All Work and No Credit, A Tale of Two Developers

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Posted by patrickklepek (4791 posts) -
The total development of L.A. Noire stretched seven years, from 2004 to 2011.

Una Cruickshank worked on L.A. Noire, but you wouldn't know it.

Even if you were patient enough to sit through the rolling credits after finishing the game, you wouldn't see her name. Cruickshank was one of the many people who passed in and out of the protracted L.A. Noire development process that began way back in 2004.

L.A. Noire was a PlayStation 3 exclusive to be published by Sony at one point, remember?

The only reason Cruickshank's listed on Moby Games right now as having contributed is due to a petition, located at www.lanoirecredits.com, organized by 149 developers who claim to have been left off the credits for the joint production between Rockstar Games and Team Bondi.

Cruickshank agreed to talk to me because the issue of proper crediting is not exclusive to L.A. Noire or Rockstar Games, though the company has been publicly criticized for similar problems in the past.

It's an industry-wide problem, one which has no clear solution and continues to weigh heavily over the community.

Rockstar Games declined the opportunity to comment on this story.

After graduating from college, Cruickshank started at Rockstar North in Edinburgh, Scotland where all of the major Grand Theft Auto releases have been crafted. She had humble beginnings at the studio, who was developing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas at the time. She started as a temporary contractor, then offered a permanent position as a development assistant after the game shipped in October 2004 on PlayStation 2.

"After about a year I decided I was bored with being a development assistant, and that what I really wanted to be was a scriptwriter," she told me recently. "James Worrall, the lead writer on the GTA series, very kindly gave me some dialogue to work on and with that I was off: I've been writing in one field or another ever since."

During that time, she worked on both San Andreas and the PSP spin-off Liberty City Stories. She was from New Zealand, though, using a work visa. When that expired and she was unable to procure a new one, she left Rockstar North and applied at Team Bondi, a studio she'd never heard of at the time. Strangely enough, she was leaving Rockstar Games to end up working with Rockstar Games again on the company's adopted project, L.A. Noire, as a script assistant.

Cruickshank wasn't there when L.A. Noire's development started or finished, and when she joined the studio, she never heard of any official policy about crediting. What happens to anyone who works on the game but leaves before completion?

"It was understood among the developers that if you did not see the project through to completion you would lose your credit," she said. "I knew this because I had worked in game development before and had seen it happen: how the younger developers with no experience worked it out I have no idea. It was simply accepted as fact that if you quit, got fired or were made redundant you would have nothing to show for your work. In the course of a seven year development cycle, that happened to an awful lot of people, some of whom put years of work into a project they loved. The day I resigned, I knew that one of the things I was giving up was my credit, and it made the decision even more difficult."

If you look up the credits for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, you'll find Cruickshank's name.

Ultimately, Cruickshank wasn't credited when L.A. Noire shipped in May. She left Team Bondi in January 2008.

Companies are not required to credit everyone who touched a project because there is not an industry-wide forced standard. The International Game Developers Association has established the closest thing we have by actually creating a standardization template for developers to use, but it's all optional.

"The L.A. Noire issue highlights the dichotomy relating to credits," said Brian Robbins, chair of the IGDA board of directors and founder of mobile developer Riptide Games. "Some developers and studio heads see a credit as a 'badge.' They see credits as an award ribbon that you get for crossing the finish line or the pat on the back for sticking through long hours and poor working conditions. The people that feel this way might consider giving credit to an artist that worked on the game two years previous and left for greener pastures after a year almost insulting."

Rockstar Games has been knocked for credits in the past, and it's the last incident that prompted the IGDA to create a Credits Standards Committee to write credits guidelines in the first place.

It was not the only thing the Manhunt series became known for, but long before L.A. Noire, Manhunt 2's release caused controversy for a number of developers left off the credits list.

