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Gaming LA Noire developer responds to accusations of exploiting workers

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 28 Jun 2011.

  1. arcticstoat

    arcticstoat New Member

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  2. shadows

    shadows New Member

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    Typical of the games industry, it is one of those industries where the hours aren't 9 to 5, its highly stressed but can be highly rewarding.
     
  3. memeroot

    memeroot aged and experianced

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    People sell their time - if they are not happy then they can move somewhere else just as a company should be free to choose who they employ people should feel free to choose who they are employed by.

    having said that not giving due credit is a disgrace.
     
  4. Stotherd-001

    Stotherd-001 Member

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    I work in financial software, and the policy is fairly similar, less screaming from the manager, but you're expected to work more than your contracted hours, which are already fairly ridiculous.
     
  5. Bonedoctor

    Bonedoctor Have you turned it off & on again?

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    100hrs is a bit much - I'm a doctor and have done a few 110+ hour weeks and they aren't fun. Neither are they always recognised. Having said that, at least in the software industry they get to tke their recognition back.
     
  6. PingCrosby

    PingCrosby New Member

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    Garcia Hotspur wouldn't put up with this nonsense.
     
  7. r3loaded

    r3loaded Well-Known Member

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    100 hours is ridiculous. More hours =/= more productivity. Quite the opposite in fact. Devs need time off to consolidate their thoughts, possibly coming up with solutions and being alert at work. Any doctor or medical researcher will tell you that lack of sleep is bad, and leads to all sorts of disorders and problems. Coming to work tired is often worse than coming in drunk.

    In short - a manager can't expect their employees to be productive if they're nodding off because they've worked too long.
     
  8. aleph31

    aleph31 New Member

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    I'm working in the software industry (but not into videogames) and I've also faced 100+ hours per week for months (with no extra money nor recognition). At the end I quit (after facing several health issues), and now I'm happy with my fixed 40 hours per week. I don't get pluses either, but at least I don't give my life for nothing in return. I think western world jobs conditions are becoming more and more like Middle Age servitude or plain slavery (maybe because of the competition with China?). I think that the only way in software industry to do something where you feel fulfilled is to create your own project and be your own boss...
     
  9. WarrenJ

    WarrenJ Well-Known Member

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    If they're paid for the 100 hours where's the problem? In this financial climate, every hour counts.

    However, his management style sounds like its no fun.

    I'd put up with it if the money was right.
     
  10. SexyHyde

    SexyHyde Member

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    His reaction is typical of a manager. Most managers I see today are not qualified or experienced enough to do a their job. It's because companies are only working and thinking about their shareholders.
     
  11. aleph31

    aleph31 New Member

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    @WarrenJ: it seems that " some workers claimed to have been forced to work for over 100 hours a week with little compensation". I see two problems in this statement:

    - Little compensation: of course, everyone sees this with a different perception. But the typical scenario should be to be paid at least x1.5 of a regular work hour.

    - Be forced to do overwork. That's ok for a small "crunch time" (say 1-2 weeks). Otherwise, it is bad management and/or lack of resources, so you redirect your burden to the current employees. Overwork should always be an option for those who want to earn more, not an obligation.
     
  12. borandi

    borandi New Member

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    Let's take Google into consideration. 40 hr weeks, and 20% of that they let developers work on their own projects. Their offices are comfortable, and they offer free soda and soft beverages for workers whenever they want. Most of Google's projects are great, and in fact most are born out of that 20% own project time.

    Game industry fail, imo.
     
  13. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    @WarrenJ and aleph31 - I took it to mean the employees were on a salary and didn't get paid per hour or overtime at all. That's certainly how it works in my industry (I'm a lawyer) - you get a decent base salary but there's an understanding that you will regularly have to work over your contract hours without being paid overtime. If I hit my target for the year I get a modest bonus, but I've had a couple of years with no bonus where I've had a few killer months and a few dead quiet ones so missed my target for the year - needless to say in the quiet months I don't get to skip off home at lunch time :)
     
  14. aleph31

    aleph31 New Member

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    @mclean007: whatever the schema, I think that the aim should be for anyone to feel that it is being properly compensated for the invested effort. If you are not comfortable with the situation, the correct solution would be to quit and go to a more decent company. Problem is that quitting is not usually an option, as the videogames industry is overcrowded, so there will be a lot of youngsters willing to take your place and be exploited (and the problem worsens with the current financial crisis). The hiring-burning chain can go on forever. Only option that comes to my mind is to become an entrepreneur and do your own stuff (on the indie arena, as AAA macro-productions are out of reach for a little startup).
     
  15. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    @aleph31 - that's capitalism for you. If you're going to try to make it in an industry which is a popular place to work, then you're going to have to accept competition for jobs. This represents a surplus of supply (of workers willing to work), which pushes prices (wages) down.
     
  16. aleph31

    aleph31 New Member

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    @mclean007: you are right, supply and demand applies here. But the net effect is an intolerable worsening of the working conditions (intolerable as prolonged and forced 100+ hours per week may be). So I think that the solution should be to broaden the supply (companies, by creating your own project / startup or whatever) instead of pushing your health and happiness to the limit just to stay in place (as I mentioned in a previous post, the situation resembles too much the extreme exploitation conditions seen in too many places along History).
     
  17. Ayrto

    Ayrto New Member

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    How can pushing people so hard in a creative industry ever be productive? Clearly they should hire more people and lessen the load on stressed staff. It's not an issue of finding people of suitable calibre either, when talented staff who do meet the expected grade could walk anyway.

    I suppose you need targets and milestones, otherwise a game would never get finished, but 100 hours is likely to make people working on a game hate it by the time it ships- probably why lack of patches is an issue with many new games -everyone who worked on them has either left or wants nothing to do with them.
     
  18. Nikols

    Nikols New Member

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    Irish f@$ker
    ;-)
     
  19. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    But surely if you're a software engineer you do expect a nine-to-five working environment...

    If that's not a standard office job, what is!?
     
  20. memeroot

    memeroot aged and experianced

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    the work is not creative - it's a commodity - just like gold farming

    (can I have another tree?)
     
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