Is Rockstar Changing How They Produce Video Games?

Games produced by Rockstar Games will supposedly take less time to complete in future.

Rockstar Games is changing the way they approach video game production, or at least this is what has been suggested by a recent interview featuring the publisher’s CEO, Strauss Zelnick . The company has always focused on producing top quality games with lengthy, integrated and complex story lines on release. Although this avenue of long hours of completion has worked in the past, this is what leads to the extended production times for their games, causing sporadic release periods.

In a recent interview with GamesIndustry, Zelnick commented on how Rockstar will be attempting to address this issue in future by speaking about how future titles may be released, stating that “it’s possible that games may be a bit shorter than they were in certain instances.” He also suggested delivering content on an ongoing basis after the game has been released is a possible manner in which to decrease lengthy production times.

Ultimately, it seems the publisher’s new approach to future releases will look at pivoting on releasing great titles in shorter periods of time. In order to do this, they are looking at expanding their teams to increase production speeds. The publisher’s main reason for shortening the time of completion is the realisation that consumers enjoy continuous work on the title, multiple updates and exciting additions to each game. This is opposed to releasing the game brimming with content from the beginning.

Completion times for Rockstar titles have always been notably long, ranging tens of hours (such as Grand Theft Auto 5 taking 49 hours to complete and Red Dead Redemption 2 taking 78 hours to complete). Games have also always included extensive side missions, which add depth to the main story and character. It will be interesting to see how a new production method affects this.

It is important to note that despite the above statement, we know very little about Rockstar’s production cycle, which might look completely different from that discussed above. Right now, we also only have the available games to judge the publisher on, so the suggested change can’t really be thought of as a bad thing.

Do you think the production change will affect the quality of Rockstar titles in future?