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Working conditions poor in other Rockstar studios

Working conditions poor in other Rockstar studios

Max Payne 3 is likely to be delayed again as a result of low morale, claims an ex-Rockstar developer.

Following allegations from the families of developers at Rockstar's San Diego studio, a ex-employee has spoken out and said that low morale and poor working conditions are similar across other Rockstar studios and that another Max Payne 3 delay is likely.

The news comes from an anonymous ex-employee of Rockstar's Vancouver studio, who echoed the comments in the Rockstar Spouse letter that developers are being worked to death and getting little support, recognition or relief from management.

"Virtually everything said in the original 'Rockstar wives' letter and by current and former Rockstar San Diego employees in the comments applies to my experience at Rockstar Vancouver," the source told Joystiq.

"14 - 16 hour work days, six or seven days a week...enforced crunch mode through to the end of the project," detailed the source. Apparently developers even had a two week post-project holiday cancelled at the last minute.

The former Vancouver employee said that from what he's seen of Max Payne 3 a release date of August 2010 is optimistic to say the least and that it's likely the game will suffer more delays.

"The game's story just went through another total re-write earlier this month (the third that I am aware of in the past two years) and that [means] the team would have to have all of the content done by April or May to make that August release date."

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

26 Comments

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woodss 19th January 2010, 11:18 Quote
Don't delay max payne again :(...
Kúsař 19th January 2010, 11:47 Quote
Seems like there are some stupid slavers in Rockstar's management who think fatigued overworked developers could yield better results. Nice example of big company driven by "excel charts of productivity"...

And it looks like they're going to release alpha version of Max Payne 3, that's just great...
woodss 19th January 2010, 11:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kúsař
Seems like there are some stupid slavers in Rockstar's management who think fatigued overworked developers could yield better results. Nice example of big company driven by "excel charts of productivity"...

And it looks like they're going to release alpha version of Max Payne 3, that's just great...

I don't wanna go near it till its finished. It better live up to the original. One of the best games I ever played.
mikeuk2004 19th January 2010, 12:08 Quote
Are poor them, there are millions of people in the world who work even longer days and get no holiday and earn less than what is required to feed their families.

Some people do not know how good they got it.
Tyrmot 19th January 2010, 12:08 Quote
Maybe we should get a fairtrade label on games so we can avoid these sweatshop-driven products
leslie 19th January 2010, 12:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeuk2004
Are poor them, there are millions of people in the world who work even longer days and get no holiday and earn less than what is required to feed their families.

Some people do not know how good they got it.

Who says it really feeds their families?
Not everyone in I.T. makes great money, and many people will sacrifice a lot to work at a high profile place like that.

While they may make decent money, how is that different from making "decent money" in another country? A sweat shop is still a sweat shop.
Paradigm Shifter 19th January 2010, 12:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
A sweat shop is still a sweat shop.
QFT.
Almightyrastus 19th January 2010, 12:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
developers are being worked to death and getting little support, recognition or relief from management.

I am not sure I would want to work anywhere where management gave me 'relief'.........
shigllgetcha 19th January 2010, 13:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeuk2004
Are poor them, there are millions of people in the world who work even longer days and get no holiday and earn less than what is required to feed their families.

Some people do not know how good they got it.

there will always be people worse of, thats no reason to just put up with what your told
eddtox 19th January 2010, 14:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeuk2004
Are poor them, there are millions of people in the world who work even longer days and get no holiday and earn less than what is required to feed their families.

Some people do not know how good they got it.

There are also parts of the world where people are routinely killed by the ruling regime, and places where women are not allowed to get an education. Does that mean that we should not work to make our streets safer and our schools better? Just because something worse happens somewhere else it doesn't make everything up to that limit acceptable.
Xir 19th January 2010, 14:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
...many people will sacrifice a lot to work at a high profile place like that.

Isn't that the point right there? Half the London economy runs on "Assistants", "Part-Timers" and "Trainees" earning a lot less than the work they do would justify, but they work in these companies because it looks good on their resume.
You're free to leave, aren't you?
A former Rockstar programmer should be able to find a new job.
Anfield 19th January 2010, 16:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigllgetcha
there will always be people worse of, thats no reason to just put up with what your told

It is a good idea to put up with it, because if not you will be the one fired first in the next round of mass layoffs.
total zombie 19th January 2010, 16:41 Quote
I am not sure I would want to work anywhere where management gave me 'relief'......... [/QUOTE]

i would ha! ha! ha!
that was funny!
mikeuk2004 19th January 2010, 17:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
many people will sacrifice a lot to work at a high profile place like that.

Thats their choice. They had chosen to work there and if they dont like it, they cant complain. They have the luxury to move and laws to protect them.