Jurie Horneman was employed at the now-defunct Rockstar Vienna, working as a senior project manager on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for Xbox and a producer on Manhunt 2. He was credited for the former but not the latter, and made headlines back in 2007 for publishing a list with a much more complete list of developers who'd contributed to Manhunt 2.

"I would have been surprised if they had credited us for Manhunt 2 and the other AAA next-gen project we had in development," Horneman told me. "But I kind of saw it coming so I had the blog post with the full credits prepared. The list was made with help from and in cooperation with other ex-Rockstar Vienna people. What I didn't know is that Hannes Seifert, one of the two former managing directors of Rockstar Vienna, was involved with the IGDA credits effort. He knew I was preparing the blog post, so the fact that the IGDA revealed their credits standard at the same time was no accident, even if I didn't know about it at the time."

There wasn't a company-wide policy regarding credits at Rockstar Games, as far as Horneman ever knew. As a studio, however, Rockstar Vienna took it upon themselves to keep a credits document at the start of a project and keep it updated as people cycled through the company. Obviously, the list wasn't used.

"From looking at L.A. Noire and Manhunt 2, it seems they put everyone who was there at the end into the credits, and left off anyone who was not," said Horneman.

And while Rockstar Games has taken multiple hits regarding credits, Mythic Entertainment was under fire in 2008, after the launch of Warhammer Online. It was a similar situation, with anyone still working at Mythic Entertainment when the MMO launched listed in the lengthy credits. Whereas Rockstar Games has mostly ignored both situations, Mythic Entertainment actually built an online database to properly credit anyone who'd been a part of putting together Warhammer Online.

While these situations are unfortunate and uncomfortable, the IGDA applauds the result.

"While creating the standard has helped a few developers," said Robbins, "it’s the public outcry that emerges every time high profile games are accused of omitting people from the credits that really has impact."

The ambitious world in L.A. Noire took hundreds of developers nearly a decade to create.

If Brendan McNamara had left L.A. Noire halfway through development, there would be headlines (in fact, that's happened anyway). No one noticed when Cruickshank left because she wasn't put in front of the press. Without a public record of her involvement, it's not surprising no one called foul when the game shipped without her name.

"For many of us, the fear of not being credited was a large part of what kept us working on L.A. Noire through a long and sometimes difficult development cycle," she said. "It wasn't that we didn't love and believe in the game, but this was a monumental project which demanded a lot from its staff over a very long time."

"A number of Team Bondi's developers were hired directly out of university or TAFE [technical and further education institutions in Australia]" she continued. "L.A. Noire was their first real job, and a few years into the project some began to feel that they literally could not leave--if they did, they would be in their mid-twenties or early thirties with what amounted to a blank resume. Fair and consistent crediting rules would have allowed those people to make their own decisions about their employment without fearing that they had wasted years of their working lives."

Horneman shared some of the same concerns, but said this wouldn't be the case for every individual.

"I have blank spots in my resume, it's impossible to tell how much it has affected my career," he said. "If I see someone with a 'AAA' resume, I am not surprised when there are a lot gaps and cancelled projects on there. And you can always find someone who worked with the person and get feedback that way. So I am perhaps a bit more sanguine than most about the value of credits. I can say I've been making games for over 20 years, which probably helps open doors."

Therein lies the rub for some developers.

With the rise of mobile and social games, the IGDA estimates the number of developers who go uncredited on projects has only risen in recent years. Without credit, a new programmer or artist just breaking in could be left with nothing to show for it.

In the movie industry, labor unions like the Writers Guild of America fight for the rights of its members, performing duties such as enforcing credits. Unions don't exist in video games. It's not to say unions are the only way to make credits more important in the eyes of developers and publishers, but unions are one way to collectively force an industry towards change.

"To force an industry to value credits and understand their worth will require employees to insist on receiving them," said Robbins. "As long as we 'understand' and 'accept' that crediting is only a participation award for the finishers, the industry will continue to treat employees that way."

Those who worked on Warhammer Online but left before ship were added to an online database.

