Red Dead Redemption 2: Leaked Gameplay, 100 Hour Work Weeks, Microtransactions, and 2 Discs

[Update #3: Red Dead Redemption 2 makes over $725 million in 3 days, bigger than any film, music, book, or tv show]

[Update #2: The issue of overtime at Rockstar Games isn’t going away just yet…]

[Update: RDR2 takes 90 minutes to install, better get a movie ready or go for a jog while waiting!]

Could today’s leaked footage of Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay been an intentional move by Rockstar Games meant to distract players from the news of 100 hour work weeks and the game being on two Blu-Ray discs? Or was it just a reviewer gone rogue? Either way, we’ve got both of those juicy news stories packed into one for you all.

100 HOUR WORK WEEKS

As one of the most anticipated video games of 2018 approaches its release this Friday (October 26, 2018) there has been a lot of negative press surrounding the Rockstar Games studio lately. As if Strauss Zelnick of Take-Two Interactive telling investors in recent years that all Take-Two games will have microtransactions and be “live services” wasn’t bad enough, Dan Houser recently went on record stating that his team at Rockstar Games were working up to 100 hours a week on the game. This led to a massive backlash of fans upset at the perceived mistreatment of one of the industry’s favorite game development teams and re-ignited the debate of “crunch” periods in game production.

LEAKED GAMEPLAY

A measly 15 seconds of gameplay was leaked for Red Dead Redemption 2 leading many fans to regain some of their lost excitement. Don’t be surprised if this video doesn’t play as Take-Two Interactive is patrolling the internet for uploads of it and striking them down. The hype surrounding this game is understandable as Rockstar Games has historically been one of the best game development studios in the world in terms of quality and appeal. However, nonsense about dynamic horse poop and real-time testicle shrinkage do more to damage the integrity of their marketing campaign rather than add to it in our book since these are both things that don’t matter in the game, don’t necessarily reflect the overall detail of the world itself, and definitely aren’t literally factual.

RDR2 IS ON 2 DISCS

A Twitter user by the name of PressStartKofi has confirmed that the game has shipped with two Blu-Ray discs. One is used to install the game while the other is used to play it. As you are probably aware, Blu-Ray in its current format version is limited to approximately 50GB of storage space (which is why PS5 could use a new version). Most games contain highly compressed data that will unpack onto the PS4 (or Xbox) as a very large install, sometimes approaching or surpassing 100GB.

However, it appears that RDR2 will both install as well as read files off of a completely separate disc. This does seem to indicate an extremely content-packed game with tons to do as well as some of the highest quality textures ever seen in a console video game. The total install size for the physical version of RDR2 is currently believed to be 99GB for PS4 owners and 107GB for Xbox One owners, although this will likely increase rapidly as free patches and updates release.

MICROTRANSACTIONS EVERYWHERE

If you’re going to report on microtransactions and pay-to-win, do it for all the games – not just EA. Rockstar Games seems to get a free pass from many gamers, or even rabid fanatics defending the company’s shady practices in GTA Online and allergic to hearing anything remotely negative about Red Dead Redemption 2. However, the game has a special edition with exclusive story mode ripped out of the game for no apparent reason, and a slew of microtransactions including the following:

  • Enhanced speed, stamina, acceleration for horse
  • Cash bonuses and discounts
  • Exclusive weapons
  • Gameplay bonuses
  • Faster ranking up in online mode
  • GTA Online cash
  • And more

Regardless of how great Red Dead Redemption 2 turns out to be, and it does look very good, there is no truth to the claims that microtransactions are necessary in the games industry at all. Beyond that, it is also untrue that these changes to gaming are “optional” since titles are purposefully dumbed down with an increased grind and unfair online experience in order to coerce players into spending.

This is certainly not the perfectly smooth launch Rockstar had hoped for, but its unlikely that the hype for their games will die down any time soon. During their continued time upon the throne of gaming it is their responsibility to explore how to satisfy their incredibly greedy executive bosses while still delivering the uncompromising, innovative, excellent titles they are known for.

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