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#1 Edited by xanadu (2044 posts) -

Earlier this week, a now infamous piece by Harold Goldberg went up on Vulutre.com. In it, Dan Houser is being quoted as saying, "We were working 100-hour weeks." Unsurprisingly this has led to a flew of feedback from critics, fans, and even devs in the gaming industry. It's undoubtedly the not-so-secrete-secrete that game developers for major companies often put in long and strenuous amounts of overtime to deliver games at deadlines without receiving much praise for it. Names like The Houser Brothers, Kojima-san, Shaeffer, and Miyamoto are huge in the video game world. Almost everyone who games knows at least one of those names and the projects they've worked on. But how many countless developers out there, the ones tasked with putting in extreme overtime to make a horse's balls swing correctly, are well known? Today's blockbuster games takes hundreds or even thousands of developers to put together. Of course, the same is true for many other mediums not just video games. Film and TV crews put in countless hours of work only to receive a small acknowledgement in the credits. Even still, there doesn't seem to be the outcry from people who work in these mediums.

Given the extreme outcry that has come from this, it's not surprising to see Houser working damage control already. In a response posted to Kotaku.com Houser attempts to elaborate on his initial quote claiming that he was mostly talking about his writing staff of himself and 4 others over a 3 week process. But even so, he still implies the rest of the staff was working long weeks to get the game out, "More importantly, we obviously don’t expect anyone else to work this way. Across the whole company, we have some senior people who work very hard purely because they’re passionate about a project, or their particular work, and we believe that passion shows in the games we release. But that additional effort is a choice, and we don’t ask or expect anyone to work anything like this."

In an ideal world, this wouldn't be a choice for developers to have to make. It's pretty obvious to me that video game culture has in a sense created the narrative that this is okay. That unhealthy work hours is an okay thing to do simply because you love what you do. In an ideal world, bosses like Dan Houser would be telling their employees to head home for the night instead of working through it. Simply by allowing these practices to be okay puts a large expectation on other developers who are not willing to over work themselves to cave-in. Houser likes to claim that only the senior staff are putting in long hours out of a source of passion for what they do. But how can he honestly say that some of those on staff are doing it because they feel a peer-pressure to do so? To keep their job? To keep their families livelihood in tact?

I honestly wish I was a strong enough person to just not buy this game at all as a "vote with your dollers" so to speak protest that 100 hour work weeks are not okay. But I am not. In truth, I just love Rockstar games. They make exactly the type of games I want to play and there is truly no other developer like them in my opinion. You can say this makes my whole argument moot or hypocritical and you would probably be right. So how will this recent controversy effect you with RDR2? Are you still going to buy it? Will you cancel your pre-order? For me, with a game I expected to lose myself in just likes it predecessor, I'll probably be asking myself: Was that worth it? Was that scene worth someone missing an important event? Or even just taking time to relax and unwind? Still, until the game comes out it will be hard for me to gauge how this news fully effects the game play experience for me.

Thanks duders.

Update: Jason Schreier at Kotaku has posted another article where current employees had their social media bans lifted so they could talk about life at Rockstar games. Interestingly enough, nobody had a lot of bad things to say about their current employer...Obviously its nice to hear employees from Rockstar coming out speaking favorably of their jobs. But it is still a bit one sided in that they are current employees so how can they truly speak their feelings in a format where anyone in the world can see it. Jason has also stated that he has been working on a piece involving Rockstar and their employees before all of this blew up and is continuing to do so. We'll probably have to wait for this article to come before we get anything close to the bigger picture of whats going on at Rockstar. Even then, I don't think it will be wrapped very neatly.

Update 2: ANOTHER article by Stephen Totilo on Kotaku.com Apparently Rockstar felt the need to address their QA studio after many of their staff felt that overtime was mandatory and not optional.

Final Update: Jason Schreier at Kotaku.com has posted a fairly lengthy article that he's been working on about the culture behind Rockstar Games even before this whole thing started. He appears to have talked to a lot of sources within the company some named and most anonymous. The reception to their work culture also seems to be mixed with some claiming the experience to be satisfying while others say the game development cost them friendships and affected their family lives. Most importantly, out of the 77 people interviewed (current and past employees) 0 people have claimed to have worked 100 hour weeks. Instead they claimed to be working somewhere between 55-60 hour weeks. However, many of them claimed they felt compelled to work nights and weekends and only a small portion were contract employees who received overtime pay. The regular salaried employees receive no overtime while working with Rockstar.

