Sections

Where There’s Smoke: Team Bondi’s Sydney “sweat shop”

Wednesday, 6 July 2011 07:22 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Everyone’s talking about Team Bondi, but is the Sydney studio just one of a growing number of developers bedevilled by harsh working conditions?

The industry is abuzz after a pair of recent features blew whistles on what it was like to work at Team Bondi during the development of L.A. Noire.

The picture the sources paint, of a “sweat shop” graduate mill burning through cheap new talent for meagre and decreasing rewards, is grim indeed. So grim, the IGDA has launched an investigation into the claims.

But Team Bondi founder and lead Brendan McNamara seems to feel these specific grousings are rooted in local ideas of what is and isn’t acceptable working conditions.

“The expectation is slightly weird here, that you can do this stuff without killing yourself; well, you can’t, whether it’s in London or New York or wherever,” he told IGN.

“You’re competing against the best people in the world at what they do, and you just have to be prepared to do what you have to do to compete against those people. The expectation is slightly different.”

We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto

By basing his new studio in Australia, McNamara is certainly guilty of poor timing.

When Team Bondi opened in Sydney in 2003, the world was a very different place. Asked what he’d do differently if he could start all over again, McNamara answered:

“I think we’d think twice about Sydney, wouldn’t we?”

Until very recently, Australia gave little or no support to the games industry, but it’s not just the lack of tax breaks, although McNamara makes specific mention of that. Rockstar took over L.A. Noire’s funding after Sony bowed out in 2007; one year later, the world was suffering the throes of one of the worst recessions of the modern era.

In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, the Australian Government, banking on continued economic growth fuelled by the mining industry, guaranteed its dollar. The resulting investor behaviour has driven the Aussie dollar to record highs and held it there, making it one of the strongest major currencies in the world.

This is very bad news for international and multinational companies funding salaries in Australia, because the cost of paying those employees has skyrocketed. And as Australia is rapidly becoming one of the most expensive nations in the world in terms of cost of living, local developers find themselves unable to swallow reduced salaries.

Given how much more cheaply development can funded in other countries, the Australian games industry halved in size in just a few years.

Following the introduction of an incentives scheme, this situation may reverse, and it’d be nice to think the staff who served at Team Bondi may soon find themselves comfortably employed elsewhere.

Elsewhere

Unfortunately, developers are unlikely to escape unpleasant strictures any time soon. This certainly isn’t the first time claims of unfair industry conditions have been raised; in 2004, a similar story broke over conditions at EA-owned studios, headed by an anonymous blogger known as EA Spouse.

There have been a number of responses to the insider grumblings, but McNamara, among others, seem to suggest that the conditions at Team Bondi are largely par for the course. This school of thought is typified by comments from Michael Pachter. Apparently, the developers involved need to take a shot of cement and harden up.

“Disagree on Team Bondi work issue,” the analyst noted on Twitter.

“Devs know what they are getting into.”

“Devs know what they are getting into, it’s a creative job, not an assembly line; overtime inappropriate.”

But Development staff certainly seem to have some cause for complaint if and when their working conditions have negative impact on their lives and health, and fobbing it off as part and parcel of a “creative” industry seems unfair.

Beyond the celebrities of our industry, the Cliff Bleszinskis and Ken Levines, are thousand of other staff who receive no more attention than a name in a credits roll – if that.

These unnumbered, faceless masses of artists, programmers, managers et al rarely have the chance to dictate what they do with their working life. High profile designers and their core teams of leading staff – who no doubt work as hard as anybody – act creatively to craft unique experiences; for everyone else, there’s the slog to shade in the detail of somebody else’s vision.

Is the programmer working twelve hours days non-stop for weeks on end trying to solve a physics issue in an engine he or she has no say in the overarching structure of really pursuing a “creative” industry? Is a working artist piecing together asset models to someone else’s schematic really being “creative”? And if the answer is yes, is there enough satisfaction and glory in that to make up for working conditions meaner that those of a minimum wage earner?

By suggesting it is, Pachter – and many other voices raised in similar vein – is excusing some of the harsher realities common to the games industry: the long hours and demanding workloads studios suffer during “crunch time”, attempting to meet deadlines and milestones set by funding bodies.

Why would you even

Knowing that harsh conditions grind staff down, wasting veteran talent, why would any company choose to implement them? The usual reason: business.

Most of the companies funding games – publishers, mainly – are beholden to investors, and these investors demand profits. Big profits; breaking even is not enough, and nor is a small return on investment.

When a game sells five million units, it’s easy to look at the price tag on the front of the box, do some napkin math, and conclude that everybody’s getting extremely rich, and regular celebratory sessions on the growth of a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry do little to dispel this illusion.

