Please boycott this game

#1 Edited by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -

I'm just going to copy what I wrote for the game's page:

" In January of 2010, a blog post published on Gamasutra written by the "Rockstar Spouse" pointed out the unethical practices used at Rockstar San Diego during this game's development, including 12 hour days and 6 day weeks, with lower-than-the-industry-average salary increase.  
A few commentors on the blog who claimed to have worked at Rockstar San Diego at some point mentioned that the project is "an organic disaster of the most epic proportions ", that the game has been in development for more than 4 years, and that game developers from Rockstar Toronto, Rockstar Vancouver, Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar New England, and even the Midnight Club team at San Diego had to be transferred over to work on the game to finish it. 
This controversy evoked similar emotions in media to the "EA Spouse" scandal, but it only seems as if the working conditions at Rockstar San Diego are considerably worse. " 

Gamasutra is a legit industry publication and commentors who work or used to work at Rockstar San Diego and some sources for Kotaku have confirmed such practices.  
One of the commentors said that 15-16 hour days were becoming a norm. This is unethical. The employees should just have a massive walkout. 
 
And us, the consumers should show that we don't want people to be depressed or have "suicidal tendencies" because of making a fucking video game.

#2 Posted by ADTR_ZERO (1060 posts) -

No.
#3 Posted by ThatFrood (3375 posts) -

No?

#4 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -
@ADTR_ZERO:
So you're happy people being forced to work 16 hours a day and 6 days a week with no extra pay to make a damned game?
#5 Posted by Three0neFive (2293 posts) -

I wasn't planning on buying this game anyway - sorry to the poeple who apparently literally  slaved away at it, but it seems plain bad - but now I'll try to go the extra mile to inform people of such horrible treatment of employees.

#6 Posted by Zajtalan (1163 posts) -

im not going to boycott it because i want to play it but they should knock this shit out

#7 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -
@Three0neFive:
Yeah, please do. I will try and inform as many consumers as I can too.
#8 Posted by MetalThrashingMatt (210 posts) -

That sucks, but i'm not boycotting this game.

#9 Posted by sopranosfan (1935 posts) -

Nope I will be getting it.  If you want to boycott something boycott anything made in China and half the world.  They make them work long hours for wages that barely put food on the table, then pollute the environment, use unsafe materials and more.  The company is in America as the letter says if they don't improve then they will probably sue and that will go a lot farther than a few hundred gamers boycotting a new IP which would probably be blamed on something else anyways.

#10 Posted by SJSchmidt93 (4895 posts) -

I agree that that's wrong but I'm still gonna buy the game because it looks awesome.

#11 Posted by Metroid545 (1823 posts) -

um no?

#12 Posted by natetodamax (19205 posts) -

Not buying the game, so I am not interested in joining/setting up a boycott that will fail.

#13 Posted by aragorn546 (183 posts) -

Boycotts are largely ineffectual. The people who should be pushing for change are the developers themselves who should be pushing for guild or union status that would give them a better work day. A boycott on a large scale would actually likely backfire since if it catches on and is reported on it would bring more attention to the game.  if you are truly opposed to this then boycott, but it will do nothing constructive. Instead, become involved with the developer community and become and advocate for them, drafting union documents and leading worker walkouts.  This is the NON lazy way to be involved.
 
Oh, and when game prices raise or a large portion of the workforce from the developer is laid off due to raising costs, do not complain, because these are the prices one pays for a better work environment.

#14 Posted by Milkman (16787 posts) -

Yay video game boycotts....

#15 Posted by Metric_Outlaw (1172 posts) -

But if I boycott it all their hard work will be in vein.

#16 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -
@sopranosfan:
This is happening inside United States of America where must industries have unionized workers, but since "employment" in the game industry means "short term contract" in any other business, employers do whatever they want to save some money and get the game out as soon as possible to earn some green. I assure you, as soon the game is done, they will downsize Rockstar San Diego (they already fired most of the Midnight Club team).
#17 Posted by baconbits33 (1156 posts) -
@buzz_killington:
You do realize that in other countries people work from 10-17 hour shifts right? They work out in the horrific elements, most of the time no lunch, coworkers that will beat them if they fuck up, the material they are working with contains chemicals, or their workstations are similar to that of 1800's style factories in Ireland and therefore can easily kill you and since they don't have the protective gear a lot of them get sick or kill them, and all that and they get paid roughly around.... $15-$30 a day? Oh and they work all week.  
 
