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More Rockstar Spouse Follow-up

An "Asked & Answered" post to the Rockstar News Wire covers several topics in answering questions from fans, including Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, and most notably, the recent Rockstar Spouse incident involving an open letter decrying the working conditions at Rockstar San Diego. That letter complained of forced overtime and other stressful conditions at the studio for current employees, but Rockstar does not address those concerns, and instead talks of "former members of any studio did not find their time here enjoyable or creatively fulfilling." Here's word:

As for the stories spreading around the internet, yes we have noticed them. Unfortunately, this is a case of people taking the opinions of a few anonymous posters on message boards as fact. No business is ever perfect, but Rockstar Games is a tight knit team made up of around 900 supremely talented and motivated professionals, many of whom have worked here for a very long time. We’re saddened if any former members of any studio did not find their time here enjoyable or creatively fulfilling and wish them well with finding an environment more suitable to their temperaments and needs, but the vast majority of our company are focused solely on delivering cutting edge interactive entertainment. We’ve always cared passionately about the people working here, and have always tried to maintain a supportive creative environment. There is simply no way Rockstar could continue to produce such large scale, high quality games without this. That being said, making great games is very challenging, which is why we have and will continue to try to keep hold of some of the best talent in the industry and support them in every way we can.

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8. Re: More Rockstar Spouse Follow-up Jan 23, 2010, 20:29 Ventura
And then people running the businesses care nothing about people, only money.

You say things might be bad, but sales are at an all time high right now.

You hit the nail on the head, but don't realise it.

Sales are high, sales are low... what difference does it make, if the people doing the hard work aren't the ones reaping the rewards?

The execs don't care. Never have, never will. And while it does sound like it's particularly nasty in this industry, it will be the same way wherever you go, whatever you do.

What do people with money want? More money. It's human nature, we're selfish by design. That and, society these days is all about not giving a fuck about anyone else.

Welcome to the 21st century
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7. Re: More Rockstar Spouse Follow-up Jan 23, 2010, 16:17 SquirrelZero
I have no fucking idea what that means, Shane.  
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6. Re: More Rockstar Spouse Follow-up Jan 23, 2010, 10:27 Enahs
Your problem is, there are too many people who like playing video games and think making them would be the easiest best cooliest most fun job in the world.

Nearly every state in the US now has at least 5 schools with a degree geared toward game design/making, etc.

Too many people in the work force for not enough positions. And then people running the businesses care nothing about people, only money.

You say things might be bad, but sales are at an all time high right now.

The video game industry a victim of its own unusually fast success.

This comment was edited on Jan 23, 2010, 10:27.
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5. Re: More Rockstar Spouse Follow-up Jan 23, 2010, 08:45 SquirrelZero
Those points can be valid, and certainly seem relevant to your experience. But what happens when you don't get that additional time off? What happens when the crunch is over, the game goes gold and the company lays off half its staff? Where, at all, does that inspire loyalty, to either the industry or the company? Have you ever been through a 3 month crunch only to have your pink slip handed to you at the end of it all, with no additional compensation for the 90 days, 70+ hour weeks you worked? Has your entire livelihood ever hung by a thread when sub-contracting to work on a vertical slice, had it greenlit by the pub, only to have the game yanked away from you just days later? Mine has, at multiple jobs. And still is.

I moved to LA only 4 months ago, hired on full-time as senior AI engineer for a relatively well-known company and an extremely lucrative franchise. I was promised job security, bonuses, coverage for moving expenses, etc. Last Friday the game we were working on was pulled by the publisher. I didn't even have enough time to qualify for unemployment. Tell me, what am I expected to do now? There were no bonuses given, no job security, and there will be no severance package. I'll be lucky to even hang on to my health care for a couple of months. This is the reality of the industry, in so many developers' lives. And it's why I'm getting the fuck out. That is, if I'm not sleeping in my car before I find other work.

I'm only a single example. And no, I did not work for Rockstar. But ask the 1500 people let go by EA just a short time ago, or the other dozens of layoffs and closings and cancellations in recent months. The industry needs to figure out a better way of doing things, as I've said before in previous posts, because the average career of a game developer is only 5 years. That's not a career. That's what you did working at a retail store during college to pay your rent. Careers are what you do until you retire. Hell, I'm a 7-year veteran, and I can't believe I made it this far.

Unfortunately, the games industry is as immature as the media portrays the people who play the games we make are. We all know the latter isn't true, but the former is. And nothing changes. It's been this way for a long, long time. I'm tired of this shit. Time to move on.
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4. Re: More Rockstar Spouse Follow-up Jan 23, 2010, 03:05 Cutter
Well, there are always two sides to it. I'm sure the people complaining feel they're justified. They're probably family guys who want a decent salary and bonus, and time to spend with their families. That being the case, go write tax software or something. Anyone who's ever worked in gaming knows there's a crunch cycle where you have to move into the office for a few weeks. And that's really no different from any other serious profession. You think lawyers on a major case coming up to a final trial aren't living in the office? Sales teams, etc.

I've worked gaming and I've worked corporate as many of you have, and we all know how pissy those people can get. If you can't suck it up and do what's required you're in the wrong business. Personally - maybe because I don't have a family - I always enjoyed the shit out of crunch time, gearing up for trade shows, etc. where you had to give'r really hard for a while. It's not like you don't get time off afterward, or that anything preceeding the crunch is anything but a normal 9-5 day most of the time anyway. The reality comes down to money, because if you offered any of these guys bitching about this stuff more money, they'd happily agree. So the key really is about profit-sharing and stock options.
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3. Re: More Rockstar Spouse Follow-up Jan 23, 2010, 01:03 Stormsinger
As a general rule, when a company issues a denial that so carefully dances around the issue but doesn't actually deny the accusation, it's a pretty safe bet that the accusation is true.

Frankly, if it was false, they'd simply say so.
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2. Re: More Rockstar Spouse Follow-up Jan 22, 2010, 19:52 Icewind
many of whom have worked here for a very long time

Yes, because we know that working at a job for a long time must mean you completely enjoy it.
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1. Re: More Rockstar Spouse Follow-up Jan 22, 2010, 19:23 Ray Marden
Well, there is a plan out of the EA rulebook.

Non-denial denial...talking about it being "former members"...being a bit condescending...but letting us know they "care."

Thank gosh this is such a mature industry...

Liking, but not blown away by Moon,
Ray Damn you, Netflix - ship Hurt Locker already!

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