Dan Houser, co-founder and vice president of creativity for Rockstar Games, revealed in an interview with Vulture that Red Dead Redemption 2 is 60 hours long. It had stood at 65 hours, but a plot that involved protagonist Arthur Morgan pursuing a second love interest was dropped. Houser said: “we decided one of them didn’t work.”
Several missions, including one set on a train where you had to deal with bounty hunters, were also removed as they “were never going to work technically or be quite slick enough, or they felt superfluous.”
It’s also revealed that the final script for RDR2’s main story was about 2000 pages long. Houser said that if all the side missions and additional dialogue were included, the pages would stack about eight feet high— even some NPCs have scripts that run for 80 pages.
The number of characters in the game required 1200 actors, all of them SAG-AFTRA, 700 of whom have dialogue, which meant 2,200 days of motion-capture work. “We’re the biggest employers of actors in terms of numbers of anyone in New York, by miles,” said Houser. The final game contains 300,000 animations and 500,000 lines of dialogue in total.
What’s missing from Red Dead Redemption 2 are any big-name stars. Houser previously clashed with Burt Reynolds, who appeared in 2002’s GTA: Vice City, and Public Enemy’s Chuck D, from 2004’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. “We don’t bring in name actors anymore because of their egos and, most important of all, because we believe we get a better sense of immersion using talented actors whose voices you don’t recognize,” he explained
Red Dead Redemption 2 launches on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this October 26. Still no word on a PC version—the original was console-only—but given the success of GTA V and evidence from earlier this year, expect RDR2 to hit the platform at some point in the future.