Seriously working 15-16 hour shifts is what I had to do for one of my summer jobs as landscaping and construction, my father has those shifts all the time, and our troops work shifts twice and sometime triple that long. At least these people get breaks in between these times, and they get to sit at a desk and work on a computer and get paid around $15-$20 and hour and if not higher, so if you get depressed about it then too fucking bad. These goddamn labor unions have fucked up everything, if you can't handle working for 16 hours then you are pathetic. Don't expect sympathy from me, or from most of the world because frankly if that's upsetting news for you guys then fuck that.
#18 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19339 posts) -

How about you boycott all the other products you probably buy that have an extremely shady backstory to them?  I assure you, there are tons.  And this is not unheard of, especially in the video game industry and especially during Crunch Time.

#19 Posted by zombie2011 (4973 posts) -
@buzz_killington:  
Yeah lets boycott the game then the game won't sell therefore all of them will be unemployed. Of course the execs that made them work the 15hr days will still have their job. You don't think shit through do you?
#20 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11734 posts) -

No problem. I wasn't going to buy it anyways.

#21 Posted by Cerza (1653 posts) -
@sopranosfan said:
" Nope I will be getting it.  If you want to boycott something boycott anything made in China and half the world.  They make them work long hours for wages that barely put food on the table, then pollute the environment, use unsafe materials and more.  The company is in America as the letter says if they don't improve then they will probably sue and that will go a lot farther than a few hundred gamers boycotting a new IP which would probably be blamed on something else anyways. "
New IP? I thought this was the follow up to red dead revolver...
 
In any case, I also thought long hours for no pay was the norm in the video game industry. Also, I agree that if they aren't happy with it they should walk out and sue rockstar for the unethical manner in which they have been treated.
#22 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -
@baconbits33:
But we're talking about valuable and educated artists and engineers who could be working 8 hour days and make as  much money in other computer development businesses or graphic design businesses.
#23 Posted by Creamypies (4065 posts) -

What a great idea. Not only will these Rockstar employees suffer at the hands of their superiors... they will also suffer at the hands of the consumers.
 
Let's get everybody fired! YAY!

#24 Posted by Rowr (5637 posts) -
@buzz_killington said:
" @ADTR_ZERO: So you're happy people being forced to work 16 hours a day and 6 days a week with no extra pay to make a damned game? "
Those people have a choice.
 
It's not like their doing manual labour. Do that for 4 years and then get back to me, i might be sympathetic. 
 
At least they have work.
#25 Edited by gike987 (1754 posts) -

No vacation over Christmas, over 14-16h a day and 6 days a week, unpaid overtime and studio managers that refuse to look the workers in the face. Doesn't sound like the studio i would want to work for and not the studio I would feel good buying games from.

Online
#26 Edited by Kiemoe (1055 posts) -

Plenty of game developers have to kick all-nighters and stuff to meet deadlines, I don't think that this is much more extreme than that. But, if the developers are unhappy, then the game will suffer anyways, so the game will pretty much boycott itself. 

#27 Posted by Romination (2777 posts) -

Who has two thumbs and doesn't care OR want to buy the game in the first place?!
 
Fuck your boycotts. Don't CALL for one, inform people and then let them base their own decision.

#28 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -
@aragorn546:
Unionizing is almost impossible due to the norm in the game business that "employment" means "short term contract with no benefits".  
We don't even have the first generation of game makers retiring yet, just wait until they start complaining about health benefits and pensions... 
But I am not a laywer and I don't understand unionization. But I know that it can work (like in the movie and TV business), but for it to work, they would have to restructure the whole industry. I am a consumer, and this is the only way that I can show I disagree with what Rockstar is doing.
#29 Posted by ToxicFruit (1717 posts) -

What is the use of boycotting their game that they have been working so hard on only to make it sell worse and make them look worse.

#30 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -
@Rowr:
They don't have a choice. If they quit, there will be nothing on their resumes.
#31 Posted by sopranosfan (1935 posts) -
@Cerza: My bad you are right and the sad thing is I have that game....although to be fair it is supposed to be so different it might be almost a new IP
#32 Posted by Peanut (954 posts) -

I work 12-14 hour days, 5 days a week, doing actual work, as in physical labour. They're sitting at computers for 12 hours a day. Don't act like what they're doing is insanely out of the norm when it comes to work hours. 
 
The whole unpaid overtime, no vacation shit is totally unforgivable, though. That's the kind of thing that should be brought up. 

#33 Posted by Crocio (542 posts) -

Agreed, quite unethical, but I won't be purchasing that game anyway.
As mentioned above, this is all about spreading the news.

#34 Posted by Suicidal_SNiper (949 posts) -

How would boycotting help? We'll just be cutting their profits so they'd be paid less for their hard work that they've done. The only thing that would help in this case would be to file a lawsuit against them which I assume they will be doing if this story is true.

#35 Posted by DragoonKain1687 (702 posts) -

Uhmmm, nope. I work 12 hours, in fact, many people work for 12 hours, specially on deadlines. 
There is always a choice, they decided to stay, THEY were given a contract which they FIRST accepted. 
 
