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Codemasters Complaints

Reinventing the Wheel, the personal blog of programmer Semi Essessi, goes public with his dispute with his ex-employers at Codemasters, alleging unpaid overtime and an odd tale of Codemasters attempting to claw back what was said to be an overpayment in his final paycheck (thanks joao). Eurogamer has a response from the studio, who deny Essessi's allegation that they have pursued this through legal avenues, and the latest from Essessi is that "negotiations are ongoing" and according to Codemasters: "The company's advisers are now aware of the additional comments that Semi has published and these will be addressed with him directly through the appropriate channels as necessary."

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31. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 15, 2012, 09:56 [VG]Reagle
 
This low life should never be hired by anyone.  
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I am much better now.
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30. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 20:40 Jerykk
 
Don't you get it? If you work overtime and you don't get it paid your are working for NOTHING. And that is how much you value your life time you waste at a worthless job?

I don't know what you do for a living but people who work in a creative capacity tend to actually care about their work because it will have a direct impact on the quality of the final product. Salaried workers in the games industry will do unpaid overtime not only to meet milestones but also to make the game better because they actually care about it.

Despite the long hours, working in the games industry feels rewarding because you're actually invested in it and can see the results of your work. It's not like most other jobs where you're only there to pick up a paycheck. While it would be great to get paid overtime as a salaried worker, I'd still rather have this job than any other.
 
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29. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 18:31 xXBatmanXx
 
MrBone wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 11:31:
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 08:47:

I am not a fan of unions, but am glad to be a part of one for my job

Haha. No wonder we have our current President.

Nice snippet of the whole comment. And my job has nothing to do with the President. Didn't vote for him - not aware of many unions that did.
 
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28. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 18:30 xXBatmanXx
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 16:44:
If you think your life time is worth so little that you work at a company even 1 minute longer than you need to, then thats your choice... but you set yourself to be called a moron by someone who gets his overtime paid ... as 1:1 vacation hours to be taken whenever he wants.

Don't you get it? If you work overtime and you don't get it paid your are working for NOTHING. And that is how much you value your life time you waste at a worthless job?

Do you think in 50 years you will die sighing "if only I could have worked more?"

And for your giggles, i never worked an unpaid overtime hour in my lifetime.

You never checked work email from home? Or on your phone? Or took a call from work? I doubt it.
 
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27. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 17:58 Dmitri_M
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 16:44:
And for your giggles, i never worked an unpaid overtime hour in my lifetime.

So you flip burgers for a living huh? That's what happens when you work a job that requires no passion.
 
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26. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 16:44 eRe4s3r
 
If you think your life time is worth so little that you work at a company even 1 minute longer than you need to, then thats your choice... but you set yourself to be called a moron by someone who gets his overtime paid ... as 1:1 vacation hours to be taken whenever he wants.

Don't you get it? If you work overtime and you don't get it paid your are working for NOTHING. And that is how much you value your life time you waste at a worthless job?

Do you think in 50 years you will die sighing "if only I could have worked more?"

And for your giggles, i never worked an unpaid overtime hour in my lifetime.
 
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25. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 16:31 Dev
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 16:24:
And you think thats somehow NOT what i meant?

Just because they have skills, doesn't mean they can't be morons. And if they work for nothing, they are morons, skills or not.
Got it, you think that anyone who works more than a 40 hour workweek in salaried positions for any reason whatsoever, if they don't get extra, they are morons. That includes many (most?) programmers, and many other categories and positions. I bet out of all the salaried positions in the country, the majority of them have probably worked at least one extra unpaid hour at some point in their lifetime. They are all morons, got it.
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 16:28:
And being paid overtime is a RIGHT, not something a company can just choose not to do.
That depends on the laws (which can vary by country and even state), and the company, and the particular position.

A large number of salaried jobs in this country don't get overtime, their pay is fixed and not based on the hours.

This comment was edited on Jan 14, 2012, 16:36.
 
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24. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 16:28 eRe4s3r
 
And that just makes me more sad, people complain about this practice, but when it comes down to it they have no principles and just suffer through it. You don't ever GAIN rights by forfeiting them at will.

And being paid overtime is a RIGHT, not something a company can just choose not to do.
 