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#2 Posted by someoneproud (583 posts) -

Maybe I'll play 100 hours a week (as a mark of solidarity). Honestly, if it's as good as it looks, I don't care if they sacrificed kittens to make it.

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#3 Posted by DonChipotle (3521 posts) -

It won't.

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#5 Edited by Efesell (4504 posts) -

All of this sucks and I feel bad for those people but if I'm brutally honest... it won't change anything for me. I will play it or I will not haven't quite decided yet but if I don't I'm not gonna pretend there is actually a high minded reason behind it.

Regardless, a very good game is still not worth people working unsafe hours.

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#6 Edited by dgtlty (1228 posts) -
@someoneproud said:

Maybe I'll play 100 hours a week (as a mark of solidarity). Honestly, if it's as good as it looks, I don't care if they sacrificed kittens to make it.

This type of response is extremely problematic.

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#7 Posted by thatpinguino (2847 posts) -

I gave the first game a shot. I won't touch this one.

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#8 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (1083 posts) -

I have a preorder up and I won’t cancel it. In a way, considering what was said around the time Red Dead Redemption came out, it’s no surprise that Rockstar uses those kind of practice to push out their games.

It’s definitely starting to sour me and I’m thinking about stopping buying AAA games from known offenders, at least day one. That being said, I think the « vote with your dollars » option is very much short sighted. Most people don’t care/are not informed enough and will still buy the game that looks the best, so it’ll keep happening. Even if all of us that follows gaming news would stop buying those games, they’d still do massive numbers, so the solution isn’t there.

And frankly I dunno what that solution is. Obviously game makers need to unionize, that’s not even a question, but as long as government entities give more power to the employers and not the employees, there’s going to be workforce exploitation in a lot of fields.

I’ve worked in video games a bit and in some similar fieds and this stuff definitely happens and it’s bad for everyone involved. It did sour me on the game, I kinda feel helpless about it. I don’t know for the future, I’ll think twice about buying big games but yeah, I wish I had better ways to support game makers.

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#9 Posted by hans_maulwurf (641 posts) -

The last time something like that had an impact on me was with LA Noire. The controversy around Team Bondi back then definitely retroactively soured me on LA Noire, but that was a different case because a) MacNamara was trying especially hard being a dick about his bad leadership and b) it was a game with a lot of issues that didn't quite live up to my expectations anyway.

With RDR2 I expect to love it so much that I'll probably have a hard time caring about anything else. I also don't think that "these horse balls move really convincing" directly translates to "someone must have spent a ton of overtime doing that instead of spending time with their family, what a weird waste of lifetime" - as I understand it, bad management is generally considered to be the reason for crunch, not the implementation of specific features or high production values.

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#10 Posted by burncoat (558 posts) -

This honestly pushed me over the fence into "wait for a sale or something" territory. I was already debating getting it since I have other games to play and some projects I need to complete, but this story just soured me on it so hard.

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#11 Posted by infantpipoc (291 posts) -

Simply put, no, not in either way, because as someone who only play on PC and Switch nowadays, RDR2 is one to skip for me based on platform alone.

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#12 Posted by Crommi (403 posts) -

Game industry just exploints people's passion for games. I'm software dev and love games, but I'd never work for game company. It's ridicilous that vast majority of game devs are doing very similar stuff to what business software devs are doing, minus the wage, benefits, sensible workinghours and job security.

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#13 Posted by Rebel_Scum (1442 posts) -

It's hard to be outraged when no one knows bar RockstarTakeTwo employees on how many hours a week they were putting in and for how long. Dan's message initially was a sound bite, then he explained further what we meant. It's a mixed message and doesn't explain the full story.

Knee jerk internet outrage need to stop if anything.

