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Red Dead Redemption 2 is an action game developed and published by Rockstar Games. The game is a prequel to Red Dead Redemption and the third game in the Red Dead series. The game was released for Playstation 4 and Xbox One and released to universal acclaim.
In mid-October of 2016, Rockstar Games posted several tweets leading up to an announcement that Red Dead Redemption 2 would be released in Fall of 2017 (shown below). Within 24 hours, the announcement tweet received more than 134,000 likes and 108,000 retweets.
On October 16th, 2016, the video game news site GamesRadar published an article arguing that Red Dead Redemption 2 should be set in the modern day rather than the Old West.
The following day, Redditor BerserkWolfUK posted a screenshot of the headline titled "When you sigh so hard you spit out your tonsils" to /r/gaming, where it gathered upwards of 7,500 votes (85% upvoted) and 970 comments. Meanwhile, a post complaining about the article was submitted to /r/KotakuInAction.
On October 20th, 2016, Rockstar debuted the first trailer for the game (shown below).
While the game was initially announced for the Fall of 2017, it would not come out until one year later, on October 26th, 2018.
100-hour Work Week Statements
On October 14th, 2018, Vulture published a piece on the development of Red Dead Redemption 2. In the piece, Rockstar cofounder Dan Houser said that in getting the most intricate aspects of the game correct, members of the development team would often work 100-hour weeks. The piece reads:
The polishing, rewrites, and reedits Rockstar does are immense. “We were working 100-hour weeks” several times in 2018, Dan says. The finished game includes 300,000 animations, 500,000 lines of dialogue, and many more lines of code. Even for each RDR2 trailer and TV commercial, “we probably made 70 versions, but the editors may make several hundred. Sam and I will both make both make lots of suggestions, as will other members of the team.”
The idea of "100-hour work weeks" led to concerns about unfair working conditions at Rockstar Games. Houser clarified to Kotaku what he meant by the comment, saying:
The point I was trying to make in the article was related to how the narrative and dialogue in the game was crafted, which was mostly what we talked about, not about the different processes of the wider team. After working on the game for seven years, the senior writing team, which consists of four people, Mike Unsworth, Rupert Humphries, Lazlow and myself, had, as we always do, three weeks of intense work when we wrapped everything up… More importantly, we obviously don’t expect anyone else to work this way. Across the whole company, we have some senior people who work very hard purely because they’re passionate about a project, or their particular work, and we believe that passion shows in the games we release. But that additional effort is a choice, and we don’t ask or expect anyone to work anything like this.
The comments nevertheless led to widespread discussion about heavy overtime in the video games industry, referred to as "Crunch" by those in the business. Twitter Moments compiled numerous Twitter users' opinions on and experiences with Crunch, including a thread by Jenn Sandercock in which she relayed her story about working at a AAA game development company that chastised her for baking cakes for coworkers so they could take a 30 minute break once a week.
Shirrako Gaming YouTube Ban
On October 31st, 2018, YouTuber Shirrako uploaded a video titled "Red Dead Redemption 2 – Annoying Feminist Fed to Alligator," featuring footage from the game in which the player lassos a women's suffrage activist and feeds her to an alligator in a swamp. The video has since been removed, but was subsequently reuploaded by other users (shown below).
On November 5th, the Vice news site Motherboard published an article titled "Red Dead Redemption 2 Players Are Excited to Attack and Kill Feminists in the Game," which criticized Shirrako's videos. The article included an interview with Shirrako, addressing why the video was created:
"I know you're probably expecting some political answer but the truth is it was simply a funny moment from one of my streams which I've decided to upload as a separate video. Not sure if it was intentional by Rockstar Games but the NPC is made to be rather annoying, when you try to shop for clothing in the game, your dialogue with the shop keeper keeps being interrupted by her shouting, so I simply wanted to shop in peace, I'm sure that as a gamer you're familiar with these annoying NPC situations."
That day, YouTuber Keemstar tweeted a video denouncing the channel's ban, saying that it made no sense to censor channels for killing people in video games (shown below). Within two hours, the video garnered more than 56,000 views and 920 retweets.
Dear— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) November 7, 2018
YouTubeGaming</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamYouTube?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">TeamYouTube
Fwiz</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/SusanWojcicki?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">SusanWojcicki pic.twitter.com/SaWDBnEfOP
That day, YouTuber TheQuartering posted a video about the ban titled "Shirrako Banned For Feeding Feminist To Pig In Red Dead Redemption 2."
Meanwhile, a post about the ban reached the front page of /r/reddeadredemption, garnering more than 1,400 points (88% upvoted) and 70 comments within four hours.
The game was a large critical and commercial success. It was the bestselling game in its first week of release, and is predicted to be bestselling game of 2018, according to the NPD group. Reviewers gave the game extremely high marks. As of October 29th, the game has a score of 97/100 on Metacritic based on 79 reviews, with several perfect scores. Critics praised the game's open world, story, and attention to detail.
Red Dead Redemption 2 has over 540,000 Facebook likes. A subreddit for the game gained over 23,000 subscribers. Jokes about Big Enough being in the game spread online as well. Twitter user @MoonlightErick tweeted a joke that Rockstar confirmed it would not have Big Enough in the game, gaining over 370 retweets (shown below, left). GTA Series Videos posted an edit of the meme regarding the impending release date for the game, gaining over 500,000 views (shown below, right).
Red Dead Redemption Teasers
Red Dead Redemption 2 Teaser Edits is a photoshop series based on the second teaser image for the upcoming sequel game Red Dead Redemption 2. On October 18th, 2016, Redditor EpicAbcdude uploaded an edited teaser image referencing the cover art for Daft Punk's 2013 disco hit "Get Lucky" to /r/reddeadredemption (shown below). That day, a compilation of notable examples was published on the video game news site VG24/7.