Red Dead Redemption Was a Recurring Nightmare During Development According to Sam Houser

Red Dead Redemption Was a "Recurring Nightmare" During Development According to Sam Houser

Richard Walker

While upon its release, Red Dead Redemption was held up as a critical and commercial success, less than a year prior to launch, things weren't looking quite so hopeful, according to court papers from former employee Leslie Benzies' $150 million lawsuit against Rockstar Games.

In fact, development on Red Dead Redemption was described as a "recurring nightmare" by Sam Houser in a 2009 email, leading Rockstar to draft in Benzies to help out. This has been used as evidence of Benzies' vital role in the Rockstar development process on various projects, most notably Red Dead Redemption.

"The ups and downs are VERY extreme. We have to fix this. Quickly. Help! I'm freaking!", another email from Sam Houser to Leslie Benzies reads. An email sent the next day said: "[RDR] is a (recurring) nightmare. But one I/we need to get out of. I have problems with the camera all over the place. So much so, that I can't be rational or specific about it. The darkness!!! PLEASE help me/us get RDR. I am a jabbering wreck right now. I need The Benz!'"

The lawsuit claims that thanks to Benzies' assistance, Red Dead Redemption was sorted out "within a few months", enabling Rockstar to begin showcasing the game to partners and platform holders like Sony and Microsoft.

"As Sam Houser himself recognised, the Houser brothers were incapable of completing large and complex games without Mr Benzies' oversight, management, and skill in taking unwieldy designs and making an understandable, cohesive, and enjoyable game," the lawsuit papers conclude.

Red Dead Redemption launched back in May 2010, shipping over 14 million copies. A sequel has been heavily rumoured for some time, but nothing solid or reliable has been forthcoming as yet.

[Via GameSpot]

  • Please do not type the words red dead redemption on this site without the accompanying words being BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE.
  • If I was judging this I'd rule in favour of the plaintiff for having the nickname "The Benz". That's why I wont be judging
  • Please stop allowing comments on articles, because the constant whining about the same damn stupid things is unbearable. Anyway, RDR is one of those games that, despite the issues in development, was more than worth it
  • I recall Rockstar also had issues with LA Noire, if memory serves me? But that game was great as well, seems they manage to pull through.
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  • @1&5 Yeah, I'd much rather have a Red Dead 3, than having Redemption being BC.
  • [Comment deleted]
  • @4 That was Team Bondi, not Rockstar if I recall.
  • @8 Yeah that rings a bell, I'm guessing R* just published it then.
  • Most open world games seem like sausages that we really don't want to see how they get made. I cannot imagine how rough GTA V had to be as well.
  • Great game and Undead Nightmare was the best piece of DLC I ever bought. Bring on a sequel.
  • As much as I love Red Dead, I'm to the point where I don't want them to make a sequel anymore because they're just going to fuck it up. This is especially true now that they have neither Christian Cantamessa nor Leslie Benzies to make the game for them. I'm also convinced one of the things holding up a Red Dead sequel is that they can't think of a wild west equivalent to Shark Cards. Not to mention that once they do what the hell will you buy with it? A better horse? A bigger ranch? Cattle to herd? Everybody sure loved cattle herding in Redemption, if I recall correctly. A part of me also thinks that the impetus of shoving Benzies out the door is that R* do not intend to make any more games and will just coast off GTAO from here on out. It certainly would explain why they shit-canned their star lead designer...
  • I just read that LA Noire was a great game and fell off my chair laughing
  • @1 Your wish has been granted.
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