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#14 Edited by Fear_the_Booboo (1083 posts) -

@rebel_scum: Except there’s multiple ex-rockstar employees that complained about the treatment there, even one that the OP quoted in their initial post, and also multple sources that corroborate the bad working environment? Especially that Rockstar has an history with bad working practices. Like it’s not hard to understand why current employees don’t want to bad mouth their current employer, hence why you don’t see those takes, like you didn’t see them for Telltale before they all got fired, but you heard the rumblings.

Hell I said I’m still buying the game earlier but acting like people are overreacting out of a misquoted Houser interview is missing the whole thing by a mile.

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#15 Edited by pappafost (228 posts) -

They are going to need damage control for the damage control, because in the damage control response comments Houser implied that the 100 hour work week was from "being passionate" and it was "working hard", i.e., having a heathly, admirable work ethic. This is utter BS. A 100 hour work week has nothing to do with "passion" and "work ethic."

In my opinion this is a rare glimpse of Rockstar management mentality, where systemic crunch seems to be encouraged.

While this is not a dealbreaker for most of their customers, it is a dealbreaker for SOME, and as more people become aware of the effects of crunch on real people, the more they will care about it, speak out about it, and close their wallets.

If someone was a firefighter saving houses from a fire, they can crunch. If a team was in the final stages of curing cancer, they can crunch. Rockstar employees shouldn't crunch for a stupid entertainment product.

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#16 Posted by cmblasko (2940 posts) -

@rebel_scum: knee jerk internet outrage on crunch, a known problem in game development for decades.

I'm not touching this or any Rockstar game for the forseeable future.

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#17 Posted by matiaz_tapia (665 posts) -

In the end, one should not assume too much. It is nice that some people are willing to go to bat for better working conditions, but they don't have to make it look like devs are these helpless victims either.

That perhaps takes the topic too far into underestimating the industry's ability to deal with its own injustices. For some, out of the need to some to elevate themselves as the only ones that can save them from being theses "pitiable, peer-pressured souls" that don't understand their own problems.

If you want to help as a consumer, perhaps the next time you don't like something you try and dial it down to " I didn't like it" instead of the far too common " this is garbage from my ass". That's all most people in the industry would ask for, honestly...

...The rest is contracts, bosses, managers and stuff they have to deal with themselves. Entertainment is not this corporate office space like scenario. It can be unstable, unpredictable and uneven in good and bad ways. That's the reason most people in it flock to it in the first place.

If you want to help tho, like truly help, on this particular topic. Then that's going to take some work, a lot more information and some real effort.

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#18 Edited by inevpatoria (7439 posts) -

Boy, this is really complicated.

First, the uncomplicated: No one should feel they must, or be forced to, work 100-hour weeks. Full-stop. I understand being passionate about a project, about meeting a pedigree in all ways. But I also see that reasoning employed as a cover, an excuse, a legitimization by those in power speaking on behalf of those not in power. That degree of sustained labor brings with it a commensurate degree of destructive results.

As games writers begin to take a deeper critical stance against workplace conditions, I find myself realizing I know very, very little about the way these organizations are structured and operated. There are stories that come out every now and again, stories like the one about working at Irrational with Ken Levine, where it was very hard to stand up to executive leadership without sometimes career-threatening internal blowback. I imagine a lot of studios--and I have a feeling this is most often true for the studios, like Rockstar, who carry the widest renown and burden their final products with a sense of authorial perfectionism in every aspect--operate in this fashion. Providing a firm counterpoint to creative decision-making or taking a stand against dangerous labor practices might very well be vocational suicide.

Between this Rockstar story breaking and all the news surrounding Telltale, we're seeing a lot of reactions like "As long as the game is great, I don't care what it took," or "The team should just finish the game to do what's right even though the studio is closed," or "100-hour work weeks are justified because you work at Rockstar/in video game development," or "100-hour work weeks behind a desk isn't bad. It isn't like they're working construction 100 hours every week." Which, yeah--these are silly, solipsistic, mostly fallacious ideas. Gaming still has, and will always have, such a huge fraction of its enthusiasts come from people who are either too young to understand the reality and ubiquity of exploitative labor or who still idealize video games as toys that are factory-made, not time-consumingly bespoke and bewilderingly complex pieces of computer software built by the exhaustive intellectual effort of hundreds of people at one time. Everything, the smallest details, the most inconsequential of changes, requires countless manhours to write, code, implement, bugtest, revise, implement, bugtest again, and so on. I don't mean to explain away or dismiss the people who have opinions like these--opinions that prioritize the quality of the product over the conditions of its creators--but I think this discussion about labor in video games makes evident a division in the perspectives of the industry's audience in a way I'd never acknowledged before. It makes me feel old, maybe.

