a huge overhaul. Well, at least those at the top of Rockstar Games certainly feel the crunch.

About the Author

Abbie Jukes

As an English PhD student in London, Abbie has joined the Elite team as an editorial intern to gain an insight into the industry. Outside of university and the office, she will be found in the gym, reading the latest fiction novel or looking to book yet another holiday. Follow on twitter @AbbieJukes_x for spontaneous ponderings.

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