Games are still in the early stages of maturing as a medium. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision defending the First Amendment rights of games is one signal of that, albeit an important one. As games become better known as creative works worth acknowledging, the demand for those who craft them to, in turn, receive acknowledgement for their work may grow.

"In game development, it is not unusual to be in a dark position where everything seems lost, and then, through a heroic effort involving overtime, suddenly everything works and is done on time, sort of," said Horneman. "From personal experience I can tell you that going through a phase like that is an incredibly bonding experience. And it then becomes very natural to believe that anyone who wasn't there doesn't know what it was like and maybe doesn't deserve to be credited. And, also, that you can solve any problem by crunching--hey, it worked last time! It takes maturity to realize that this a short term solution, and that you cannot build a medium to long term strategy based on that."

If the IGDA's prediction that more and more developers are being left off credits is true, we need more developers to be brave enough to come forward, and gaming advocates need to champion them on.

"The biggest enemy to an industry crediting standard is apathy," concluded Robbins.

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (4791 posts) -
The total development of L.A. Noire stretched seven years, from 2004 to 2011.

Una Cruickshank worked on L.A. Noire, but you wouldn't know it.

Even if you were patient enough to sit through the rolling credits after finishing the game, you wouldn't see her name. Cruickshank was one of the many people who passed in and out of the protracted L.A. Noire development process that began way back in 2004.

L.A. Noire was a PlayStation 3 exclusive to be published by Sony at one point, remember?

The only reason Cruickshank's listed on Moby Games right now as having contributed is due to a petition, located at www.lanoirecredits.com, organized by 149 developers who claim to have been left off the credits for the joint production between Rockstar Games and Team Bondi.

Cruickshank agreed to talk to me because the issue of proper crediting is not exclusive to L.A. Noire or Rockstar Games, though the company has been publicly criticized for similar problems in the past.

It's an industry-wide problem, one which has no clear solution and continues to weigh heavily over the community.

Rockstar Games declined the opportunity to comment on this story.

After graduating from college, Cruickshank started at Rockstar North in Edinburgh, Scotland where all of the major Grand Theft Auto releases have been crafted. She had humble beginnings at the studio, who was developing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas at the time. She started as a temporary contractor, then offered a permanent position as a development assistant after the game shipped in October 2004 on PlayStation 2.

"After about a year I decided I was bored with being a development assistant, and that what I really wanted to be was a scriptwriter," she told me recently. "James Worrall, the lead writer on the GTA series, very kindly gave me some dialogue to work on and with that I was off: I've been writing in one field or another ever since."

During that time, she worked on both San Andreas and the PSP spin-off Liberty City Stories. She was from New Zealand, though, using a work visa. When that expired and she was unable to procure a new one, she left Rockstar North and applied at Team Bondi, a studio she'd never heard of at the time. Strangely enough, she was leaving Rockstar Games to end up working with Rockstar Games again on the company's adopted project, L.A. Noire, as a script assistant.

Cruickshank wasn't there when L.A. Noire's development started or finished, and when she joined the studio, she never heard of any official policy about crediting. What happens to anyone who works on the game but leaves before completion?

"It was understood among the developers that if you did not see the project through to completion you would lose your credit," she said. "I knew this because I had worked in game development before and had seen it happen: how the younger developers with no experience worked it out I have no idea. It was simply accepted as fact that if you quit, got fired or were made redundant you would have nothing to show for your work. In the course of a seven year development cycle, that happened to an awful lot of people, some of whom put years of work into a project they loved. The day I resigned, I knew that one of the things I was giving up was my credit, and it made the decision even more difficult."

If you look up the credits for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, you'll find Cruickshank's name.

Ultimately, Cruickshank wasn't credited when L.A. Noire shipped in May. She left Team Bondi in January 2008.

Companies are not required to credit everyone who touched a project because there is not an industry-wide forced standard. The International Game Developers Association has established the closest thing we have by actually creating a standardization template for developers to use, but it's all optional.