He who tells beforehand does not betray after. 
 
In fact, just look at the "Making of" videos of many recent games, most studios have this practices. Even the teams of Naughty dog. 
 
Quality games are not created by magical trees. Which is why the best you can do is buy it, not pirate it.

#36 Posted by bonbolapti (1612 posts) -

That breaks my heart a bit, because I am looking forward to playing this.
#37 Posted by natetodamax (19205 posts) -
@buzz_killington: Also, wouldn't boycotting the game mean putting all of their hard work to waste?
#38 Posted by TheGreatGuero (9130 posts) -

Heck no, man. This is my most anticipated game of 2010 right now. It's kind of sad, but I really doubt this is the only game in production where this is happening. This is an industry built around meeting tough deadlines. Whenever games get near release, I think this is actually a pretty common thing. The real problem here is how impatient most of gamers are. They want everything now, now, now. It puts a lot of stress on game developers and their workers. Look at Resident Evil 4, remember how much people cried over it being delayed and not having a solid release date? For years gamers whined about it. In the end, it sure was worth it, though, right? So yeah, it's not cool for Rockstar to do this, but it's just the unruly audience they have to cater to that makes it this way.

#39 Posted by PureRok (4235 posts) -

Those are common working hours in Japan. Get over it.

#40 Posted by gike987 (1754 posts) -
@Peanut said:

" I work 12-14 hour days, 5 days a week, doing actual work, as in physical labour. They're sitting at computers for 12 hours a day. Don't act like what they're doing is insanely out of the norm when it comes to work hours.  The whole unpaid overtime, no vacation shit is totally unforgivable, though. That's the kind of thing that should be brought up.  "

Note that with the unpaid overtime it becomes 14-16 hour days and it's for 6 days a week instead of 5 like you have. Also, try to sit in front of your computer for 14 hours mostly copy pasting text and and you see that you will feel even more tired out than doing physical labour.
Online
#41 Edited by MikeFightNight (1110 posts) -
@sopranosfan said:

" Nope I will be getting it.  If you want to boycott something boycott anything made in China and half the world.  They make them work long hours for wages that barely put food on the table, then pollute the environment, use unsafe materials and more.  The company is in America as the letter says if they don't improve then they will probably sue and that will go a lot farther than a few hundred gamers boycotting a new IP which would probably be blamed on something else anyways. "

well said.  I agree fully. 
#42 Posted by sopranosfan (1935 posts) -

People have boycotted Disney, Harry Potter, Dan Brown, and countless other things how has that worked out just for those 3 franchises.  The only thing accomplished is the people that participated missed out on some great things.

#43 Posted by Crono (2667 posts) -

I'm boycotting this game - but not for the reasons the OP brings up.  I am boycotting it because Red Dead Revolver sucked hard.

Online
#44 Posted by RobotHamster (4171 posts) -

But  wouldn't boycotting the game just make all of their hours meaningless and actually make the matte worse for the employees?  Because then they have to work twice as long to make the next game better.  So all those hours put into this game and no one will buy it.  I'm sure you can think of other ways to boycott them, try pitchforks and torches outside their studio, that'll show em'.

#45 Posted by kmdrkul (3476 posts) -

I disagree with this sentiment.  If anything, buying the game gives those who slaved over it for so many hours pride knowing that at least people are buying and enjoying the game they worked so hard on.  The Pyramids weren't built so we could turn our backs to them and stare at the ground; you stare at them for the works of art they made and appreciate the hard work that went into building them, regardless of the unethical practices that happened "behind the scenes."

#46 Posted by BrainSpecialist (554 posts) -

I can't care. I wish I could, but I'm apathetic as shit.

#47 Posted by Warfare (1634 posts) -

No I will not.

#48 Posted by JTMosh (258 posts) -

Maybe if people at Rockstar would have put this kind of effort into GTA4 it wouldn't have sucked so hard.

#49 Posted by TheHT (11250 posts) -
@buzz_killington said:

 This is unethical. The employees should just have a massive walkout. 

Ok, let them walk out then. Suicidal tendencies? Really? Well I suppose if they did that they'd get a lot more attention.
 
@Toxic said:
" What is the use of boycotting their game that they have been working so hard on only to make it sell worse and make them look worse. "
It isn't difficult to understand that if R* finds that the reason it wasn't a hit was due to the boycott and the boycott's due to the alleged harsh working conditions and thusly change their ways, at least that's the logic behing the boycott.
 
If it's true that's pretty messed up. THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX?!?!
#50 Posted by CaptainTightPants (2834 posts) -

Boycott a game that people worked extremely hard on....
How would that be good?

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