And there are others who just flatly, plainly don't care either way. Make the game. Put the game in my hands. "I don't want to hear it"-types.

Ultimately, a lot of people will buy Red Dead. That fact will be more or less unaffected by this news. Hell, I'll be buying it, though I can't say for certain whether it'll be at launch or at some point later, on a whim when I have less on my personal plate and more of a chance to enjoy it.

I don't feel boycotting the game outright on this behalf is necessarily the answer. Not that I think this will happen to Rockstar, but the games industry is an industry where a financial flop can very well trigger widespread layoffs for the developer responsible. I don't want people losing their job because they worked (or overworked, more like it) on a game. That's counter-intuitive. Likewise, buying the game isn't a 1-to-1 reinforcement of a studio's bad practices, although it, at least in part, continues to support the platform on which these exploitative practices occur.

What it's going to take is for more people to be in open and candid discussion about the nature of game studio workplaces. It's going to take people really fucking fighting for unionization amongst developers. It's going to take one of these major studios to step up and bite the bullet, cast the first stone to establish meaningful regulations against this sort of work-til-you're-dead workplace culture.

How to build that bridge, I guess we have yet to find out.

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#19 Posted by liquiddragon (3378 posts) -

I'm gonna buy and play it down the line when I won't feel as bad and it's cheaper. Does that make me a bad person? Yes.

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#20 Posted by bmccann42 (407 posts) -

I wasn't planning on buying it (RDR1 really did nothing for me), and now I'm really not buying it.

I've worked at shitty companies that pulled crap like this, and they shouldn't be rewarded for being terrible to their employees. I can understand the passionate employee who stays a few hours, but 100 hour work weeks? And just for the writing staff and senior staff? What exactly is getting written that far into a game's production?

Rockstar makes great games (well I'm not a huge fan of them, but can see the quality), but sounds like a terrible employer. And if GTA5 made over a billion (BILLION), why are they continuing to make a game by the same terrible methods as previously?

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#21 Posted by Humanity (18783 posts) -

I'm a consumer and at the end of the day I feel for those employees that had to suffer shitty crunch hours, but at the same time I'm still gonna play the game because it looks like a lot of fun.

As for standing up for the industry and voting with my wallet and all that? Ehh.. I work pretty hard to earn the money to buy all these games each year, and countless of times the industry did shitty things that didn't respect my time or my money and I didn't see employees go on strike against the bad business practices towards consumers their employers instituted. I hope things get better and crunch isn't an accepted evil, but it's up to those guys to stand up for themselves and change the way things are.

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#22 Posted by terminallychill (100 posts) -

I'm still going to play it because my friend already preordered it on the playstation store (can't even cancel) and our PS4s are linked. I don't feel great about it though, 100 hour work weeks sound horrible and the Housers come off sounding like jerks in that Vulture interview. I'm sure it'll be a great game but it's a bummer. I'm definitely not going to spend extra on their online microtransactions.

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#23 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4398 posts) -

You'll be dissapointed if you expect people to not buy this because of those comments. Even the odd person out there that cares deeply about crunch in this industry, might still rationalize buying & playing it as them honouring the hard work of those poor devs. Or their stand being a meaningless drop in the ocean.

While most of us will agree that crunch is a bad thing, it's not exclusive to Rockstar. Them promoting Red Dead as being the most game with the most features and the biggest world with the deepest mechanics and the most realistic characters and the most passionate creators that put the most workhours into this magnus opum of a game, paints a huge target on their studio as being 'one of the bad ones'. But that doesn't mean that you can turn to the new COD or Assassins Creed instead and feel good about that. Periods of crunch is pretty much the industry standard for decades now and you'll have to turn to certain indie studio's to feel somewhat good about it. Although, in their struggle for survival as a small team, and the more personal nature of indie game creation might also lead to indie devs overworking themselves and clocking crunch-like hours.