"The L.A. Noire issue highlights the dichotomy relating to credits," said Brian Robbins, chair of the IGDA board of directors and founder of mobile developer Riptide Games. "Some developers and studio heads see a credit as a 'badge.' They see credits as an award ribbon that you get for crossing the finish line or the pat on the back for sticking through long hours and poor working conditions. The people that feel this way might consider giving credit to an artist that worked on the game two years previous and left for greener pastures after a year almost insulting."

Rockstar Games has been knocked for credits in the past, and it's the last incident that prompted the IGDA to create a Credits Standards Committee to write credits guidelines in the first place.

It was not the only thing the Manhunt series became known for, but long before L.A. Noire, Manhunt 2's release caused controversy for a number of developers left off the credits list.

Jurie Horneman was employed at the now-defunct Rockstar Vienna, working as a senior project manager on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for Xbox and a producer on Manhunt 2. He was credited for the former but not the latter, and made headlines back in 2007 for publishing a list with a much more complete list of developers who'd contributed to Manhunt 2.

"I would have been surprised if they had credited us for Manhunt 2 and the other AAA next-gen project we had in development," Horneman told me. "But I kind of saw it coming so I had the blog post with the full credits prepared. The list was made with help from and in cooperation with other ex-Rockstar Vienna people. What I didn't know is that Hannes Seifert, one of the two former managing directors of Rockstar Vienna, was involved with the IGDA credits effort. He knew I was preparing the blog post, so the fact that the IGDA revealed their credits standard at the same time was no accident, even if I didn't know about it at the time."

There wasn't a company-wide policy regarding credits at Rockstar Games, as far as Horneman ever knew. As a studio, however, Rockstar Vienna took it upon themselves to keep a credits document at the start of a project and keep it updated as people cycled through the company. Obviously, the list wasn't used.

"From looking at L.A. Noire and Manhunt 2, it seems they put everyone who was there at the end into the credits, and left off anyone who was not," said Horneman.

And while Rockstar Games has taken multiple hits regarding credits, Mythic Entertainment was under fire in 2008, after the launch of Warhammer Online. It was a similar situation, with anyone still working at Mythic Entertainment when the MMO launched listed in the lengthy credits. Whereas Rockstar Games has mostly ignored both situations, Mythic Entertainment actually built an online database to properly credit anyone who'd been a part of putting together Warhammer Online.

While these situations are unfortunate and uncomfortable, the IGDA applauds the result.

"While creating the standard has helped a few developers," said Robbins, "it’s the public outcry that emerges every time high profile games are accused of omitting people from the credits that really has impact."

The ambitious world in L.A. Noire took hundreds of developers nearly a decade to create.

If Brendan McNamara had left L.A. Noire halfway through development, there would be headlines (in fact, that's happened anyway). No one noticed when Cruickshank left because she wasn't put in front of the press. Without a public record of her involvement, it's not surprising no one called foul when the game shipped without her name.

"For many of us, the fear of not being credited was a large part of what kept us working on L.A. Noire through a long and sometimes difficult development cycle," she said. "It wasn't that we didn't love and believe in the game, but this was a monumental project which demanded a lot from its staff over a very long time."

"A number of Team Bondi's developers were hired directly out of university or TAFE [technical and further education institutions in Australia]" she continued. "L.A. Noire was their first real job, and a few years into the project some began to feel that they literally could not leave--if they did, they would be in their mid-twenties or early thirties with what amounted to a blank resume. Fair and consistent crediting rules would have allowed those people to make their own decisions about their employment without fearing that they had wasted years of their working lives."

Horneman shared some of the same concerns, but said this wouldn't be the case for every individual.

"I have blank spots in my resume, it's impossible to tell how much it has affected my career," he said. "If I see someone with a 'AAA' resume, I am not surprised when there are a lot gaps and cancelled projects on there. And you can always find someone who worked with the person and get feedback that way. So I am perhaps a bit more sanguine than most about the value of credits. I can say I've been making games for over 20 years, which probably helps open doors."

