I just read an article over at Gamasutra about the appalling work conditions during the development of LA Noir, and about ego-tripping upper management not even bothering giving credits to the developers, if they are no longer with the company at project completion. Even though some have been working on it for years.
This is just the last report in a long string of reports on how big-budget projects are draining the life out of the developers, and then not giving proper dues.
In the above mentioned article, the comments section blew up over the need of a union in this industry. I couldn’t agree more, and frankly I don’t understand how this has not already happened. For pete’s sake, we’ve been collectively at it for 3-4 decades now. Isn’t that even longer than it took the movie industry to unionize?
I have a vision of creating the most attractive work-place in Sweden. I don’t know how to get there exactly, except to care immensely about my team, and listen to their needs (and of course try and give them that). But I know I’m not gonna get there by making them crunch indefinitely, not giving them appraisal or credit, and generally fucking them over.
I recently found out that there was an old saying – “the most important thing for a company is the customer”, ie. get the money first. It was mentioned because now it’s apparently been replaced with “the most important thing for a company is the team”. My reaction to that was “yes, duh?” The team is everything – and has always been everything, for me.
I have contacted some of the commenters about actually doing something now. There’s been talk about this for a time now, but it seems to fizzle out between scandals. But seeing as the scandals now seem to continue back-to-back, hopefully these discussions will result in some action this time.
I’ll be sure to revisit this subject again. The first thing I’m gonna do now is to research this, see what’s out there. Maybe there’s something I’ve missed?