But even a cursory familiarity with the industry quickly reveals the truth. Earlier this year Eurogamer ran an excellent breakdown of where the average UK gamer’s money goes, concluding that only 30 percent makes it as far as the publisher.

Even in some jet-pack clad future vision where games are piped directly to your home via entirely free services, eliminating that 70 percent currently spread over retailers, distributors, and taxes, that amount isn’t pure profit.

It’s easy to do some napkin math, and conclude that everybody’s getting extremely rich

To make any game, let alone a triple A with a chance to go blockbuster, publishers have to fork out salaries for an entire development team, not just while the game is actually being worked on, but right through the conceptualising process and post-release support.

Obviously, some games cost more than others – Dead Space 2, a massive, courageous investment in new IP, had up to 150 people on board, which is a very large team, for at least two years of development. With the average UK developer earning around £32,000, that’s a lot of money.

Then there’s licensing and platform holder fees, the numerous enormous incidental costs of running a large company, keeping everyone in reasonable workspaces. Add on to that the poor performance of failed games – which cost as much to make and produce no profit at all – and making a game becomes an incredibly expensive and risky proposition for the funding body. Is it any wonder companies try to cut corners wherever they can?

No wonder, but perhaps no excuse either. As far as Team Bondi goes, we should wait for the IGDA’s report, although it’s hard to resist the “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” argument. But in the wider industry, it seems clear some serious questions need to be asked about the sustainability – and humanity – of current business models.

Latest

  • Battlefield Hardline beta will be 11GB, pre-load date revealed

    The file size for the open beta of Battlefield Hardline has been confirmed along with some pre-load information. EA posted a handy FAQ that reveals a few small details you may missed about the upcoming beta for Battlefield Hardline. The beta download will be between 10-11GB on PC, Xbox One and PS4. As for Xbox […]

  • Competition: Win graphic novel Ricky Rouse Has A Gun

    We have five digital copies of acclaimed graphic novel Ricky Rouse Has A Gun to give away on iPad. Ricky Rouse Has a Gun – Out Now from Oiffy on Vimeo. Named one on the best graphic books of 2014 by The Boston Globe Ricky Rouse Has A Gun has been praised by Minecraft creator […]

  • Dying Light reviews round-up, all the scores

    A few reviews of Dying Light have started going live and we’ve gathered them all. As you’re probably aware, review copies for Dying Light were sent to outlets only 24 hours before the release date. As a result, it’s taking most of them a while to play and asses the game. There are a few […]

  • Best Destiny videos of the week – epic kills and loot rage

    Destiny Guardians continue to prove they are the funniest, most talented and wildly handsome players around. This week’s top Destiny videos are a short but sweet bunch. We’ve mostly got Crucible material this time, kicking off with two particularly awesome kills. This first one comes from Steven Genore. I don’t want to call it a […]

  • Ouya scores $10 million cash injection – rumour

    Ouya has been granted a new lease on life thanks to a hefty investment. Ouya games and software may be added to Alibaba’s set top box following a $10 million investment, according to rumours out of the financial world. The Wall Street Journal cited “people familiar with the matter” for the news. No further details […]

  • Chinese console trial to expand nation-wide

    China will open its borders to video game consoles. Last year, the Chinese government allowed a trial of video game console sales in Shanghai, ending a 14 year ban. Bloomberg reports the trial went well enough that China has elected to allow the business nation-wide. Platform holders still have to wait on local governments, who […]

  • 3DS life to date sales top 50 million, Wii U at 9.2 million

    Nintendo has released update hardware life to date sales figures. According to figures released in Nintendo’s latest financial briefing, the 3DS has sold over 50 million units, and spawned 215 million software sales. The poor old Wii U is still languishing at under 10 million hardware sales, with 52 million software sales to its name. […]

  • Destiny heavy ammo bug to be fixed, probably won’t break everything else

    Praise the Sunbro, Bungie is finally going to fix the heavy ammo bug in Destiny. If Destiny has one bug that has gone too long unresolved, it’s the heavy ammo issue. For quite a while now Guardians wearing armour that increased heavy ammo capacity have found their supply emptied whenever they respawn, return to orbit […]

  • Super Smash Bros. joins Nintendo’s million-sellers list

    Nintendo maintains a list of current games it likes to call its “million-sellers” collection. Every time Nintendo briefs its investors on financial happenings for the year, it updates this list with the latest and greatest titles. This quarter saw both versions of Super Smash Bros. join the likes of Super Mario 3D Land, Animal Crossing: […]

  • MLB 15 The Show continues year-to-year saves, has real time sun and shadows

    MLB 15 The Show is going to be oodles better than last year’s effort, judging by a list of planned improvements. SCE San Diego has released a list of features and improvements coming to MLB 15 The Show. For those keen on the franchise the news that year-to-year saves are making a return is an […]

