To fully realize its vision for Red Dead Redemption 2 and create its ambitious, living open-world experience, Rockstar Games has brought together all its development teams and studios to function as a single core group working constantly for the best part of a decade.

In an interview with IGN, the co-studio head of Rockstar North, Rob Nelson, revealed that Red Dead Redemption 2 has been in-development for the past eight years as a consolidated effort by all the teams under the Rockstar Games umbrella. Work on the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed western open-world shooter began once production wrapped up on Red Dead Redemption, which shipped in May 2010.

Red Dead Redemption 2 utilizes new technology to bring its open-world to life, but instead of procedurally generating that world, Rockstar Games has been crafting it by hand to create “a more detailed, immersive, and interactive open-world,” where fun as every bit important as visual fidelity. Unlike Rockstar’s past open-worlds, however, this one hasn’t been made by a single Rockstar studio, but all of them have been functionality as a single team working constantly on Red Dead Redemption 2.

“We’ve done it out of necessity. It used to be that a 50-person team could make a game, and then it just got bigger and bigger and bigger,” Nelson told IGN.

Rockstar Games has gradually consolidated all its studios into a single team spanning the globe throughout the development of Red Dead Redemption 2, and whilst the company has previously shipped games made by Rockstar North – in the case of Grand Theft Auto V, or Rockstar San Diego –in the case of Red Dead Redemption, Red Dead Redemption 2 is being released as a ‘Rockstar Games Production’ from Rockstar Studios – a global effort by all its teams, working together as one.

To bring its ambition and technical innovation to life in Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar Games has had to rethink how it creates the open-world experience and bring all its teams together to truly realize its vision and potential. As IGN stated in their article, “it had to fundamentally rethink how to make this type of game. There was no other way.”

Make sure to check out IGN’s full interview with Rob Nelson for even more details, which goes deep into the open-world gameplay mechanics of Red Dead Redemption 2 and how Rockstar Games is giving players more choice than ever before in its upcoming follow-up to the best western game experience ever crafted. Red Dead Redemption 2 will be available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles on October 26th, 2018.