According to Rockstar, the answer to the title question is dedication… that and job security. According to Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies, Rockstar North is a fair place to work. The staff works hard and gets rewarded. Testers get promoted to senior staff. Good ideas, no matter who they come from, can get in the game. Turnover rate is low, and people are not constantly worrying about losing their job.
As a result, Rockstar North is easily able to manage an incredibly large design team. According to Benzies, more than 1,000 people worked on Grand Theft Auto V. "Tthat’s because of the size of the thing, we are modelling at such a minute detail. Once upon a time the car models have four moving parts. Now there are 15 alone in a car’s retractable roof. The detail is ten, twenty times greater than GTA IV, so it takes ten, twenty times more people.”
Who would have thought that a studio that makes games about murdering prostitutes for a living would have such moral business practices? One thing is for sure, job security certainly seems to help in producing a blockbuster game. Maybe other studios should follow Rockstar North’s example.
Former Contributing Writer