More Rockstar devs speak up on crunch as Red Dead Redemption 2 official launch trailer drops

    
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Rockstar is trying to get the Red Dead Redemption 2 narrative back on track this week after one of the company bosses casually humble-bragged that some members of the company were putting in 100-hour weeks on the game, which was followed by a deluge of testimony from former employees once again confirming that crunch remains a serious problem for the company.

But now, Rockstar has “given permission” to some current employees to speak out about their own working conditions. Consequently, multiple Rockstar devs have now also tweeted that they don’t work 100-hour weeks and that crunch isn’t an issue.

“If [crunch] ever felt forced and expected, I’d just go contracting for one of the banks,” says one RSN developer, as quoted on GIbiz. Others argue that the overtime they do is compensated.

However, it’s worth pointing out that Rockstar has thousands of employees across multiple studios, and not everyone feels free to speak truth. VG247 collected a few more quotes from employees who wished to stay anonymous; one pointed out that overtime benefits and crunch simply vary between projects and departments and studios – and countries, for that matter. (The Rockstar North studio, for example, is located in Scotland, which has much more stringent labor laws than the US.)

“Not every studio gets paid overtime. We certainly don’t. Other departments may not feel forced but I doubt you’ll see many tweets from Design or QA. The average from all departments makes OT not look too bad, but I’ve done 50+ hour weeks as standard since I started. Even if there is no work, we are told to come in every weekend anyway. I believe the people are being honest when they tweet, but they can only speak for themselves.”

One Twitter observer put it more bluntly: “Shocking that the company PR email that asked its employees (that they probably follow on twitter) are mostly positive.”

Meanwhile, preloading for RDR2 preorders is set to begin tomorrow, and the launch trailer has arrived; you can watch it below.

Source: GIbiz, VG247, Twitter

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psytic

Why dont they just unionize ? Serious question. Nothing wrong with OT as long as you are getting compensated. Write it into your agreement.

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Cypher

Who the f would work in America if it’s like this?? Don’t you guys have employment law????
Here in the UK employees aren’t allowed to work more than (approx.) 50 hrs a week! Unless there’s a signed statement saying they agree to do so and are adequately compensated ( I believe it’s time and a half, double on weekends).

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Vellik

Such an employment law would require both our legislators and major companies to care and make a push for that, which you can be assured that they don’t. The companies will only care if it affects their bottom line (or consequently affects their image enough to affect their bottom line and anger the shareholders), and I can’t speak to the legislators as that’s a mess in and of itself.

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rosieposie

I believe the company email sent out to Rockstar employees also included words ‘if you feel frustrated with the current situation’, clearly implying that these devs who were encouraged to speak out, were also encouraged to share only positive stories. So yeah, this is just PR damage control mode.

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Rottenrotny

People act like this is shocking and unusual, working long overtime hours at a gaming company. 100 hours in a week is extreme but not even close to unheard of. When I worked QA at Sega I was 12 hours a day 7 days a week for months on end.

Theryl
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Theryl

The simplest way to stop these kind of shenanigans is to ban unpaid work. You should be paid for every hour worked and extra for anything over 40 in a week. Period. Poor project management should be on the company, not the workers.

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Mr.McSleaz

In British Columbia,Canada, Overtime is a Daily affair. As soon as you have worked 8 hrs in a day you are in Overtime regardless of how many hours you have worked that week.

Xijit
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Xijit

I can’t think of a single Rockstar / Take 2 game that wasn’t run like this.

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kgptzac

I think everyone should read this thread:

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jamie torch

The Japanese have a word for this ,Karōshi . It means working yourself to death .

The UK has labour laws that I think these “bosses” have probably broken so it was unwise to brag about them in the first place .

Rockstar giving permission for its developers to speak out really doesn’t mean much at all because I think any employee that speaks out and complains about harsh working conditions and the illegal practice of forced overtime will probably not have a job for very long .

The best thing to do is if you don’t like what you are hearing from Rockstar is to boycott their games until they clean up their act . Having said that so many gamers act like sociopaths half the time in games I doubt they would care one way or another .

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cursedseishi

No, no, they’ll totally have their job…!

At least until their contract is up and its time to renegotiate… At which point their ‘lackluster’ work ethnic and ‘negative’ personality will be brought up as why the company will not be employing them further.

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Cypher

If this was happening over here then I can imagine the employees didn’t read their rights under her majesty’s employment act 2008! They’re sitting on very lucrative lawsuits!!

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Wilhelm Arcturus

“Even if there is no work, we are told to come in every weekend anyway.”

Oh, I’ve worked for that boss before. No problems and no way to progress on my part of the project, but I have to come in and hang around all weekend just in case there is a breakthrough and the hardware team gets the thing working.

I did that from November to May on one project. I don’t work for that kind of company any more.

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Danny Smith

There are political campaigns that are slower on the damage control spin.