In an in-depth interview with Rockstar’s Co-founder and VP of Creativity, Dan Houser, Vulture is reporting that Red Dead Redemption 2‘s story is approximately 60 hours in length. The interview reveals that five hours of “the 65-hour game are dumped” following the completion of all the acting for the story mode. The 60-hour number comes about through some simple subtraction. 65 – 5 = 60. Quick maths.
The removed five hours apparently related to a second love interest for the game’s protagonist, Arthur Morgan, simply because they decided it “didn’t work.” Additionally, other missions were removed in their entirety as they weren’t “going to work technically or be quite slick enough.”
The interview also discloses some other interesting facts and figures about the game. Reportedly, the final draft of the story script was some 2,000 pages long. Houser estimates that if you piled up all the pages for the story, and all the side missions and additional dialogue, the stack “would be eight feet high.” 1,200 actors were required over 2,200 days of motion-capture work contributing to 300,000 animations, with 700 actors contributing to a total of over 500,000 lines dialogue for the game. Supposedly, even each non-playable character has 80-pages of script attached to them.
The number that’s attracted the most controversy, however, is Houser’s admission that the team worked “100-hour weeks” multiple times this year to get the game to the standard they wanted. Such excessive working hours is indicative of the harmful ‘crunch culture’ that surrounds video game development, with many criticising the unhealthy ramifications of such strenuous work. Harold Goldberg, who penned the interview, also spoke with Navid Khonsari who worked with Houser on multiple Grand Theft Auto projects and defended the culture at Rockstar saying Houser, and his brother Sam, “always rolled up their sleeves” and “never left us holding the bag.”