While less privaleged countries dont have that kind of choice or protection.
Farfalho 19th January 2010, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Almightyrastus
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
developers are being worked to death and getting little support, recognition or relief from management.

I am not sure I would want to work anywhere where management gave me 'relief'.........

Unless the management was a really gorgeous and sexy hottie! Then you would be there at the end of the day to get your daily basis of "relief"! I knew I would if that was the case =P
Farfalho 19th January 2010, 17:38 Quote
Dude, go be a saviour, an another Madre Teresa of Calcuta... Geez, everyone knows that there are places on the Earth worse than where we live but we have the privilege of using those rights. Just because you forfeit them for no reason, doesn't mean we would.

At least, make yourself useful and help Haiti. That's a place that needs help.
Mentai 19th January 2010, 17:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeuk2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
many people will sacrifice a lot to work at a high profile place like that.

Thats their choice. They had chosen to work there and if they dont like it, they cant complain. They have the luxury to move and laws to protect them.

While less privaleged countries dont have that kind of choice or protection.

I still don't understand what 3rd world countries have to do with the working conditions at a top tier game development company. You're comparing two completely different things. Anything beyond another game company's work conditions is irrelevant.
thehippoz 19th January 2010, 19:39 Quote
crack that whip waaaaaaphsssss!

all the rewrites can't help.. probably have that environments thrown together at the last minute look too
leslie 19th January 2010, 21:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeuk2004
Thats their choice. They had chosen to work there and if they dont like it, they cant complain. They have the luxury to move and laws to protect them.

While less privaleged countries dont have that kind of choice or protection.

What are you willing to do in a bad economy? How many gaming companies are laying people off?

Regardless of that;
At which point are you breaking labor laws?
At which point do you start to anger your customer base?
How far can a company go for profits before you get annoyed.


One thing you fail to realize is that this does effect everyone in the industry. If Rockstar can get away with it, why can't Apple, or Microsoft, etc.. Well then, how about everyone in I.T.

If I.T. can do it, why not you? "Hey, that guy works 100 hours a week, he's not complaining, you're fired, lets go hire him. We can get rid of to people for the price of one."
Landy_Ed 19th January 2010, 22:31 Quote
Long hours & high productivity are not the same thing.

There are many places where being seen to be at your desk is all that matters, irrespective of whether or not you're actually achieving anything. Add to that, the longer & more sustained the workload the lower the quality of output.

Maybe the rockstar guys are just marking their timesheets, or maybe they really are heavily overworked - we'd have to be there to know.
sHr0oMaN 19th January 2010, 22:37 Quote
If you don't treat your slaves..err...employees properly soon no one will want to work for you.
Thus you end up hiring bad developers or outsourcing to Badcodeopolis and your games become bug-ridden running sewers of pain and soon you have no company.
This is bad for the industry. And for gamers.
Many people in game development do it because they love it. Money etc is mostly incidental. But treat them badly, and soon they'll rather gnaw off their fingers than write more code for the Bossman.
As gamers, we should be supportive of the people creating the games. Else we'll eventually stop being gamers.
eddtox 19th January 2010, 22:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sHr0oMaN

As gamers, we should be supportive of the people creating the games. Else we'll eventually stop being gamers.

And the people creating the games are the coders etc not the Bossmen. So how about a boycott of Rockstar untill they come out and apologize/mend their ways?
Star*Dagger 20th January 2010, 05:04 Quote
I smell Dr. Davis' hand at work here, everything he touches turns to turds. Yes we still remember how you fracked up the Star Trek license with that golden poop you called Legacy.
Dr. Davis should be driven from the industry, maybe go to a 3rd world country where his lack of compassion, competence and humanity are appreciated.

I just knew he would infect Rockstar with his disease.

Yours in disgust,
Star*Dagger
yakyb 20th January 2010, 08:12 Quote
Quote:
The game's story just went through another total re-write earlier this month (the third that I am aware of in the past two years)

is it just me or is a recurring theme around the gaming industry

other than that this is appalling if they need more developers hire them its not like there won't be plenty around. 14 - 16hr days 7 days a week (i really hope they are being paid for this)
Xir 20th January 2010, 08:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sHr0oMaN
If you don't treat your slaves..err...employees properly soon no one will want to work for you.
Thus you end up hiring bad developers or outsourcing to Badcodeopolis and your games become bug-ridden running sewers of pain and soon you have no company...


I thought that's the recipe for turning into EA? :D
Star*Dagger 20th January 2010, 23:28 Quote
There are bad managers and bad companies in the US games development community, this group has both qualities.
I'd say more but they would start filing suit, expect a "reorganization" or all out bankruptcy. No one I know in the industry wants to work for them or the infamous Dr. Davis.
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