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23. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 16:24 eRe4s3r
 
And you think thats somehow NOT what i meant?

Just because they have skills, doesn't mean they can't be morons. And if they work for nothing, they are morons, skills or not.
 
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22. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 13:56 Dev
 
In my replies below, I'm explaining what often ends up happening. That doesn't mean I like the process, it often leads to crap being shipped full of bugs.
Ludomancer wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 05:07:
"Crunch Time" is fraud. What is so fucking god-damned important about shipping a stupid material product at specified time, to the point of not being able to get home and see your fucking family on the weekends?
Often its because the company is going to go under if they don't ship by a date. Many many studios work project to project, and are in serious trouble if they don't ship something on a certain deadline and get income coming back in. Or perhaps they will get penalized if they don't ship by a date, or funding withdrawn, etc. Most publishers funding dev studios have performance clauses and deadlines in the contract, otherwise the studio would be free to take forever and never release anything at all. This is why a lot of total crap buggy stuff ships, they all figure they will patch after they ship. The EULAs seem to disclaim issues arising from bugs, so that's another reason why a company often gets away with this. Plus, if a company announces a date, then has to push it back, that's not a free process, the customers don't usually like it either. If they had coordinated a worldwide release, there's localization issues that have to be on a schedule, and all that gets screwed up in a delay.
Now this kinda thing doesn't apply nearly as much to a company like bethesda. They aren't going to go broke if they wait. Obviously they have a quality they accept on ship date that isn't the best (they have a history of that in fact, dating back to daggerfall when it was literally not possible to beat the game in the shipped retail version).

eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 10:36:
Sounds to me like the company would want either extremely gullible employees or pay overtime, because i can't see how a development house can work when their best coders leave when overtime isn't paid. The time it takes to have a new guy restart coding, and reach even a mediocre level of quality is 5 times the cost of just paying the damn overtime.
Except that the mediocre quality is acceptable for most places, they just want to shove something out the door. They figure they can patch after release if needed. This kinda 90+ hour workweek is very common in the industry in crunch time. And since they are mostly salaried, they mostly don't get paid for the overtime.
And if you don't work over your 40 hours, guess what? You will get replaced and they will find someone who will. If everyone is working on a team and properly documenting the coding, it shouldn't be terribly difficulty to swap in a replacement. There's no shortage of programmers who will do this. If there was, this practice would have been stopped long ago.

This comment was edited on Jan 14, 2012, 14:07.
 
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21. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 13:51 Wolfen
 
Dmitri_M wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 13:12:
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 10:36:
People who work overtime without getting paid for it, are stupid.

By your logic, all those movies you like watching with their cool effects, all those games you like playing, the majority of visual media you see - it's all created by stupid people.

Allthumbsup
 
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20. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 13:12 Dmitri_M
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 10:36:
People who work overtime without getting paid for it, are stupid.

By your logic, all those movies you like watching with their cool effects, all those games you like playing, the majority of visual media you see - it's all created by stupid people.
 
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19. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 11:31 MrBone
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 08:47:

I am not a fan of unions, but am glad to be a part of one for my job

Haha. No wonder we have our current President.
 
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18. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 10:36 eRe4s3r
 
Yeah they don't have to pay overtime, but you don't have to work overtime either.

Sounds to me like the company would want either extremely gullible employees or pay overtime, because i can't see how a development house can work when their best coders leave when overtime isn't paid. The time it takes to have a new guy restart coding, and reach even a mediocre level of quality is 5 times the cost of just paying the damn overtime.

Bottom Line

People who work overtime without getting paid for it, are stupid.
 
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17. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 10:32 wtf_man
 
I would think that most studios do salaries instead of hourly for the exact reason that they legally don't have to pay overtime.

So, if one agrees to a "salary" position, they should not expect to get any overtime pay.

That said... "salary jobs", in general, should be illegal except for what they were originally intended for... upper management that usually makes a ton more than the "top non-manager workers". You know... specifically the upper management folks that get huge bonuses every year. (And probably put in very little overtime by comparison to a game dev)

This comment was edited on Jan 14, 2012, 10:39.
 
