Here's why John Carpenter quit Red Dead Redemption

John Carpenter on Red Dead Redemption
(Image credit: Rockstar Games/Future)

Iconic horror director and lover of video games John Carpenter has more gaming opinions, including a hilarious reason for not playing the Red Dead Redemption series. Carpenter has spoken about his love for video games before, most notably praising Assassin's Creed Valhalla back in 2020, calling it an "incredible game" via his Twitter account. 

In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Carpenter (who famously avoids talking about his body of work) spoke candidly about his history with video games. He first started playing games in 1992 with Sonic the Hedgehog. "I play older stuff, but I play new stuff. I play all stuff," Carpenter says. When asked what he's playing right now, Carpenter is quick with a response.

"I’ve been playing this game for quite a while. It’s called Fallout 76. The Fallout games are fun, it’s like a post-apocalyptic world. This game had a rough launch, with problems and bugs, but I really like it. There’s this incredible game called Horizon Forbidden West. Astonishing game," he says. When the interviewer asks if Horizon Forbidden West is an immersive Western, the conversation shifts to Red Dead Redemption, which Carpenter never properly played for an absolutely hilarious (and understandable) reason. 

"I couldn’t get on the damn horse," he admits. "I gave up. It was too hard." To be fair, Rockstar's control scheme has always been a bit difficult for me to grasp. I, personally, felt immense levels of guilt and shame when playing Red Dead Redemption 2 because I kept accidentally punching my horse instead of mounting it. So, Mr. Carpenter, I see you, I hear you, I empathize with you. 

Don't call Jordan Peele the best horror director - he'll tell you it's John Carpenter.

Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.