Red Dead Redemption 2 Includes Rockstar “Culture of Crunch” Easter Egg
Rockstar Studios has faced plenty of backlash leading up to the release of Red Dead Redemption 2. Former employees alleged that the company forced long work hours. One went so far as to call the work environment “fucking crazy.” Kotaku followed up with a scathing exposé featuring loads of on and off-record interviews. A few employees spoke up in defense of Rockstar, stating that the stories are all inflated. A new easter egg in the epic Western game indicates that the 100-hour work weeks might be real.
The game stars Arthur Morgan, a member of the infamous van der Linde Gang. Like all good cowboys, Morgan carries a handgun at all times (in addition to 50+ other weapons). His initial gun is a Cattleman Revolver, one of the most reliable in the game. So how did our antihero choose such a reliable firearm? He may have read the ad in a newspaper, which proclaims the gun’s impressive superiority and popularity. It’s a very convincing sales pitch for a six-shooter.
It’s also a clever easter egg referencing Rockstar’s “culture of crunch.”
It is made by skilled laborers who work tireless hours each week and on the weekends for little pay in order to bring you the finest revolver in the field today.
In reading the paragraph, it’s hard to discern whether this is confirmation of the reports or a troll job. They bury it deep enough in the paragraph that it could have slipped past the higher ups. The sheer number of reports hints at serious issues within Rockstar, and this may be one more testimonial. It could just have easily been a writer mocking the outside coverage. We may never know the truth behind that line, but it is hilarious either way. Rockstar always nails the self-deprecation jokes better than any other publisher in the business.
The debate about the crunch has divided gamers over Red Dead Redemption 2. Some opted to boycott the game in solidarity with the overworked developers. Others refuse to pass up a truly spectacular title. No matter which side you land on, you have to appreciate this sort of detail in the game’s universe. A little humor in bleak country and toxic workplaces can take you a long way.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is now available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Players received hope that a PC version would soon arrive, but Rockstar temporarily dashed those dreams.
Drew Weissman230 Posts
Drew is a freelance writer for DFTG. He's the former Managing Editor of Haogamers and has been published in the Chicago Tribune and The Paragon Journal. He also edited the novel Three Brightnesses and Artist Journey: Rachta Lin (2016 and 2017 editions).