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16. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 10:01 Ray Marden
 
Slashman wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 09:10:
There is a difference between me voluntarily staying to finish something(an extra hour or so), and me being 'forced' to do it on a consistent basis.

Except...there isn't. You just supplied non-exempt work to a for-profit enterprise and did not get paid for it.
See how easy it is to use the employees?
There are a few exceptions for volunteer work to government agencies and non-profits or excess hours not being paid at a higher rate, but this is not one of those scenarios.

Finding ToR's crafting system tedious,
Ray
 
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15. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 09:10 Slashman
 
There is a difference between me voluntarily staying to finish something(an extra hour or so), and me being 'forced' to do it on a consistent basis.

I have no problem giving a bit of extra time, but when I want to leave...then unless you're paying me to stay, I'm out.
 
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14. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 08:47 xXBatmanXx
 
Wolfen wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 08:29:
Dev wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 01:00:
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 00:28:
I know I woulnd't do it. Nothing is that important. If it is umportant enough for me to work, you will pay me for it.
That was a part of the whole EA employee issues as I recall. My understanding is that many salaried programming positions don't have overtime, so they get hit hard in crunch time. The companies that know better usually follow crunch time with extensive vacation. I heard that EA started just throwing employees directly into another crunch time, constant 90+ hour work weeks with no overtime tends to suck.

The whole crunch time issue is also a big part of what changed valve's development philosophy from what I remember.

Indeed it was. Here is roughly what was happening. As we know they were upset over no compensation of some sort for working more than 40 hours a week. EA justified this by stating game developers were "Specialized" employees / contractors. This isn't really true anymore. At least that's what the courts must of decided. In CA apparently as a specialist you can (or could?) be asked to work OT and not be compensated.

This whole thing from what I understand had the laws changed there. It also made EA decide to switch most everyone but management to hourly pay and OT having to be authorized. That's pretty much how it was at Mythic once they were bought by EA.

That whole specialized thing is total BS. SO the company gets to make money on your labor, but you don't get compensated? F that!

I am not a fan of unions, but am glad to be a part of one for my job (one of the few I actually see a need for a union - as I can get sued damn near everytime I go to work if people see fit - for no reason at all - our city has paid out hundreds of thousands on worthless claims as it is cheaper to settle for x amount than to go to court for 3x), but US labor laws are pretty generous. All one needs to do is make a few calls instead of bitching about it.

No one, and I mean NO ONE should work for free. Anyone that agrees to it in their employment is just asking to be taken advantage of. It is moronic to accept it.
 
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13. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 08:29 Wolfen
 
Dev wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 01:00:
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 00:28:
I know I woulnd't do it. Nothing is that important. If it is umportant enough for me to work, you will pay me for it.
That was a part of the whole EA employee issues as I recall. My understanding is that many salaried programming positions don't have overtime, so they get hit hard in crunch time. The companies that know better usually follow crunch time with extensive vacation. I heard that EA started just throwing employees directly into another crunch time, constant 90+ hour work weeks with no overtime tends to suck.

The whole crunch time issue is also a big part of what changed valve's development philosophy from what I remember.

Indeed it was. Here is roughly what was happening. As we know they were upset over no compensation of some sort for working more than 40 hours a week. EA justified this by stating game developers were "Specialized" employees / contractors. This isn't really true anymore. At least that's what the courts must of decided. In CA apparently as a specialist you can (or could?) be asked to work OT and not be compensated.

This whole thing from what I understand had the laws changed there. It also made EA decide to switch most everyone but management to hourly pay and OT having to be authorized. That's pretty much how it was at Mythic once they were bought by EA.
 
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12. Re: Codemasters Complaints Jan 14, 2012, 06:56 Ray Marden
 
Unpaid overtime is illegal (for non-salary workers,) but it is quite common at businesses, particularly those in certain industries.

Typically, you will see it as a result of naive newer employees or as a result of hostile management. Just set unrealistic work goals, send out memos talking about you want a workforce that will get the job done, not just leave at the end of day, and then make it known that you are unhappy with people have overtime - this will happen every time. For lower income individuals, you can toss in threats of no longer having employment for the same results.
See "crunch" time. There is no valid reason for this to be routine.
Finding most companies have some level of this,
Ray
 
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31 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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