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Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations

As outlined in this story on Develop, Crytek managing director Avni Yerli has struck back at accusations about the independent German developer's hiring and firing practices that showed up last week this anonymous tumblr blog. "I think the blog is unfair to the people who are working here at Crytek," Yerli says. "It harms the great work they’ve done. It is very distressing for us to think that an individual thinks we have been treating them unfairly. It’s very disappointing." The blog says: "that staff feel uncertain of their futures within the company and either jump ship, or get fired unlawfully and are forced to legally settle their dispute in the courts. Several ex-Crytek employees have already been successful in mounting legal battles and won settlements, yet Crytek still treat staff as disposable pieces of meat to be discarded at will." It also accuses management of "demanding six months of crunch time due to project management failures. This caused certain members of staff to suffer both in medical and personal ways." It offers a list of positions vacated due to "resignation and / or unlawfully firing," a well as a vague assertion about the sinister nature of the developer moving to new offices with "70 fewer seats."

Yerli's responses, excerpted from a full unedited interview, include a dispute of that last point about their new space. "The new Frankfurt office is larger and has more desks than the old Frankfurt office," Yerli told them. "Our new office is laid out for growth and not for reduction." And while admitting that the list of vacated positions is accurate, he says that some of those were contractors, and the remainder left of their own accord. He also admits that the company has been involved in a couple of court cases over labor disputes, which were settled in Crytek's favor, adding" "I don’t want to make glory out of this. We are not proud of 'winning'." Finally, on the subject of crunch time, he says the crunch on Crysis 2 was "three months maximum," and that: "we had not enforced weekend work – during crunch people were given the choice to work one weekend day, but only if they chose to."

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51. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 7, 2011, 01:13 MrBone
 
Wake the hell up. All companies view their workers as pieces of meat...especially if it is traded on old wall street. They would drop you like a skin cell. They simply don't care about anyone but themselves.  
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50. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 6, 2011, 11:26 Verno
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 5, 2011, 20:01:
Have you guys actually worked in other countries?

Yes, have you?
 
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49. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 6, 2011, 10:10 Prez
 
They put in much longer hours than those of us in the states.

Maybe generally speaking, but what's left of the manufacturing industry in the US works a schedule more brutal than any I have heard about save maybe sweat shops in China. Rotating shifts every week, 8 to 10 days straight (sometimes 12 days straight) of 10-12 hour days. And there are only two 15 minute breaks and a half-hour lunch; the rest of that time is actual work. Maintenance techs work that plus are on call for any after hours breakdowns. Our company has a plant in Germany and their schedule is WAY more employee friendly than ours here in Memphis. On top of that, the atrocity known as "lean manufacturing" has gotten rid of 33% of our work force. So the work load gets higher every year, but they are reducing the number of employees.

In that light, I don't have too much sympathy for guys who make games for a living. At least they are employed.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
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48. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 6, 2011, 09:54 InBlack
 
In Corporate America, ask not what your country can do for you...since it cant do shit anymore.

Seriously though, these kinds of corporate practices are not unique to the USA anymore. They are becoming prevalent everywhere. Sure the EU protects its private citizens a little better on average, but more or less corporations are becoming the NEW BETTER citizens in Europe as well as the States.
 
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47. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 6, 2011, 09:45 WaltC
 
Surprised it hasn't been brought up, but with the notable exception of Germany, everywhere else in the EU unemployment hovers at ~10%. In the US it's at ~9%, and in the US everyone is freaking over such a high unemployment rate. Traditionally the US hovers at around a ~7% unemployment rate, which is considered "full" employment.

I will have to say, though, that the EU approach to unemployment seems much more civilized than it is in the US. In many states in the US, if a company fires a worker all it has to do is to maintain that the employee "broke a rule" or that somehow it was "the employee's fault" and that employee, even if employeed for decades by the same company--and regardless of current employment conditions elsewhere--is denied unemployment compensation of any kind! There's an appeals process, but mostly it is a joke--I've never heard of a company's decision being overturned on appeal. If they say you screwed up--doesn't matter how minor the infraction may be--you're left with nothing except your resume. I actually knew of a woman employed by the same company for 20 years who was fired and got $0 unemployment compensation in the interim while looking for a new job. I wonder how the EU handles unemployment. Companies in the US have to pay 50% of whatever unemployment award is made to an employee, which is why they have such a say so in the process.
 
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46. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 6, 2011, 07:53 Kajetan
 
Come to Germany, where milk and honey flows!! But sadly it's socialist milk and honey, so let your babies die born free ... *muhahahaha*

No, really. It's not bad there. In fact, it's quite nice
 
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45. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 6, 2011, 07:42 eRe4s3r
 
But you have to wait 2 months or more for an appointment when you need specialized doctors if you are gov insured. And you also have to pay 10€ for each doctor visit (per quarter) as well 10€ for dentist visit (per quarter)

So the system isn't exactly free, though you will never be thrown out of a hospital if you don't have 10€ on hand :p And generally speaking, its still the best health care system in the world, even with all its flaws.
 
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44. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 6, 2011, 07:06 InBlack
 
Germany has some of the best labour laws on the planet. Workers are pretty much used to being treated as human beings, hence why "Made in Germany" actually stands for quality products.

Why some of you are so jaded (or even jealous) about that is beyond me. Maybe you should look to your own government and their stance on taking care of their own people....
 
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43. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 6, 2011, 01:16 Sempai
 
It sounds extremely implausible because while they might be an EA studio they are an EA studio in Germany where working north of 35 hours per week is considered as slavery and where people get 30+ days of vacation per year in addition to any federal or national holidays and where you have health insurance, welfare and unemployment caretaking coming out your ears'n'ass.
So the poor Crytek crybabies prolly had to work a regular nine to five 40 hour week for three months and are now making a fuss about their "inhuman" working conditions. Yup. Totally plausible.