Therein lies the rub for some developers.

With the rise of mobile and social games, the IGDA estimates the number of developers who go uncredited on projects has only risen in recent years. Without credit, a new programmer or artist just breaking in could be left with nothing to show for it.

In the movie industry, labor unions like the Writers Guild of America fight for the rights of its members, performing duties such as enforcing credits. Unions don't exist in video games. It's not to say unions are the only way to make credits more important in the eyes of developers and publishers, but unions are one way to collectively force an industry towards change.

"To force an industry to value credits and understand their worth will require employees to insist on receiving them," said Robbins. "As long as we 'understand' and 'accept' that crediting is only a participation award for the finishers, the industry will continue to treat employees that way."

Those who worked on Warhammer Online but left before ship were added to an online database.

Games are still in the early stages of maturing as a medium. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision defending the First Amendment rights of games is one signal of that, albeit an important one. As games become better known as creative works worth acknowledging, the demand for those who craft them to, in turn, receive acknowledgement for their work may grow.

"In game development, it is not unusual to be in a dark position where everything seems lost, and then, through a heroic effort involving overtime, suddenly everything works and is done on time, sort of," said Horneman. "From personal experience I can tell you that going through a phase like that is an incredibly bonding experience. And it then becomes very natural to believe that anyone who wasn't there doesn't know what it was like and maybe doesn't deserve to be credited. And, also, that you can solve any problem by crunching--hey, it worked last time! It takes maturity to realize that this a short term solution, and that you cannot build a medium to long term strategy based on that."

If the IGDA's prediction that more and more developers are being left off credits is true, we need more developers to be brave enough to come forward, and gaming advocates need to champion them on.

"The biggest enemy to an industry crediting standard is apathy," concluded Robbins.

Staff
#2 Posted by Sputty (143 posts) -

Hopefully, developers unionize in some form to protect themselves from exploitation.

#3 Posted by Rowr (5711 posts) -

balls

#4 Edited by JoeyRavn (4976 posts) -

It's a pity all the drama built around Team Bondi and LA Noire, but I guess it's representative of the industry's current state...

@Rowr said:

balls

Insightful, yes. Too bad you didn't get the quest.

#5 Posted by Edin899 (628 posts) -
@Rowr said:

balls

................
#6 Posted by JackSukeru (5915 posts) -

@Rowr said:

balls

of sadness, amirite?

#7 Posted by Rowr (5711 posts) -

of steel.

#8 Edited by Rowr (5711 posts) -

@JoeyRavn said:

It's a pity all the drama built around Team Bondi and LA Noire, but I guess it's representative of the industry's current state...

@Rowr said:

balls

Insightful, yes. Too bad you didn't get the quest.

I completed that quest before it was a quest,

With my balls.

Hows that for uncredited.

#9 Posted by Ronald (1370 posts) -

I feel everyone who was involved in a game should get some credit, as we know some of their work was involved in the final release of the game. But even movies have had similar things where writers on the movie, who may have rewritten the entire script, don't get any credit because of the way movie credits are handled. Or actors that leave production or are cut out of the movie won't receive credit. Even some directors who have been removed from a film midway through may find their names removed. Credits on any large production seems to be an issue, one that hopefully can be fixed. But thankfully we have the Internet to help spread word on who really worked on a game. So at least word can get out somewhere.

#10 Edited by Animasta (14697 posts) -

PATRICK YOU MISSPELLED VIENNA (in the tag line)

#11 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5145 posts) -

Great article keep up the good work.

@Rowr said:

balls

My thoughts exactly.

#12 Posted by KarlPilkington (2733 posts) -

Great article, if you work on a game in some sort of meaningful way you should get credit, regardless of your position within the company at release.

