Here’s how Netmarble’s fighting crunch after multiple developer deaths

    
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Last year, Netmarble came under fire from South Korean authorities following the death of a game developer under its banner. Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service noted at the time that the game studio employee “died from a work-related cause” brought on by “irregular night-time work and excess duty in the 12 weeks” when he passed away from heart disease – in his 20s. Excess duty was described in this case as 89 hours a week for almost two months. And he was apparently not the only Netmarble employee to drop dead that year; compensation filings noted two more deaths in 2016.

By summer of last year, additional South Korean agencies, including the jusice department and labor divisions, began pressuring Netmarble to clean up how it handles overtime and overtime pay. And most recently, according to MMO Culture, the company has devised a plan of its own to limit overworking.

It’s called the “Selective Working Time System,” and it basically limits work to seven hours per day (an eight-hour shift with an hour lunch), with all work between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. forbidden without prior permission. Pregnant employees continue to work only 30 hours per week.

MMO fans will recall that Netmarble recently picked up a new CEO and is still riding high from the launch of the popular Lineage 2 Revolution mobile MMO.

Source: MMO Culture

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Rafał Pietraszek

I am very interested how will be future of l2revo and mobile MMOs

k2apa
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k2apa

LUL, limiting working time isn’t the answer.

The answer is… increase short deadline times.

By Limiting working time, it just means the employee will need to work even harder and a lot more tiring to try and make up work lost in limited time before Deadline hits and they get pay-deducted and possibly fired.

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Melissa McDonald

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be game devs
don’t let them code python or old C++
let them be doctors and lawyers and such

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ultorius
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ultorius

“Netmarbles’ plan : when 1 dies hire another” worked in the pyramids and the great wall of china ,so why not

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Ashfyn Ninegold

I’m surprised you’re all surprised. Everyone who works in tech is overworked, unless the company specifically forbids it. I remember the days of email blasts reminding employees “no sleeping under your desk,” but that was unusual, which is why it’s memorable.

What’s the difference between “working” 80 hours a week and being tied to text and email messages 24/7 from your employer or workmates? When do you relax? Never, that’s when. No time is your own.

I seriously don’t know how anyone does it. The stress screws you eventually. There’s a reason the 8 hour day is standard.

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Stropp

Not all tech companies. In my 30+ years working as a programmer, 99% of my career was 8 hours day with a possible couple of extra hours a week. There were only a few times where I did an all nighter or had to come in over the weekend.

I worked in the business, telecoms, and defence industries over that time. I never worked in games, even though I wanted to in the 90’s. After I discovered how the game industry treated their employees I decided that I preferred to continue having a life outside of work. So never took that plunge.

I should say however, that my work hours did increase substantially once I started my own programming business, but I also had times where work was extremely lean too. So I figure it evened out. Still I didn’t mind the 80+ hours weeks since I was doing it for myself.

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Mikka Hansen

Same here. When I left college I was ecstatic for getting my first job in the gaming industry. nopenopenoped the fuck outta there in less than a year. Got a job in one of the big IT consultings and havent looked back since. Almost double the salary and doing standard 8h stints. The rare occasions there’s overtime its handsomely paid, to boot.

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Bryan Turner

The fact that developers are being worked to death is bad enough but to die developing a shitty mobile game is a tragic legacy to leave behind.

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

But labor laws are “socialism.”

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Bannex

Wow, see ya marvel future fight. Didn’t care for the game all that much anyways

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McGuffn

Is there irony in that overworked employee deaths almost certainly increase the workload on everyone else? Probably, but it is morbid irony.

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Weilan

How can one enjoy games knowing that people died to make them…

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Armsbend

“How did your son die?”
“His cube farm job wouldn’t let him go home to sleep for a week. They said it was ‘crunch time’. ”
“Oh my, I am so sorry. Was he working on a top secret program in order to keep our wonderful country safe?”
“No, he was in charge of the human breast slider in Trove’s character creator.”

Sorry to be glib in my off color, stupid joke but imagine losing a family member to something so avoidable and something so inconsequential as creating a game.

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Sally Bowls

There are two assumptions there, that this was “crunch” time and that the company coerced him. IMO, we can’t just assume either of those are true.

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Sally Bowls

Not enjoying games is the point of these stories.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kar%C5%8Dshi

I don’t think this is a phenomenon particularly related to gaming. I am sure that people died similar deaths in similar countries making your cars, phones, and electronics. (/overthetop “but you would have to go to anti-Samsung sites to read those articles” and “but they don’t have lockboxes”)

The headline talks about “crunch,” which is real. I am not sure that this was “crunch” (project cycle related push) rather than just his normal schedule.

I would point out the irony of some of these discussions here on MOP. While this was a sad tragedy, I would point out to those of you who have not been involved in a small business, that it is unlikely this site would be around if Bree and company had worked five eight-hour days a week.