This feels like a problem that can't be solved by the consumer.

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#24 Posted by xanadu (2044 posts) -

@onemanarmyy: Im not expecting anyone to do anything. Im asking how people feel about it...

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#25 Posted by Atlas (2739 posts) -

I do not support the work environment that Rockstar, Take-Two, and others in the industry are perpetuating, as I think it's unhealthy for the future of the industry. I support the notion of a union for game developers. But I don't find anything that Dan Houser said to be shocking or irredeemably reprehensible, and I will still buy RDR2.

I've had to get used to this. I watch the NFL. I own an iPhone. I've watched and enjoyed Lars von Trier films. I love Game of Thrones. I loved the most recent Brand New album. All of these things are flawed or problematic in ways that had I the power to fix, I would do so immediately. I try not to be numb to it, but I'm not at a point where I'm willing to abandon so many things I love and that give me pleasure for the sake of taking a moral high ground. And I am still able to enjoy them despite their issues (it gets harder each year to put up with the NFL's bullshit, but then I'm a Colts fan so I'm fairly miserable at the moment anyway). Our world is complicated, and we're all trying to make sense of it.

More power to people who were going to buy the game and are now choosing not to. Well done for exercising the power of the consumer.

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#26 Posted by xamon0288 (30 posts) -

As horrible as it is to actually say it or think about it, I have long made peace with the fact that workers are being exploited for products that I enjoy. Workers are working extreme hours (with little to no pay) to make the cheap clothes that I wear, workers are locked into factories and forced to work for long hours for the phone that I use etc. Its a terrible thing that is happening in too many industries and I am part of the issue.

I am not writing this to lessen the discourse around this topic by saying that people care about one issue and overlook another (an excuse some have used in the past to shame those that point out horrible behavior). I am just writing to say that I am aware of issues in the world and I just choose to turn a blind eye for selfish reasons (in this case, my personal enjoyment).

So in short, if the game does come to PC one day I will buy it and play it.

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#27 Posted by kcin (1003 posts) -

It sucks ass, won't be buying it new

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#28 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4398 posts) -

@xanadu: oh sorry, i think i came across more hostile than i wanted to be. For the record, i wasn't directly adressing your post, i was just reading through the comments while figuring out what my thoughts were regarding this issue. So at some point i was wondering about this issue & how we as consumers can shift the paradigm of game development. Which, sadly, i don't think we are able to.

Especially with the way AAA studios are set up with all their employees, it just makes sense for them to generate huge worlds & a ton of assets. That's their big strength compared to smaller devs. And when that is the thing that your games are known for, an everlasting increase in size & amount of stuff to do is what they aim for. Going back to a smaller world is seen as a move backwards, and 1 less bullet point to market to the fans.

That's not to say that crunch is unique to big open world games though, but this fixation on worlds always having to be huge and chock full of stuff to do definitly means a lot of people need to spend a lot of time creating more & more stuff.

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#29 Posted by mems1224 (2505 posts) -

it won't affect my playthrough at all. its not my job to fix other people's work places. awful companies make most things i like/need and i can't fix them all. now if a game does some disgusting business shit that does affect me, like destiny or battlefront, then i have no problems not touching it or buying it used.

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#30 Posted by Xdeser2 (371 posts) -

Maybe I'll play 100 hours a week (as a mark of solidarity). Honestly, if it's as good as it looks, I don't care if they sacrificed kittens to make it.


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#31 Edited by Justin258 (15650 posts) -

I wasn't going to buy it anyway.

As with everyone else here, awful working conditions don't affect my purchase. A handful of people choosing to boycott a product as massive as a Rockstar games release isn't going to put a dent in Rockstar's revenue charts. If enough people boycott the product for Rockstar to take notice, they'll write it off as a failed product and move on, perhaps lay off some people in the process. What needs to happen is a unionization of game developers, and for that game developers will have to gather together and make one. If enough developers/artists/everyone else required to make a game comes together and raises enough hell, this ridiculously profitable (and exploitative) industry will have to cave in and do something.

