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Rockstar trumpets $725m Red Dead Redemption 2 sales

Amid shocking revelations around the human cost of development.

Rockstar has trumpeted Red Dead Redemption 2's astronomical sales, claiming it to be the second-biggest entertainment launch of all time.

The sales success of the game comes hot on the heels of shocking revelations about the human cost of the development of Red Dead Redemption 2.

Rockstar said Red Dead Redemption 2, which came out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Friday, 26th October, generated over $725m in worldwide retail sell-through during its first three days, making it the second-highest grossing entertainment launch of all time behind Rockstar's own Grand Theft Auto 5, which made over $1bn in three days after it went on sale back in 2013.

Records were broken all over. Sony said Red Dead Redemption 2 saw the highest-ever pre-orders, highest day one sales and highest sales for the first three days on market for a game on PlayStation Network.

While Rockstar and the Houser brothers will no doubt be celebrating another stonking video game success, it comes amid an outcry about the way in which their games - and video games in general - are made.

Cover image for YouTube video8 Tips You Need To Know Before You Start Red Dead Redemption 2 - Red Dead Redemption 2 Gameplay

In an unprecedented fashion, Rockstar developers past and present have spoken up about the impact of crunch culture on their lives, with many recounting their stories in articles on Eurogamer, Kotaku and social media.

Here's a snippet from our report:

"Some staff have been encouraged by Rockstar to speak publicly. Others were not. Over the past few weeks I've talked with people who wanted to share their stories, under condition of anonymity to protect their careers, to further that discussion. They are proud of their work and want Red Dead Redemption 2 to succeed, but desperate to see Rockstar's production processes changed. The extreme workload staff have faced over the course of this project in particular has taken a toll - on people's health, relationships and their ambitions of maintaining a career in the games industry. Simply put, some people feel they cannot go through this again."

Meanwhile, Rockstar is readying the release of Red Dead Online for November, initially as a public beta.