  • Nintendo outlines 3DS and Wii U release dates for the upcoming year

    Nintendo has published a list of release dates for upcoming 3DS and Wii U games. There aren’t a great many surprises on offer, unfortunately, but if you’rew wondering what’s next for your faithful 3DS and Wii U, you can now consider yourself fully informed. It’s worth noting that these dates are subject to change, and […]

  • Majora’s Mask Hyrule Warriors DLC is just too, too cute

    Majora’s Mask might be the creepiest Zelda but its Hyrule Warriors incarnation is so adorable I don’t know whether to eat it or tuck it up in a little blankey. The Majora’s Mask DLC hits Hyrule Warriors is due on February 5, and includes a version of young Link so sweet that I need a […]

  • Fahrenheit remaster doesn’t play nicely with unusual Steam names, apparently

    Fahrenheit will reportedly not work for you if you have special characters in your Steam name. Fahrenheit, or Indigo Prophecy as it is sometimes known, has been re-released on iOS, Linux, Mac and PC thanks to Aspyr Media. It’s not much of an upgrade, but it is pretty cheap and a great way to experience […]

  • Bloodborne PS4 bundle pops up on Amazon Spain

    Bloodborne should definitely get its own PS4 bundle. It just makes sense. A Bloodborne PS4 bundle has popped up online, although there’s been no official announcement form Sony. Amazon Spain listed the pack, which includes a 500GB console and goes for €440. In other words it’s very similar to existing game bundles and doesn’t include […]

  • Ermac joins Mortal Kombat X cast

    Mortal Kombat X will see the return of the red-clad ninja with origins in myth and glitches. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Twitch stream made good on NetherRealm’s promise of a new roster reveal. As a few of you guessed from the teasers, the latest character to be announced is Ermac, another of the ninjas. Like […]

  • Badland: Game of the Year Edition coming this spring to multiple platforms

    Frogmind Games has announced it will be bringing its action-adventure game Badland to multiple platforms this spring with Badland: Game of the Year Edition. Initially released in 2013 on tablets, the game is a mix of physics-based gameplay with varying level designs and power-up featuring cloning, growing and slowing down time. Badland is set in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront concept art shows Endor, map details teased

    With Star Wars Battlefront set for holiday 2015, it’s high time we were told something about the FPS. Today, a slight bit of information was released on the game, along with a piece of concept art. Finally. While we wait until spring for the first look at the game, we’ll have to be sated with […]

  • You can now catch Emboar and Serperior in Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire

    Two new Pokemon are now available for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire through the official Pokemon website’s special event. You can pick up the fire, fighting type Pokemon Emboar from January 28 – November 30, per IGN, using the special code POKEMON500. Enter it into the Mystery Gift section from the main game menu to […]

  • Fight demons, save the world in The Awakened Fate Ultimatum this March

    A new set of videos for The Awakened Fate Ultimatum have been released by NIS America, showing off the roguelike RPG coming to PlayStation 3. In the game, player will guide a high school student named Shin Kamikaze as he comes to term with being a god. After having a dream featuring a girl talking […]

  • You can now pick up Heroes of Might & Magic 3 HD Edition on PC, tablets

    Heroes of Might & Magic 3 HD Edition is now available on PC as well as Android and iOS tablets. The fifteen year-old title has been revamped in full HD and includes the seven original campaign scenarios and 48 skirmish maps. Local multiplayer mode, a map editor and a Steam lobby are also included.

  • 50 finalists for Bohemia Interactive’s Make Arma Not War contest announced

    The 50 finalists for Bohemia Interactive’s €500,000 Make Arma Not War contest have been announced, after the firm combed through over 250 entries. Finalists chosen in the single-player category were chosen by Arma 3 players, and the add-on and multipkayer entries were selected by Bohemia Interactive. Winners for the next round will be evaluated by […]

  • Here’s a new batch of gruesome Killing Floor 2 screenshots

    Tripwire Interactive has released a new batch of screenshots for Killing Floor 2. The screens show various weapons as well as a variety of Zeds ready to tear you to shreds. Killing Floor 2 is slated for release this year on PC and PlayStation 4. It will also be made available for SteamOS.

