How Much Did it Cost to Make Red Dead Redemption 2?

What does it take to create a masterpiece? Critics and fans alike have been floored by the amazing amount of detail and quality in Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s tough to catch lightning in a bottle twice, but Rockstar has undoubtedly done it. But how much did it cost to make Red Dead Redemption 2?

How Much Did it Cost to Make RDR2?

Rockstar has not provided an official estimate of the cost for Red Dead Redemption 2, but industry analyst Michael Pachter has been quoted by Venture Beat as stating, “There are probably 200 full time equivalent employees working on the game, and that has been the case for 8.5 years. At $100,000 per employee, that’s $20 million a year times 8.5 years, equals $170 million.”

Our guess? Red Dead Redemption 2 cost a lot more to make than that. Remember, those are just employee salaries. We also would have to add in other costs, like the price to market the game as well as costs relating to technological upgrades.

Here’s how much it cost for Rockstar to create RDR2.

Rockstar Employees Pulled Insane Shifts Creating This Game

Even the $170 million figure above does not really capture the reality of what went into the creation of RDR2. $170 million is just a number. But what it represents is a ridiculous amount of work.

How ridiculous? For this, I refer you to this post at Eurogamer. Here you can read quotations from employees who discuss the “Mandatory Overtime” they worked developing RDR2. It was not uncommon for employees to work 60 or 80 hours a week (or more).

Rockstar claims that there is nothing compulsory about working overtime on its games, but when employees talk about taking sleeping bags to work and worrying that they will be dismissed if they do not “volunteer” to do overtime, that sounds pretty compulsory.

In any case, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an incredible game, and all of that hard work and sacrifice shows in every aspect of the finished work. Enjoy it to its fullest, and be sure to read our guides so you can get the most out of your RDR2 experience!