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Red Dead Redemption was “a recurring nightmare”, says Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser

Red Dead Redemption has long been regarded as one of Rockstar’s finest games, but it seems that not everything was going their way during development however.

According to Leslie Benzies’ lawsuit, in which he is suing Take-Two Interactive for $150m, it is claimed that Red Dead Redemption was facing some serious issues and was far from being ready for release until Benzies stepped in to save the day back in 2009, a year before the game was actually released.

Benzies is trying to prove in his lawsuit that he was a key member at Rockstar and was vital to ensuring that everything ran smoothly. In short, he claims that he was someone they couldn’t live without to help back up his claims that he was unfairly dismissed from his position.

“As Sam Houser himself recognized, 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,” says the lawsuit.

Red Dead Redemption was being developed by Rockstar San Diego which was headed by Dan and Sam Houser. Benzies wasn’t part of the original development and had no involvement in the project until he was called upon to help by Sam Houser in an email which has been obtained from the court papers.

In an email sent to Leslie Benzies by Sam Houser speaking about the development of Red Dead Redemption, he said, “The ups and downs are VERY extreme. We have to fix this. Quickly. Help! I’m freaking!”

Another email was sent the following day which called Red Dead Redemption a recurring nightmare and begged Benzies to come and help the team solve the issues they were having.

“[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 court papers go on to claim that development of Red Dead Redemption was sorted within a few months of Benzies agreeing to help the Houser brothers. The game was then in a good enough state that Rockstar could show it to their partners including Microsoft and Sony.

Red Dead Redemption released in 2010 to glowing reviews and went on to sell 13 million copies on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A sequel has been eagerly anticipated by fans of the series, and although there has been no official confirmation yet regarding a Red Dead Redemption 2, it is rumoured to be in development as we speak. A backwards compatible version of Red Dead Redemption is expected to be available on Xbox One soon, however.

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