  • Hatred is now available for pre-order, new video released

    Hatred is now available for pre-order through the game’s official website. There are two editions to choose from: Digital version with the official game soundtrack for €16.66; or the Digital version with the game soundtrack and a T-shirt for €36.66. The second edition is limited to 1,485 units. Hatred, which was handed an AO rating […]

  • This The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D TV spot is sort of creepy

    With The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D arriving on the first Friday the 13th of the year, it’s only fitting Nintendo would release a slightly creepy TV spot for it. The game’s concept is rather dark, and while it the commercial isn’t too creeptastic, for as short as it is the message is conveyed […]

  • GTA 5 “documentary” chronicles the life of a Tennis Pro

    Here’s another user created video featuring footage from GTA 5, but this one is a documentary instead of crazy stunts, mayhem and face-plants. Created by Bombastic Gamer Films, the documentary delves into the life of Tennis Pro Andreas Schmovakovic, who is both the “greatest player in the world, and the worst.” It’s rather good honestly. […]

  • World of Tanks Xbox 360 updated with console exclusive Pacific Island map, JapaneseChi-Nu Kai tank

    World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition has been updated with a new and exclusive console-only map called “Pacific Island”, which also comes with a Japanese tank. Players will be able to wreck havoc in their very own Japanese Chi-Nu Kai tank, which ca be picked up through the in-game store for Tier 5. It tank […]

  • Here’s the first trailer for OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood

    Roll 7 has released the first trailer for OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood. Gameplay in the second outing will include ramps, jumps and hills, allowing for plenty of air and split level routes. It comes with a deeper combo system with Manuals, Reverts, Revert Manuals and Grind Switching. The ‘Tricktionary’ has also been updated with new […]

  • Learn all about the single-player mode in this Evolve video

    A video showing off the single-player portion of Evolve has been released by 2K and Turtle Rock. All content in the game can be played in either online multiplayer or offline in single-player. The video below contains two matches of Defend mode played from both the Monster and Hunter perspective. AI obviously takes on the […]

  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U update comes with 15 extra stages

    An update for Super Smash Bros. Wii U has been released, and it comes with 15 new stages for the 8-player mode. The update, version 1.0.2., is 316MB in size and the stages are split with nine normal stages and six Omega stages. Here’s the list: Regular stages Animal Crossing – Smashville Animal Crossing – […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update includes Metroid Prime Trilogy, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. demo

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with the Metroid Prime Trilogy, Shadow of the Ninja on Virtual Console and a demo for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Here’s your update: Metroid Prime: Trilogy – Wii U Rock ’N Racing Off Road – Wii U Frenchy Bird – Wii U Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. – […]

  • Battlefield Hardline open beta takes place next week on all systems

    Details and dates for the Battlefield Hardline open multiplayer beta were announced by EA and Visceral Games today. From February 3-8, the beta will be available to all players worldwide on Origin for PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. You’ll notice that the dates coincide with the Microsoft slip up earlier in […]

  • Transistor, Yakuza 4, Thief headline February PS Plus offerings

    Sony has announced your free PlayStation Plus games for the month of February. Come February 3 in North America and February 4 in Europe, Plus members on both side of the pond will be gifted with the following: Transistor (PS4) Apotheon (PS4) Yakuza 4 (PS3) Thief (PS3) Rogue Legacy (PS Vita|PS4|PS3) Kick & Fennick (PS […]

  • Life is Strange launch trailer and final dev diary released

    With the first episode of Life is Strange releasing tomorrow, Dontnod Entertainment has released the last developer diary for the title as well as the launch trailer. Titled Creating Arcadia Bay, the video provides more information on the licensed soundtrack as well as the voice actors behind Max and Chloe. It also touches upon how […]

  • LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers out this year

    LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers have been announced by Warner Bros., the former was outed by Toys R Us and then teased at the end of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, if you recall. LEGO Jurassic World encompasses all four Jurassic Park films and will be made available in June for 3DS, PC, […]

  • Pokemon, Super Smash Bros. top Nintendo’s million units sales list for Q3

    Nintendo has posted a list of titles which have sold millions of units as part of its quarter three earnings release. Global unit sales of 3DS titles for the nine months ending December 31, 2014: Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire: 9.35 million (life-to-date, same) Super Smash Bros.: 6.19 million (life-to-date, same) Tomodachi Life: 2.11 […]

23 Comments

  1. Gekidami

    Everyone should just get a job at Insomniac Games. That place is awesome.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. osric90

    @1 Or Naughty Dog, they are located in the best place of the whole world. I hate them so much.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. humanfish

    Another quality read, well done Brenna. Your an asset to VG247 producing some interesting work, would be nice to read some ‘proper’ indepth articles from the others too.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. aleph31

    I regret having bought LA Noire. I’ll never buy something from Team Bondi again until McNamara leaves. This guy should receive public contempt and find no place again on the industry.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. BraveArse

    Another good read Brenna.

    It’s not just the games industry that does this, sad to say. I’m sure plenty of the VG247 journalistic crew will have experienced the “work for free or don’t work at all” phenomenon in their first few months to a year. Pat, you’d better be paying Johnny ;)

    I graduated in photography and came out of Uni to find getting paying work as a photographer’s assistant near impossible. The expectation was that your love for the medium and desire to get on was enough to make you work for free, regardless of the logistics of feeding yourself during that period.