#13 Posted by Meltbrain (2973 posts) -

@Chabbs0 said:

Great article, if you work on a game in some sort of meaningful way you should get credit, regardless of your position within the company at release.

Word. It's messed up that this stuff is happening.

#14 Posted by jozzy (2042 posts) -

Why can't you say you worked on LA Noire even though you are not in the credits? If it's clear only people that finished the project are in it than employers know you could've worked for it even though you are not in the credits. You could even show your previous contract or something. Am I missing something because this whole blanc resume thing doesn't make sense to me?

No one ever reads the credits or would remember someone from the credits that wasn't already famous. Isn't it only a personal badge of honor, it doesn't mean anything to anyone else right?

#15 Posted by norton123 (311 posts) -
#16 Posted by AllanIceman (1323 posts) -

There really needs to be some standards for crediting.

#17 Posted by AlisterCat (5586 posts) -

This is why I love you Patrick. Please tell me this kind of stuff is going to continue for the rest of Giant Bomb history.

#18 Posted by Marz (5654 posts) -

That's an epic story....  good job mr. klepek

#19 Posted by mattbanks (8 posts) -

Great article, Patrick! One of the best I've read on the crediting issue plaguing the industry.

#20 Posted by VisariLoyalist (2994 posts) -

I feel like they should be allowed to sue for damages if they aren't credited

#21 Posted by Asky314159 (59 posts) -

@jozzy said:

Am I missing something because this whole blanc resume thing doesn't make sense to me?

I second this. While I agree that it is important that everyone who worked on a game should receive credit for it, the fact is that people get left off (whether accidentally or intentionally) all the time. Surely there are other ways to prove that you worked on a game without being officially credited. There's even a quote from Jurie Horneman in the story that says something about how you can always find someone who worked with someone else. While it would be best if everyone was given the credit they're due, this doesn't really seem to me like the best argument why.

#22 Posted by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -

It should be written into law that if you work on a project for x months then you're guarenteed credit.

#23 Posted by grugvoth (74 posts) -

I think from a software point of view people who work on a game actually get credit. In my field of work there are no credits or proof you worked on something. When someone wants to check your work they have to speak to your previous employers and/or references. Why this can't be done for game development as well I don't know, the whole idea of credits seems to be a way for games to try and be like movies.

To put it another way, there has to be a better way than being in the credits of a game to build up your resume of work done. It doesn't matter if you were employed at the time the game shipped, the work you did could have been a large part of the project but just because you were not there at the single day in time when the game ships (to exaggerate the point) you suddenly don't get any work credit for what you did is ridiculous.

Just my thoughts as someone who has written software that millions use but nobody actually knows who I am when they use it. That fact has not hurt my career one bit.

#24 Posted by Vitor (2822 posts) -

@AlisterCat said:

This is why I love you Patrick. Please tell me this kind of stuff is going to continue for the rest of Giant Bomb history.

We can only hope.

And yeah, it's about time that developers either unionized or at least applied more rigorous standards to these things. Then again, with the amount of outsourcing that goes on to various countries around the globe, unionizing probably seems like a bad idea to a lot of developers in wealthier nations, where salaries are higher and publishers would happily find cheaper sources (and ones less likely to complain) for assets.

#25 Posted by mutha3 (4985 posts) -

"The biggest enemy to an industry crediting standard is apathy," concluded Robbins.


 
IE: saying dumb shit like "it shouldn't be this way, but that's how it is, it'll probably always have to be this way".

#26 Posted by buft (3318 posts) -

I walked past team bondis office and farted, i wasnt credited and nor did i expect to be but it is ironic that doing this near the duke nukem team would have got me a special thanks.

#27 Posted by Xtrememuffinman (958 posts) -

Awesome job, Patrick. Really insightful and thought-provoking, you really are making Giant Bomb a better place with these articles. Keep going man, you're really doing a great thing here, and this article is calling attention to a serious problem. 
 