It's also worth noting that this is not an unskilled industry where you can just fire everybody and hire some new people. These aren't fucking burger flippers. These are people who draw amazing art and create incredibly complex programs. If, say, EA fires everybody for trying to unionize, they're going to have a seriously hard time finding enough talent to do those jobs as well as the previous employees did. Someone will probably try, sure, but they'll fall way behind the companies that do come to terms with having a union.

On a final note, it's incredibly hard to find products that are created with some kind of ethics in mind for the people doing the actual work. Every production process, from the one that made the clothes on your back to the one that made the parts in the computer you're using to the growing/harvesting of the food you eat involved something unethical and upsetting. There doesn't seem to be any movement anywhere to do something about this and I, personally, have absolutely no idea where to even start, other than try my best to make sure that I don't find myself wrapped up in it.

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#32 Posted by CrimsonJesus (310 posts) -

Which AAA games don't have insane crunch? Just wondering cause there's so much backlash at Rockstar but like I've heard about awful crunch about devs that everyone loves like Naughty Dog, Valve, Blizzard.

Also boycotting R* is not going to help I'm afraid, developers need to stand up and unionize because there's no other way around this exploitation problem.

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#33 Posted by Ares42 (4359 posts) -

At the end of the day it's not my responsibility as a consumer to fight for the developers rights, they aren't some repressed group of people forced into this. By buying the product I'm not in any way endorsing or condoning how the product was made, I'm just endorsing the end product. The developers are all participating in this by their own free will (and honestly are probably making a fairly good buck doing it) and if they don't endorse the way the product reached its final form they have plenty of power to change that. I mean, this is Rockstar, they aren't under anyones thumb.

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#34 Posted by pompouspizza (1563 posts) -

Crunch seems terrible and being expected or forced to work 100 hour weeks is insane and I truly wish this didn’t happen and I hope things change. That being said, my excitement for Red Dead is through the roof and I will 100% be buying it day one.

I honestly think it’s great if not buying the game makes you feel better about this situation but I really don’t see how this problem can be solved by the consumer and don’t see how not buying the game solves anything.

Maybe I’m wrong and people voting with their wallets really would make a difference, I don’t know.

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#35 Posted by The_Nubster (4168 posts) -

@dgtlty said:
@someoneproud said:

Maybe I'll play 100 hours a week (as a mark of solidarity). Honestly, if it's as good as it looks, I don't care if they sacrificed kittens to make it.

This type of response is extremely problematic.

The actual lack of empathy in the parent comment is disgusting. I hate that there are attitudes like this out there.

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#36 Posted by Charongreed (110 posts) -

When I heard about the similar process that it took to bring LA Noir to market, I avoided that and have heard similar stories over and over again since, so I've completely stopped giving Rockstar any money. I'm fully aware that it won't change anything, because the vast majority of the gaming community are willing to just buy anything, soaked in blood and tears or not, but there are more than enough other games out there that don't have as bad a development history to play. I'd much rather support those, especially the ones that have come forward saying that they're going to prioritize their lives and families and not the game, like Fatshark.

Remember, people still buy blood diamonds, and couldn't care less where they came from. Why would this be any different?

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#37 Posted by jeremyf (373 posts) -

I was already on the fence, and this coming out how it did really dissuaded me further. I don't like how some studios just get a pass for everything because of some privilege. No matter how well RDR2 does (and it will do so well), when will it make up for the developers being worked to the bone? I won't judge anyone who still buys and loves this game, but that's where my thought process is right now.

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#38 Edited by Franstone (1534 posts) -

This could be complete BS damage control, maybe more stories will or already have come out that I haven't seen. The developer that made that comment followed up and said he was only speaking about himself and some of the other writers and in no way meant that everyone was forced to crunch that hard. There are horrible stories out there about crunch but there are also people that just work their tail off without being forced to. I've seen first hand as a QA tester in the past, most people go home at a normal or at least reasonable hour while a programmer or two might stay late past midnight because they wanted or felt the need to. Obviously that's just one example from one development house but the point is it does happen.
I will be buying Red Dead 2 on day one and playing the shit out of it for the record. : D

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#39 Edited by innacces14 (812 posts) -

There are so many games out right now. I don't need to be up on every one of them as if I wanted to take part in the conversation the next day at school and risk looking like the loser who wasn't able to sucker their parents into buying it. The game is gonna be there. Plus it's a Houser written game. Of course it's going to have a neurotic nerd hunched over with his hands up begging the disinterested protagonist "no no no no! I do got a plan! It's a crazy scheme, but just listen to me". Yes. I'm still playing GTA: Online, but this is me telling y'all that I'm playing it, but I'm gonna take the time and say that having your workers bust 100-hours for another social commentary written by a bunch of nihilistic millionaires who have the safety net to say that nothing matters and everything is stupid is absolute dog shit.