    I’ve moved over to the tech industry over the last few years via graphic design ( long story ), and have had the pleasure of getting to know a number of ex-games devs who had had enough of those expectations. From the stories I’ve heard, while they may not have had quite such a brutal time of it as the Team Bondi lot, they certainly weren’t rewarded by the experience in any way. A job which I consider to be pretty humdrum by comparison, to them seems like a utopian dream. To my surprise, none of them say they would ever go back to it, quite the opposite in fact.

    So yeah, I reckon it’s endemic in the industry, it pretty much is in any creative industry with young grads trying to break in. But that doesn’t excuse it in the slightest. It’s no surprise that Pachter, who in this instance represents a body of people who profit from the status quo, would play it down either.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Brenna Hillier

    Thanks guys. I’d also like to read more features from the other core news guys – I do a lot of them because I work the quietest shift, is all.

    I’ve heard Media Molecule is a pretty great team to work for, too.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Johnny Cullen

    @5 – He still pays me 500 a month. When I say he pays me 500, I mean pennies, not pounds. I should quit.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Christopher Jack

    Nice read Brenna.
    It’s not really fair for the people working at Team Bondi to be forced to work crunch time just because other developers are forced to. It’s likely to do with the lack of efficiency, maybe they should cut back in certain areas in order to hire more workers or smarter management could fix it.
    @7, No! We love you ;)

    #8 4 years ago
  9. viralshag

    Really glad I managed to drag myself into work early (as on time is even a struggle) and caught this article. Really good read. It’s interesting to think that there can’t be some way to better the conditions if they really do get that bad during crunch time.

    Maybe simply offering a few little luxuries when you’re doing a 12 hour day or something, anything. Just something to help ease the no doubt ridiculous pressure these guys are under.

    It would have only been made better with a cup of tea. Made by someone else.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. endgame

    “you just have to be prepared to do what you have to do to compete” what a f**king prick. should be hanged just because thinking like that. just like kotick. ppl like these r destroying the games industry. bobby already did that to the incredible IW team and now this guy is doing it to team bondi. sad. just sad.

    p.s. oh and, yeah. good article Brenna. :)

    #10 4 years ago
  11. GamezIdiot

    There’s a big difference between volunteering to work your ass off for personal reward and being forced to work your ass off for someone elses benefit. The games industry is full of the latter. Crunch time never benefits devs and is simply money for publishers because devs almost never see the gains. Good number of Team Bondi staff’s reward for working their arse off was to be burnt out, unable to work, jobless and struck from the credits of what they made.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. mathare92

    The sad part is everyone will have forgotten this in a few weeks, work conditions won’t change, McNamara and his ilk will keep heading up projects, and the games industry will keep chugging along. :(

    Great use of the top screenshot there by the way. Quite appropriate.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. aleph31

    @12: I just hope that young gamers willing to become developers in the future learn from these articles (as they will be much more receptive to this type of info than the average gamer), so the industry start lacking the batches of newcomers that know little about abusive practices and become easily exploited with the lure that you’re working in something “cool”. If your job target market is overcrowded, just move to some other place where your skills are better valued and remunerated.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Brenna Hillier

    @12 when I found that screenshot the top of my head nearly fell off from grinning

    #14 4 years ago
  15. GamezIdiot

    @13 it’s staggering how many times the argument “just move” has been used. Most people can’t up and away, devs have families too you know?

    #15 4 years ago
  16. aleph31

    @15: yep I know, I had the same problem in my case. I meant “move to a different company or sector”, not a different city / state / country, sorry for the lack of accuracy.

    In any case, being exploited should be an immediate cause to fight to fix the situation or quit the job. I know it sounds easy and it’s way hard to implement -I have faced the situation, I fought and finally I quit. A generation of people hanging their heads in shame all the time has no future. People in power will lower and lower the wages and general conditions until people scream in fury.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. humanfish

    The problem is it happens in all kinds of jobs, the games industry certainly isn’t unique. My mate works for a large accountancy firm in London and often puts in weeks of 9am until 10/11/12pm. It is kind of expected of him- a) because he is paid pretty well; and b) if he wants to move up the ladder he needs to show he is an asset.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. LOLshock94

    where there is smoke there is fire

    #18 4 years ago
  19. loki

    Angry guy on the picture: “We don’t want PC port. We don’t want support torrent users. We want normal console support and respect. You greedy bastards!”

    #19 4 years ago
  20. KrazyKraut

    “Devs know what they are getting into, it’s a creative job, not an assembly line; overtime inappropriate.”

    Ofc they dont. when someone is saying:
    “Folks, sit down and make a demo we can show the press in some weeks..”
    And the devs designers and what ever work like shit and at the end the management says:
    “Ehm…no we will not showing it/we dont need it anymore” its fucking ugly. for everyone.

