IGDA, Rockstar Reply to Allegations of Over Work

Both the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and Rockstar Games have issued responses to an open letter posted on Gamasutra which claimed deteriorating working conditions at the Rockstar San Diego studio.

Rockstar’s response came in the way of a comment on the original Gamasutra story, where user "Justwanna makegames" posted what appears to be an internal email from Rockstar to employees.

A few selections:

We do not agree with the allegations in the Gamasutra post (e.g. there has been no reduction in health benefits or ancillary benefits and perks (such as free dinners and massages etc), wage increases across the studio have kept track with cost of living increases, and anyone who feels they have been overlooked for a bonus for a game they worked on please contact HR to discuss as soon as possible).

Nevertheless, we do know that the team is working very hard right now, and we care deeply about the physical health and mental well-being of every single person on our team. We are committed to working through any issues anyone at the studio may have, and to providing support wherever possible.

In a post on its website, the IGDA wrote:

In any studio, the IGDA finds the practice of undisclosed and constant overtime to be deceptive, exploitative, and ultimately harmful not only to developers but to their final product and the industry as a whole. While our research shows that many studios have found ways to preserve quality of life for their employees, unhealthy practices are still far too common in our industry.


Events like these raise the awareness of quality of life issues in the industry and among the public.  The IGDA has made clear its stance on excessive uncompensated overtime, and this instance represents an opportunity for reflection across the industry.

Additionally, MTV reached out to a former Rockstar New York employee who verified the claims made by Rockstar San Diego staffers.

The unnamed ex-employee even went so far as to compare Rockstar New York to the “Eye of Sauron” when it comes to dealing with other Rockstar studios:

Basically you’d have a studio working without guidance or milestones for nearly two years and then Rockstar NYC would suddenly pay attention to the project, making major changes as if out of the blue.

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  1. 0
    sharpshooterbabe says:

    & so all the work done by the teams of the gaming companies did it for nothing for that 8.0 or 9.0 or 9.5 or 10 for a score of the game?!?!?! They did not do it in vein.



    "It’s better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." – Montgomery Gentry

  2. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:

    Ah, it seems you’re using rule 5 and 11 from Saul Alinsky’s Rules of Radicals.

    Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”

    “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame."

  3. 0
    Valdearg says:

    ATTENTION, GP: Has anyone seen DrKefka’s marbles? He seems to have misplaced them. Don’t worry, Kefka, I’ll keep an eye out for your missing sanity.

  4. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    All the more reason to get rid of property and payroll taxes, replace them with profit taxes 45% is taken off the top off of the trade or exchange of goods and services, then tax gas mileage on vehicles(20mpg or lower 200 a year,30mpg or higher 40ish, 40mpg or higher 20, business vehicles get a 10th of that ) and streamline tags into it so as long as the tax is paid you tags are good. Have offload tags based on MPG but set at the business rate. Then to take even money from the fed split this by the region and sector 20% county,20% city and 5% to the fed,its the only way to shrink the fed and force it back into doing basic admin stuff not trying to control every fcking thing…….

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  5. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:

    I think any White Collar profession has felt the hurt when it comes to this recession. With Federal Health Care Reform and the Government take over, most Insurance Company’s are preparing to pass the cost onto us. United Healthcare just came to my place of employment to note the changes and increase in prices. Not to mention the Democratic Congress’s plan to Tax Healthcare benefits…..

    These workers are going to wake up one day and find Security walking them out of the building and informing them their possessions will be mailed back to them like Dell did their employees. Work Life Balance sucks but we as a society expect so much and we forget we are privileged to have a good job and have our employers pay the majority of our benefits.

    Most people forget the little bit that comes out of your check is nothing compared to what your employer is paying into the plan on your end.

    These people are not going to risk walking out and striking especially in the Democratic Controlled State of California were they have unionized and taxed business out to the point where they openly discussed being dropped as a state and going back to a terroritial status.

    I live in and around Chicago Illinois. If you leave the North Side of Chicago and visit all you see is old buildings in disrepair and old factories of where Industry was before the Unions forced the jobs out of the United States. If you ever went to Detroit you literally are walking in a current ruin of a once great city that is now nothing but one giant ruin



    Again, worst move they could have possibly made at this time in our country’s history. Do they seriously live in a bubble to where they think getting a job is that easy? Unemployment is over 10% we are reaching the levels of unemployment we haven’t seen since the great depression. Unemployement doesn’t pay that much, how do you expect to live off unemployment in a state that taxes everything to death and have no job?

    I along with a thousand other people working at a large office building for Allstate were just recently laid off some months back. Some people have found no alternatives to find work, some people are forced to take positions paying close to minamiem wage because the jobs aren’t there. As someone put it where I work at now, she was offered $12.00 last year and that was an insult to her since jobs have always been here with all these benefits, now they are hardly any.

  6. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    QFT. I was going to say more or less the exact same things. ESPECIALLY about the HR trap.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  7. 0
    Valdearg says:

    "We do not agree with the allegations in the Gamasutra post (e.g. there has been no reduction in health benefits or ancillary benefits and perks (such as free dinners and massages etc), wage increases across the studio have kept track with cost of living increases"

    This paragraph made me chuckle. Rockstar is trying to make it seem like they are sittiing on gold plated chairs while they work, and are served 200 dollar steaks every day for dinner. Trying to villianize the employees who are being worked to the bone is pretty low, Rockstar, pretty low indeed.

    Also, I love this:

    ", and anyone who feels they have been overlooked for a bonus for a game they worked on please contact HR to discuss as soon as possible)."

    It’s nothing but a lure to find the people who are complaining about this and fire them. HR doesn’t work for the employees, they work for the company. Thier sole job is to convince the employee that it’s not THAT bad to be shit on by the company.

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