Red Dead Redemption 2 PS4 PlayStation 4 1

Earlier this week, an interview with Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser sent shockwaves through the industry, as he appeared to suggest that the studio had been working 100 hour weeks in order to get Red Dead Redemption 2 out of the door. This, he later clarified, was not entirely the case: only the senior writing team (including himself) worked such an intense schedule.

In an unprecedented move, the firm has now allowed staff to comment publicly on social media about the issue. Vivianne Langdon, a tools programmer at Rockstar San Diego, was one of the first to rally around the organisation – but she’s since been followed by a slew of other staff members, all defending the culture at the embattled label.

“I want to stress that this is my uncurated personal opinion; I am not being compensated for this post in any way and am making it voluntarily,” she started. “I'm only going to speak to my personal experience. I have never worked more than maybe 50 hours a week (and that's a rare occurrence), but I generally work about 2-6 hours of paid overtime per week.”

A lot of the employees seem frustrated that the company’s name is being unfairly tarnished. Rockstar North’s environment artist Wesley Mackinder said: “This week my Twitter timeline has been full of guff. I've been at Rockstar for six years and I have never worked, or been asked to work, anywhere remotely close to 100 hours in a week.”

He continued: “It's been surreal to see people share their crunch stories with the conclusion being, 'Rockstar needs to change'. When I've just been reading them thinking, ‘I'm so glad I work at Rockstar and haven't done anything they have.’ No one is pretending that working extra hours is fun. Everyone tries their very hardest to avoid this. And in my experience it has gotten better over time.”

Zoë Sams, a tools programmer at Rockstar North, agreed: “It's difficult to see people, friends, and fellow devs spreading information that either isn't true, has now changed, or are telling people not to buy a product you've worked hard on and you love. I haven't worked a 100-hour week in my life. I'm thanked for any overtime I am asked to do.”

Meanwhile, an anonymous Rockstar employee reached out to VG247 airing their grievances at some of the speculation surrounding the organisation: “It’s been pretty frustrating seeing [the company] portrayed this week as a hellish place to work – it’s really not, we’re rewarded well, and crunch is never mandatory.”

Time to put the pitchforks down?

[source, via,,]