    Or when the management says at a job interview:
    “Okay, 14 months to go…give everything you have”
    and the dev/designer signs the contract…and then after 16 months the staff hears again:”okay….12 months to go”

    you get fucked up by a choleric bastard and want to quit and then they say:
    “okay, you only will get paid your overtimes when you stay till the end of the project”

    How could you expect it?

    Awesome article Brenna…Andrew McMillen would be proud…or he is maybe.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. frostquake

    Good Job Brenna!

    Typical 1% (1-20) while the staff 99% (90-300) make very little.

    Their pay may Look great, but that is only working a normal 8 hour shift, when you start putting in 12-14 hour days, then your pay might even drop below minimum wage, especially if your putting in over time with no over time pay!

    How many times has a programmer, headed out the door, be stopped and asked a question that is only supposed to take 15 minutes and turns into 4 hour grind either at his station or someone Else’s.

    1% see money and get the staff pregnant, all the while going to parties, living it up, while 99% see a baby they want to birth, go through all the suffering and problems of developing a healthy baby, then birthing that baby, many times suffering from mental, physical, financial, marriage after effects! And once the baby is born, The Father or 1% divorce themselves from the Mother or 99% of the staff and leave the mother out in a dark alley to fend for herself, which many times she can’t!

    #21 4 years ago
  22. xino

    well written article

    #22 4 years ago
  23. DSB

    Work without pay really shouldn’t be possible.

    There’s a lot to be said for creative and high pressure jobs like that though. Working in a music studio for example, you’re 100% expected to stay 72 hours straight, and often more if you have to. It’s an industry for people who want it, not the people who just happen to like it.

    You might be working, eating or sleeping in the studio until you get to where you need to be, but it’s 100% understood by all involved. That’s the game. You’re spending peoples money, including your own by being there, and you need to earn it, and you need to show that you belong there. Otherwise there are another 50 hopefuls who’ll gladly outperform you.

    I don’t know how the games industry works in comparison, but I imagine that it’s like any other big league, talent and ambition is welcome, and everybody offering less than that is expendable.

    Obviously it’s important that you tell people what the job is going to be like, otherwise you end up with a clusterfuck, and every games developer should either consult his union or let a lawyer look over his contract before signing it. I would imagine most of them have had educations that prepared them for that sort of thing.

    #23 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • How to take a screenshot on Xbox One: a lesson in frustration

    Trying to do just one simple thing seems to have 360 steps with Microsoft – why is the Xbox One’s functionality such a car crash? “The Xbox One’s definition of usability is in fact the exact opposite – this is a console designed to make life inconvenient for its players unless they sign up for […]

  • Game of Thrones’ Westeros is being made in Minecraft by 125 people

    WesterosCraft, the project dedicated to creating the entirety of Game of Thrones’ Westros has resurfaced. There are more than a few ambitious Minecraft projects, but hardly any as impressive as WesterosCraft. We first came across it all the way back in January 2013, but it looks much better now. “I would say the world is […]

  • Dying Light exploit gives you unlimited money and items

    Dying Light has been out for just over a day and an infinite money and item exploit is already out there. A simple exploit has been discovered in Dying Light that lets you duplicate weapons, all of which you can sell for profit. Win/ win. YouTuber PowerPyx lays out the steps in the handy video […]

  • Sunset Overdrive concept art is as jovial as the game itself

    Sunset Overdrive is a colourful game which is partly due to its concept art. The concept art featured below is created by Vaughan Ling, one of the concept artsists who worked on Sunset Overdrive. Anyone who’s played the game will immediately recognise the locations, weapons, character designs and general atmosphere of the game through these. […]

  • Get an extended look at the PS4 version of Project CARS

    The PlayStation 4 version of Project CARS has been shown in 1080p 60fps. The video below is captured by racing game enthusiasts Team VVV from a preview build. You can see different racing disciplines being demonstrated here, on different circuits. The game’s impressive visuals get even better when the weather gets worse.

  • Battle Pod is the Star Wars arcade game you’ve waited your whole life for

    Star Wars: Battle Pod is an arcade game that lets you replay the battles of the original trilogy, and features an incredible cockpit. If you’ve never played a game at an arcade before, Star Wars: Battle Pod will definitely be the one to change your mind. It’s an arcade cabinet out of a classic Star […]

  • CoD Exo Zombies: how to unlock the Ride of the Valkyries Easter egg

    To no one’s surprise, Exo Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has some Easter eggs. The first Exo Zombies Easter egg, of surely many more to come, has been discovered. It’s a musical one that involves Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. How you unlock it is not as convoluted as you might […]