Well shit howdy, where do I sign up?
 
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42. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 6, 2011, 00:24 El Pit
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Sep 5, 2011, 18:33:
The German economy is pretty strong. If they can do that with a 37 hour work week and 24 days (enforced) vacation then the USA is doing it wrong.


They even have a national health insurance!
 
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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41. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 5, 2011, 22:01 Sepharo
 
Pff only 6 other countries? Try again.  
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40. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 5, 2011, 21:39 Creston
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 5, 2011, 20:01:
Have you guys actually worked in other countries?

Oh, I dunno...

Netherlands
UK
Spain
Belgium
Germany
(former) Czecho-slovakia.
USA

Good enough?

Creston
 
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39. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 5, 2011, 21:05 NewMaxx
 
DangerDog wrote on Sep 5, 2011, 16:02:
There were pictures of Crytek's "working" environment from Crysis 2 and it looked pretty bleak, assholes and elbows jammed into a small workspace.

This is pretty typical in the gaming and programming industries. As it was in the entertainment writing industry, before they got unions. I guess once it's considered "art" it will follow in that path.
 
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38. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 5, 2011, 20:17 kanniballl
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 5, 2011, 20:01:
Have you guys actually worked in other countries?
Yes, there are rules about certain workers, but anywhere I've been abroad has longer work days than we do. Hell, my company is based out of Italy, and the employees in that office do 10-12 hour days every single day. They put in much longer hours than those of us in the states.

My friends in a Swiss company (company to remain nameless) work an extra 0.5 hours a day (30 min), so 9 hours (8hr + 1hr lunch).

All full-time employees at said European company ALSO have a guarantee of that work-day... if they work even a minute over they're allowed to bank it. They can either leave early on a given day, or bank them to make vacations out of them. Done via signing in/out with a card. Granted this might be company-specific.

The starting vacation-time given to new employees is also 5 weeks. 5 flippin' weeks.


Meanwhile I work a lot of OT without any extra pay... but I get a straight salary. I'm not complaining, I like my job and compensation. I'm just saying... not all European companies are cut from the same cloth.

This comment was edited on Sep 5, 2011, 20:26.
 
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37. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 5, 2011, 20:12 Slashman
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 5, 2011, 20:01:
Have you guys actually worked in other countries?
Yes, there are rules about certain workers, but anywhere I've been abroad has longer work days than we do. Hell, my company is based out of Italy, and the employees in that office do 10-12 hour days every single day. They put in much longer hours than those of us in the states.

Of course, a huge chunk of those hours involve standing around drinkning free cappacinos, and they get cars, and they get 10 euros per day in food allowances, and the entire place is full of fresh mozzarella that's insanely good whereas I can't even find any in this shitty state, but... wait, what was I saying?

We don't know...but don't let us stop you!
 
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36. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 5, 2011, 20:01 Beamer
 
Have you guys actually worked in other countries?
Yes, there are rules about certain workers, but anywhere I've been abroad has longer work days than we do. Hell, my company is based out of Italy, and the employees in that office do 10-12 hour days every single day. They put in much longer hours than those of us in the states.

Of course, a huge chunk of those hours involve standing around drinkning free cappacinos, and they get cars, and they get 10 euros per day in food allowances, and the entire place is full of fresh mozzarella that's insanely good whereas I can't even find any in this shitty state, but... wait, what was I saying?
 
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35. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 5, 2011, 19:58 Creston
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Sep 5, 2011, 18:33:
The German economy is pretty strong. If they can do that with a 37 hour work week and 24 days (enforced) vacation then the USA is doing it wrong.


The US IS doing it wrong. They still haven't figured out that forcing your employees to work 50+ weeks a year means they burn out, and that by giving them paid vacation time, they'll be happier and more productive.

Most companies now grudgingly give one or two weeks of vacation at most, which is a joke. People can't just keep on working forever. They need time to unwind too.

It doesn't help that the US already has virtually no public holidays.

For all how advanced it claims to be, where workers are concerned, the US might as well be Turkey in the Middle Ages.

Creston
 
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34. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 5, 2011, 19:56 Creston
 
Usually, where there's smoke there's fire. And it's not as if the game industry isn't already widely known for treating its employees like utter shit (a few great devs excepted.)

AND Cevat has a bit of an asshat reputation.

So I'd say the signs aren't favorable for Crytek.

Creston
 
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33. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 5, 2011, 19:52 Cutter
 
Alamar wrote on Sep 5, 2011, 16:41:
Beamer wrote on Sep 5, 2011, 16:37:
Cutter
Unfortunately labour laws in most countries don't amount to shit, and the courts almost always come down on the side of companies. I've had a few cases over the years of being unlawfully canned


How were you unlawfully canned? Were you fired for race, gender, religious belief, etc?

Could have been one of his well thought-out constructive criticisms... : )

-Alamar

Hey, I'm nothing but professional at work. Like most of us, I blow off steam here and points elsewhere because I can't at work. If I didn't I'd be one of those guys that takes a rifle up a belltower and lets society know what I really think of them. Probably starting with people who make smart-ass, hypocritical remarks.
 
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32. Re: Crytek Refutes Working Conditions Accusations Sep 5, 2011, 19:19 Slashman
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Sep 5, 2011, 18:33:
The German economy is pretty strong. If they can do that with a 37 hour work week and 24 days (enforced) vacation then the USA is doing it wrong.


You'd think it would turn on a few light bulbs but...

I'm honestly glad I don't live or work in the USA. Some of the crap that they do to employees is insane. And of course the general policy seems to be: 'If you don't like it...we'll find someone else who does to replace you.'
 
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