As for the issue, I agree that anyone who put any effort into the project deserves their name in the credits. It's a little thing for sure, but its still a stamp for not only for future employment, but for pride as well. I always make it a point to watch the credits for movies and games, not only to see if there's a secret at the end, but to honor the people who worked on the damn thing I just experienced. Obviously I can't read and memorize every name, but  I think my viewing of the credits shows something, and it at least gives me the satisfaction of knowing I payed my respects.

#28 Edited by Agent47 (1896 posts) -
@buft said:
I walked past team bondis office and farted, i wasnt credited and nor did i expect to be but it is ironic that doing this near the duke nukem team would have got me a special thanks.

The fuck?
#29 Posted by YOUNGLINK (550 posts) -

Oh man, that would really chap my hide if I was not credited. Good scoops sir Patrick.

#30 Posted by Rapid (1374 posts) -

Awesome article, I really hope the situation improves in the future. Good luck to those unaccredited developers. 

#31 Posted by Mayu_Zane (609 posts) -

@jozzy said:

Why can't you say you worked on LA Noire even though you are not in the credits? If it's clear only people that finished the project are in it than employers know you could've worked for it even though you are not in the credits. You could even show your previous contract or something. Am I missing something because this whole blanc resume thing doesn't make sense to me?

No one ever reads the credits or would remember someone from the credits that wasn't already famous. Isn't it only a personal badge of honor, it doesn't mean anything to anyone else right?

As insane as it sounds, apparently there are some studios that actually refuse to believe you unless you show them you were in the game's credits. Even if you've had a previous contract, it's not enough to 'prove' that you did 'enough work', because the assumption is that if you didn't make it in the credits then you didn't do a good job.

I used to be a computer animation student and spent hours working with folks taking the games development courses; credits really are a huge deal for people serious about their work.

#32 Posted by Damian (1538 posts) -

Shitty. Real shitty. 
 
I don't see real concern for their resumes. But still, that it works as a tool to keep devs crunching and complacent sounds like a big problem that will only hurt the industry (and games) in the long run. 
 
Someone should touch on who is doing this. Not the company/execs. The people. The workers. It's not like the shareholders and CEO's are writing (and I doubt even reading) the credits. They may be the slave masters writing the asinine policy, but someone's gotta be the slave driver there with the team enforcing it. Who's that sycophant?

#33 Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff (5426 posts) -

Just added this new info to Una's page.

Great article, Patrick!

#34 Posted by natetodamax (19208 posts) -

Leaving people out of the credits because they are no longer with the company seems incredibly childish. The credits should be a list of everyone who worked on a game, not a list of people who were apparently more loyal than others.

I feel bad for people who spend lots of time working on a game and then aren't credited because their bosses are a bunch of babies.

#35 Posted by buft (3318 posts) -
@Agent47 said:
@buft said:
I walked past team bondis office and farted, i wasnt credited and nor did i expect to be but it is ironic that doing this near the duke nukem team would have got me a special thanks.
The fuck?
my social commentary on how gearbox worked hard to get people credited even if they had done very little with duke nukem and how that varies from L.A Noire and team Bondi. 
#36 Posted by Abendlaender (2812 posts) -

So, if you're not listed in the credits, you can't put the game (or even the time you spent working on it) in your resumée?
Who came up with that awful idea? That's a real asshole move

#37 Posted by fox01313 (5074 posts) -

I feel that the exceptional games (with longer development times than most games) like this should credit everyone as there just so much to go through to see who did what and most likely there's traces of their work throughout so many versions it should count as the credits don't take up that much room on the disc.

#38 Edited by sickVisionz (1268 posts) -

Sounds like a union is needed but I doubt the games industry has many who would be willing to strike to get their situation improved.

#39 Posted by BaconGames (3438 posts) -

Like the article said, it's all one the people who are directly involved to speak up. I don't think either side will ever say that it's our fault for buying or not buying games. They are the first to know we'd skip credits almost every time. This issue is an intra-industry one that unfortunately requires some sort of organized effort or evolution towards improvement thanks to the controversy.

