Harold Goldberg, an author for several popular magazines including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, The Washington Post etc. recently had an interview with Dan Houser, co-founder of Rockstar Games regarding the company’s upcoming hit Red Dead Redemption 2. In this interview, Houser shared several notable numbers.

The first thing Houser talked about was how intense the production process of the game was. He said that there were several occasions in 2018 where they had to work 100 hours a week. This statement later caused a backlash. Many people accused Rockstar Games of overworking their employees. Against this, Houser had to clarify that he was referring to a few members of the senior writing team only, including himself and 3 others.

He claimed that they had all been working together for over a decade and they always had to work very hard for a few weeks towards the end of every project to finalize everything. He stressed that they “don’t expect anyone else to work this way”. Those senior members who worked extra hours did so completely of their own volition. “No one, senior or junior, is ever forced to work hard”, he said.

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Still, with that much work and dedication, there is no doubt that Red Dead Redemption 2 is a massive project. The game reportedly contains 300,000 animations, and there are 500,000 lines of dialogue. It estimately has a duration of 65 hours. That is with about 5 hours of content already removed, including a potential love interest for the game’s protagonist, Arthur Morgan. Houser said that the writers originally intended to have to possible love interests for Morgan, but one did not work. Besides that, the developers also removed some missions because they seemed unnecessary, or not smooth enough, or had technical difficulties.

Of course, the 65-hour duration is only an estimation. Everyone has their own playstyle, and some will take longer than others. Furthermore, Red Dead Redemption 2 also has a multiplayer mode. This mode apparently has many things for players to do after they have finished the main story.

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According to Houser, game making is a shifting process, things are always changing. Developers rarely talk about this process, especially one that holds a high position in a company as secretive as Rockstar.

From the interview, it seems that the final script for just the main story of Red Dead Redemption 2 was already 2000 pages. The developers also reportedly hired 1,200 actors for motion-capturing. Amongst those actors, 700 also participated in dialogue recording. Houser claims that when it comes to sheer number, Rockstar employs more actors than any party in New York by a large margin.

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Houser also said that there might be a Red Dead Redemption 3 in the future, but he is not making any promise just yet. Rockstar Games will only consider doing it if this second entry is successful and they have more ideas.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming out on Octorber 26 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The multiplayer mode, called Red Dead Online, is scheduled to launch in November. According to Houser it will be "as robust as Grand Theft Auto Online."