Red Dead Redemption captivated the gaming public with its horse opera plot, insane action and fully detailed world. It has sold over 1.5 million units in its first month of release, and has earned stellar reviews, but that doesn't spell out job security for the entire Rockstar team. According to internet sources, Rockstar has dropped 40 employees from Rockstar San Diego, the studio that made Red Dead.
Rockstar's official response to the employment changes is, basically, "Hey, the game is done. This is what happens." Specifically, Steve Martin, Studio Manager at Rockstar San Diego, sent a statement reading:
"As is typical with game development, our team sizes have always fluctuated over the course of the development cycle. As Rockstar San Diego transitions from the launch of Red Dead Redemption onto future projects, we are realigning our resources in order to continue to develop games as effectively as possible. We are ensuring that all employees who are affected by these changes are being treated with care. While we have no announcements to make regarding a sequel to Red Dead Redemption, the team here are hard at work on the development of downloadable content for the game."
While it makes total sense that Rockstar needs a big staff to create a game and then can let some people go when it's finished -- I mean, until the seemingly inevitable sequel goes into production, what are the developers gonna do? Make personal phone calls and hang around the coffee machine? -- the relationship between Rockstar management and some members of its staff has seemed rocky in the past, with one former Rockstar worker comparing the company to the "Eye of Sauron." In any case, I gotta imagine having "Read Dead Redemption" on your resume is a golden ticket in the game development field right about now.