I for one would be happy about LA Noir's situation if only because this one's controversy is sticking into people's minds which only works to help the cause of those affected. I wonder how this affects the internal politics at Rockstar/Team Bondi and likewise their hiring.

#40 Posted by CletusTheFoetus (148 posts) -

Blank spots on my CV? That's what p45s and pink slips are for.

I'm not saying what happened was right. It clearly wasn't but this isn't an issue of employment, it's an issue of employers not valuing employees. It's happening in most places unfortunately but the companies that actually invest in people are the ones that will be around for a long time.

#41 Posted by RVonE (4642 posts) -

That was a good read, Patrick. Thanks.

#42 Posted by FractalLaw (15 posts) -

Great article, Patrick.

#43 Posted by Keen_12 (140 posts) -

Jesus christ video games, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER

#44 Posted by AssInAss (2654 posts) -
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
#45 Posted by Baal_Sagoth (1264 posts) -

@jozzy said:

Why can't you say you worked on LA Noire even though you are not in the credits? If it's clear only people that finished the project are in it than employers know you could've worked for it even though you are not in the credits. You could even show your previous contract or something. Am I missing something because this whole blanc resume thing doesn't make sense to me?

That's the one thing bothering me about this othwerwise very interesting and well-done article. Did the developers know about the credit policy from the beginning? Because if they were afraid to leave the project they surely must have known the price of quitting early and accepted the consequences. That doesn't make the situation fundamentally less shitty but it would make the backlash seem dishonest. Tons of jobs don't give you any extra credit beyond your contract as others have mentioned.

If credits really are the one and only proof you worked for a game company then shouldn't you figure this shit out when you sign your contract and not start complaining after the exact thing you knew could happen, happened?

I'm not sure I have all the facts and understand the situation correctly but I'm somewhat surprised that the employees were "cheated" out of their credit but there isn't legal action they could pursue...

#46 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@buft said:

@Agent47 said:
@buft said:
I walked past team bondis office and farted, i wasnt credited and nor did i expect to be but it is ironic that doing this near the duke nukem team would have got me a special thanks.
The fuck?
my social commentary on how gearbox worked hard to get people credited even if they had done very little with duke nukem and how that varies from L.A Noire and team Bondi.

It's an industry wide problem. You don't understand the issue at hand or the concept of social commentary, nor do you get what Randy did in taking on the Duke Nukem Forever deal - he made sure many of his longterm compatriots from 3DR fucking got payed and their efforts got recognised, hence why they were credited - there was no such white knight for the Team Bondi people. Many of the people who weren't credited for LA Noire had only ever worked on LA Noire and left or got retrenched with nothing to show for it on paper - even after years of work.

#47 Posted by buckybit (1455 posts) -

Question: guilds and unions - signs of a 'mature' industry, or the beginning of the end?

"My name is my name!"

The 'engineering' aspect aside, if you work with anything slightly creative, you will get burned. You allow yourself to get burned. The still young video game industry knows no remorse. You want security, you want guaranteed income, health-care packages for your family, 9-to-5 job, etc, etc ... look for a different industry?

Look for a boring job, but one, allowing you to see your family every night? Allows you, to have a resume that actually reflects what you do and did?

#48 Posted by Siphillis (1292 posts) -

I'm surprised Rockstar doesn't just slap a giant logo at the end of their games, and call it a day.

#49 Posted by Max_Hydrogen (818 posts) -

Now this is a news article: thank you Patrick.

Oh man, not getting credit for your first job in the video game industry FUCKIN' sucks! That basically means you haven't done anything...

#50 Posted by Xpgamer7 (2382 posts) -

This is sad. There should be a standardized rule that if you worked for a certain percentage of the game's development time(about 30% or so) you should be credited. Also people who have shorter or one time jobs that are hugely important to the game should be credited as well.

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