  • Dying Light is sub-1080p on Xbox One, full 1080p on PS4 – report

    Early analysis of Dying Light on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has revealed a few technical details about both ports. Digital Foundry has produced some analysis of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports of Dying Light based on some early testing. Both versions manage a solid 30 frames-per-second, only dipping below that in […]

  • Battlefield 4 Second Assault DLC free to all EA Access members

    EA is offering Battlefield 4′s Second Assault expansion free to anyone with an active EA Access subscription. Anyone with an active subscription to EA Access can download the Second Assault expansion pack for Battlefield 4 starting January 29 and through February 28, free of charge. All you need to do is find it on the […]

  • The Witcher 3 is getting optimised, but no visual downgrade

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is in the final stages of development and developer CD Projekt RED is making sure optimisation work doesn’t impact the game’s visuals. The Witcher 3 art producer, Michal Stec, spoke to Eternity in an interview and was asked whether the team will downgrade the visuals to get better performance. “No. […]

  • Can’t download Dying Light on PS4? Here’s a fix

    If you’ve bought Dying Light on PS4 and you’re having trouble downloading it, you’re not alone. Here’s how to beat the bug. Techland’s Dying Light is stumbling out of the blocks a little this week, with many PS4 users experiencing problems with their full-game downloads. A bug’s to blame. Your console thinks you’ve already installed […]

  • What The Witcher 3 owes to Skyrim – and how it surpasses it

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt owes more than a nod to Bethesda’s Skyrim. I went to see The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and had a great time. I went in a fan of the books but not very experienced with the first two games. I came out with The Witcher 3 top of my gaming […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online has great monsters

    Dragon’s Dogma Online looks pretty rad – an undesirable quality in a game unlikely to come west, from our perspective. The first Dragon’s Dogma trailer was released this afternoon; admire its beauty below. The free to play online RPG was announced for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4 overnight, but Capcom doesn’t intend to bring it […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X map about five times the size of last game’s

    Xenoblade Chronicles X is not a small game. This week’s Famitsu has a feature on Xenoblade Chronicles X giving some details on Monolith Soft’s next RPG and first Wii U game. According to Siliconera‘s translation of reports on the feature, the game’s map is about five times the size of that in Xenoblade Chronicles. The […]

  • Take on Mars expected to hit beta in April

    Take on Mars, the space sim from Bohemia Interactive will soon be reader for wider consumption. According to a new Take on Mars development roadmap, the sim will go into beta at the start of April, with full release expected in June. The project is currently available via Steam early Access, but between now and […]

  • Can you guess the next Mortal Kombat X character reveal from this fatality audio clip?

    Mortal Kombat X will have at least one very liquid-sounding fatality. NetherRealm is revealing Mortal Kombat X’s cats one character at a time, and has promised a new reveal during a community Twitch stream tomorrow. It also provided the following teaser video – it’s audio only, and apparently taken from a fatality sequence. What’s your […]

  • Nintendo Creators Program now recruiting YouTubers

    Nintendo has opened a Creators Program designed to ensure creators get a slice of ad revenue from videos featuring Nintendo assets. The Nintendo Creators Program will launch on May 27, but is currently in beta and taking registrations. This is Nintendo’s answer to the knotty question of YouTubers making money on videos featuring its assets […]

  • Xbox Live issues under investigation

    Can’t sign into Xbox Live? Microsoft is on the case. Xbox 360 and Xbox One users report being unable to sign in to Xbox Live. Microsoft is already aware of and working on the problem. “Our team is hard at work right now trying to get this resolved. Thank you for staying patient while we […]

  • Make money from your non-Valve mods with Steam Workshop

    Valve has opened the money-making side of Steam Workshop to third-party titles, giving enterprising modders more ways to make money. Steam now hosts curated Workshops for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the first non-Valve games to support the scheme. What that means is that community members can create, vote on and eventually even […]

  • Check out DmC: Devil May Cry’s new manual lock-on

    DmC: Devil may Cry developer Ninja Theory has released a video showing off the new, controversial lock-on mode. The new manual lock-on is causing quite a stir, although its reception is probably better than the white-wigged Dante who makes fans even more upset than the original makeover. “The primary purpose of this video is to […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes looks pretty fun

    Dragon Quest Heroes is yet another Omega Force take on an existing property – like Hyrule Warriors or the One Piece games. And it looks pretty sweet. We haven’t heard much from Dragon Quest Heroes here in the west because it hasn’t been confirmed for release outside Japan. This isn’t terribly surprising as we still […]

  • Square Enix to reveal new PS4 game this weekend

    Square Enix is doing something pretty mysterious right now. The Final Fantasy publisher is teasing something called Project Code Z. The project, which Square Enix is tweeting about in Japanese, English and German, is due for reveal at Tokaigi 2015 on Saturday. It’s a PS4 game, but that’s all we know. There’s a website you […]

