Rumour: Rockstar Lays Off 40 From Red Dead Redemption Team

Red Dead Redemption is a commercial and critical success, moving more than 1.5 million copies in its first month while wrangling rock-solid reviews. Despite that, Rockstar has axed about 40 employees from the San Diego studio, according to sources close to the developer.

Kotaku has heard from multiple sources who say that a significant chunk of Rockstar San Diego was let go earlier today, just shy of two months after Red Dead Redemption's release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Rockstar Games has not yet responded to requests for clarification on the layoffs.

Red Dead Redemption was the subject of multiple delays, a game originally planned for release in the spring of 2009.

Between the game's announcement and its completion, Rockstar San Diego employees alleged unfair working conditions at the studio, comparing the company's New York headquarters to the "Eye of Sauron", an accusation that the company said it was saddened (but appeared amused) by.

Update: Rockstar sends the following statement from Steve Martin, Studio Manager at Rockstar San Diego.

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.


Comments

    Could be worse... at least they didn't hogtie them and leave them on the train tracks.

    Isnt this part of the natural cycle of game development, or any project for that matter. You resource up, produce the product, then you demobilise as many people as you can so you dont have ongoing costs that bring in no profit.

      This is my thoughts also, if there is no work to immediately shift those resources to, they have to be let go.

      It is a shame as they must be some damn talented people that were let go as it is a great game and I hope that with RDR on the resume, they don't have too much time out in the street.

      Sorry to hear for the team so wish them well.

    The media really should be careful to report clearly if it is employees or contractors.

    I'd personally expect in the games industry with projects of that size and cycle that contractors are the swelling staff more so than employees.

    Big difference.

    the games industry is actually quite sh:t. Anyone creative and talented are better off focussing their skills towards other 'more' stable industries.

    I used to want to work in the games industry, but i feel my creative skills are beyond that crap and arent worth their time.

    Why would you need a full dev team during break time. Articles like this are misleading.

    Yawn* .Same thing happens everytime Rockstar releases one of their huge games. I agree with plmko and others above in that while the article sets everything out in a clear fashion it could possible be misinterpreted quite easily.

    Good thing it wasn't the Australian team

      What Australian team? Rockstar Australia?

      You'd have a hard time sacking employees from a fictional studio.

    Well considering how long Rockstar take with releasing there games (they ARE worth the wait) they have no choice.

    I'm a bit confused. If they have the workers, why not keep them working on new titles? Get more games out?

    Especially when you know they're talented enough workers to produce something like RDR.

    I guess what I'm asking is: why is there downtime?

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