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#40 Posted by schizogony (1010 posts) -

I'll appreciate the hard work.

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#42 Posted by OurSin_360 (6177 posts) -

Probably not going to play the game either way, but as someone who has worked 100hr work weeks in the oilfield I'm not really mad at it as long as they get compensated for it. If they are not getting their double time with one of those salary loopholes then fuck that.

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#43 Posted by CJduke (1035 posts) -

Not buying the game over this won't do anything but hurt the employees who are already putting the 100 hours in. Buying the game at least shows support for the hard work they did and I'm sure they appreciate people loving the game they worked so hard on. If somehow this game were to tank over this, the same people who had to work 100 hour weeks would probably just lose their jobs.

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#44 Posted by Nixamo (66 posts) -

Nope. My purchase or lack thereof ultimately means jack-squat to the employees of a large company.

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#45 Posted by Rebel_Scum (1442 posts) -

@cmblasko: @fear_the_booboo:

Respectfully, you're both not telling me anything new with regards to crunch in the industry, and Rockstar games track record in the past. RDR2 is a different project, so there's different variables. I prefer to get the specifics and the facts before I raise my pitchfork. :D

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#46 Posted by Wandrecanada (1011 posts) -

@cjduke: Many of the employees will be out of a job when the game ships. With no unions in the game industry and contract piecework so prevalent you can expect most games to drop 75% or more of the staff between projects.

So no it won't hurt employees it will hurt the company execs and shareholders who want bonuses or returns on investments. A contract employee can only hope they will be picked up by the studio on another project and not thrown away to seek work in an industry that just saw over 1000 people get laid off.

There are a LOT of games out there to play and many of them are created by small indie devs or studios with better labor policies. Studios like Iron Galaxy perhaps? Or Klei Entertainment?

Here is what Adam Boyes had to say on the subject if you need a Giant Bomb celeb to convince you.

Give some other games a try and in 6 months pick it up. You can still enjoy the game and most of the cash the game makes by then will be outside the project window where they expect to make big returns for investors and executive bonuses. Hell you can probably get the game on the cheap too with some free DLC for their GotY edition or whatever.

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#47 Posted by doctordonkey (1825 posts) -

It would hypocritical for people to not buy this and then turn around and purchase and consume the 9000 other products in a capitalist society that were made by treating workers like garbage. Me and everyone else who has ever posted on this forum buys products like that daily, and will until the day we die.

Call it apathy, cause that's what it is, but I just don't care. The game is going to be entertaining. It's going to entertain me. I'll buy it and play it.

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#48 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (1083 posts) -

@rebel_scum: It’s kind of the point of how the marketing cycle work though. You rarely if ever get the facts when it’s happening, it’s always after the fact because then people have more chances to talk. Again, not blaming you for buying it as I will too, but like even without specifics, it’s fair to assume working conditions are less than ideal. By your judgement we’ll get facts later, and they won’t be great I’d wager, but we won’t have the current one so it’ll still be unfair to judge? I think that’s purposefully ignoring the smoke here.

Jason Schreier said he’s working on a piece about Rockstar current working conditions so hopefully we’ll get information about it in time, but it rarely happens because such information is simply rarely available.

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#49 Posted by Captain_Insano (3512 posts) -

Maybe Rockstar took lessons from their former subordinates Team Bondi?


I will still play RDR2.

Unionisation is needed in the Games industry. The international nature of the industry makes it really difficult, because if American or Australian devs (or whereever) unionise, the companies will relocate to places with more relaxed laws and non union movement. But it's probably one thing that could be considered.

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#50 Posted by Rebel_Scum (1442 posts) -


Jason Schreier said he’s working on a piece about Rockstar current working conditions

That will undoubtedly be a great read.