Look After Your Workers Or Get Out Of Games (The Jimquisition)

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With the sheer amount of cash flowing into games – and don’t try to claim it isn’t – there’s no excuse for an industry that doesn’t take better care of its workers.

Unfair hours, low pay, and constant developer burnout is simply not justifiable. Not when other industries have had to deal with treating their employees well, and managed just fine. In the wake of Telltale, we need to discuss the rights and benefits that developers are long overdue.

Exley97
Member
Exley97

Jim, since you mentioned Ken Levine….can someone please explain how he was able to walk away seemingly unscathed from the closure of Irrational Games immediately after the critical and commercial success of Bioshock Infinite? I’ve never understood why he didn’t take more heat for that, especially when I see/read all of the criticism that’s being heaped on Telltale and Pete Hawley (and rightfully so). It’s as if Irrational’s closure was just a fart in the wind, which is crazy to me given the success and adoration of Bioshock Infinite.

Chris
Member

And now, TellTale has laid off what’s left of their workforce despite the management claiming they still intend to look for ‘other options’ to finish Walking Dead. A reminder, anyone who buys anything that comes out in the future under the TellTale brand whether it’s another company buying the rights or the investors bringing in another studio to salvage what was in progress to recoup their losses is a scab. And any gamers whining about the 20 bucks they lost on the Final Season in the face of 275 people whose lives have been upended with no notice due to… Read more »

TheDovah
Member
TheDovah

Sadly, it’s a very tough challenge to change the way publishers treat their staff. Unless it’s Hideo Kojima, Cliff B, the directors that most folks can remember, most publishers will treat their staff as disposable condoms. It’s exploitation by most and if it was in any other industry, they would be shut down, fined. The gaming industry gets away with it and for too long. No-one should have to work until 3am in a job that is not an emergecy service one. No-one should be expected to do stupid hours etc… Konami really showed the world how shitty a company… Read more »

IntronEx
Member
IntronEx

It doesn’t surprise me that people happily overlook the mistreatment of people in the industry, and I doubt that it will improve short of unionization. We are after all communicating this on tablets, phones, computers, etc with components made from raw materials dug out of the ground by children in appalling conditions. We wear clothing sewed by orphans and desperate people in sweat shops. Our world and economies run on the mistreatment of the people who make it possible. The only real difference here is that game developers are the ones standing in their own way, and have a reasonable… Read more »

Chris
Member

Thank you so much for saying all of this Jim. It’s so rare anyone in or around the industry actually acknowledges this stuff. The obsession gamers have with studios and brands is a big part of the problem. The fact that anyone continues to defend or look forward to a game from ‘Bioware’ when no one who worked there during the good times is likely still employed there is why publishers and the investor class know they can lay off the entire work force after finishing a game and have that not impact sales on the next one at all.… Read more »

Arella Jardin
Member
Arella Jardin

I would support a massive industry wide workers’ strike, and wouldn’t even be that affected. Sure, it would mean no new games for a while, but I have a shelf and an Xbox account full of unplayed games to tide me over.

kimiyoribaka
Member
kimiyoribaka

My day has been going well. Thank you for asking.