Former Rockstar Games Employee Shares Disappointing Work Condition Story
An interview with co-founder Dan Houser has sparked controversy and debate about work condition at Rockstar Games and in the game development industry overall.
Houser said he and his team have worked over 100 hours a week to make sure they shipped Red Dead Redemption 2 in time for October 26, 2018 release and up to their quality standards, which is not how things should be done.
Since then, he has already offered a clarification about the things he said on the topic and we’ve reported the reactions from the industry, but we have one more witness about the bad work condition at Rockstar Games from former employee Job J. Stauffer (former Telltale Games staffer, too).
According to him, it was like “working with a gun to your head 7 days a week”. “It's been nearly a decade since I parted from Rockstar, but I can assure you that during the GTA IV era, it was like working with a gun to your head 7 days a week.”
He says he was told "Be here Saturday & Sunday too, just in case Sam or Dan come in, they want to see everyone working as hard as them," with the pair being the Housers brothers, the founders of the company.
“There was an instance in 08 or 09 when I legitimately had THE FLU. Needed a day off. Went to Drx, got an Rx for Tamiflu, had an allergic reaction, tweeted a photo, then got put on notice for not coming in to work and 'fooling around on twitter' instead. True story. Fucking crazy.”
It's been nearly a decade since I parted from Rockstar, but I can assure you that during the GTA IV era, it was like working with a gun to your head 7 days a week. "Be here Saturday & Sunday too, just in case Sam or Dan come in, they want to see everyone working as hard as them." https://t.co/TaQS5LnaAa
— Job J Stauffer (@jobjstauffer) 16 ottobre 2018
After he left the studio, Stauffer thought things might’ve changed for the better, but the latest reports clearly say they have not at all.
“I gave them the benefit of the doubt having left nearly ten years ago that they’ve maybe changed. Yet I’ve heard this from dozens of R* folks in recent years that it continues, and I’m not surprised.
It was the most ruthlessly competitive and intense work environment imaginable.”
We hope things really get better now that Red Dead Redemption 2’s release gets closer and closer, and that with Red Dead Online on the horizon the developer manages to change how it works in order to build a more comfortable and sustainable work place.
We’ll update you as soon as Rockstar Games has something to add on the matter.