  • Tetris has crowned its first known western Grand Master

    Tetris fans have a new western champion. Tetris is one of those gaming obsessions that goes much deeper than you might expect. For example, did you know that some versions of the game assess your performance and over you the chance to become a “grand master”? Turns out that’s a thing, and according to Polygon […]

  • Ken Levine’s next game teased as “sci-fi-ish” small, open-world RPG

    A series of tweets from BioShock creator Ken Levine has shed a sliver of light upon his next project. According to Levine he and his team are considering something a bit sci-fi and contemplating first-person mode. The team is developing the game for PC with a large in scope, expandable, systems-based narrative where more can […]

  • Become a lynx in new Shelter 2 trailer

    Shelter 2 casts players in the role of a lynx, which makes for quite a different experience to the badger of the first game. The first Shelter game had you evading predators, but in the second, you becomes one yourself. That doesn’t mean there are no dangers to face, of course. Judging by the trailer […]

  • Why King of Fighters 13 isn’t coming back to Evo

    Evo, the premiere western fighting game tournament, has dropped support for a few previously favoured titles. King of Fighters 13 had a loyal following, but isn’t featured in the Evo 2015 line-up. “Many things go into what games makes it to Evo, but the most obvious one is, ‘Is the community playing this game?’” Evo […]

  • An average Evolve match takes less than ten minutes

    Evolve players are pretty quick at hunting each other down. Evolve developer Turtle Rock has released an infographic brimming with statistics garnered from its recent beta test. One of the key takeaways is that all three monsters, and all four classes, are working as intended – their performance in game matches Turtle Rock’s designs. If […]

  • Super Mario Amiibo can be pre-ordered on Nintendo UK, Mario and Peach sold out

    The latest set of Amiibo in the Super Mario series is now available for pre-purchase through the Nintendo UK Store. Each of the following sports a red base and will run you £10.99: Bowser, Luigi, Mario, Peach, Toad and Yoshi. It looks like Peach and Mario are both sold out, though. All six can be […]

  • The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 free to download now

    League of Legends has excellent music, and now you can have it too. The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 collects 15 tracks from the MOBA’s history, and is available for free. You can grab the music from iTunes, Google Play or via direct download. Tere’s an example track below to get you in […]

  • Super Bowl 49 update arrives on Madden NFL Mobile

    With Super Bowl 49 occurring this coming Sunday, February 1, EA Sports has updated Madden NFL Mobile with new feature enhancements and Super Bowl-themed Live Events. Updates include: League vs League Tournaments Obstacle Course Super Bowl Bonus Players Tom Brady and Richard Sherman Super Bowl Legends Super Bowl Moments Upgraded Auction House The Super Bowl […]

  • See Super Smash Bros.’ unused custom moves

    Super Smash Bros. was originally intended to have 16 custom moves per character. The final version of Super Smash Bros. only features 12 custom moves per fighter, but Nintendo left animations for some of the cut moves in place. A Youtuber called RED has dug these cut mvoes out of the brawler’s code, and displayed […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt contains 16 hours of sex scene mo-cap data

    Sex is nothing new to the The Witcher games, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is no exception. In fact, it contains 16 hours of sex scene motion capture data. Giggity. There’s a reason for the bedroom dalliances though, as Geralt is a flesh and blood human, or a modified human at any rate, with […]

  • Here’s the launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered

    A launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered has been released after an Amazon listing was revealed for it over the weekend. Key upgrades include: High-definition Graphics — All of the in-game textures have been meticulously recreated in HD for mobile and desktop. Widescreen Support – A true widescreen (not cropped) view strengthens the game’s […]

  • The open beta for Battlefield Hardline will be dated tomorrow

    The exact dates as well as more information on the Battlefield Hardline open beta will be shared tomorrow. This is according to the latest blog post from developer Visceral Games. “We’ll share the exact dates and info on the Battlefield Hardline open beta tomorrow,” wrote Visceral boss Steve Papoutsis. “Stay tuned, thanks again, and keep […]

  • Upcoming Hearthstone patch to apply balance change to Undertaker

    An upcoming Hearthstone patch will apply a balance change to the Undertaker card, Blizzard has announced. After the release of Goblins vs Gnomes, Blizzard said it kept an “eye on the state of game balance” as more matches were played using the additional cards. Released with The Curse of Naxxramas, Undertaker is considered an overly […]

  • February Games with Gold offers up Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

    The free games on offer in February via Xbox Live Games with Gold have been announced. Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One can download #IDARB during February. Xbox 360 users can grab Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons from February 1-15, when it will be replaced by Sniper Elite V2 from February 16 -28. […]

  • Kinguin blames unidentified Russian for deactivated Far Cry 4 keys

    Third-party game key seller Kinguin is issuing refunds to those who found their games deactivated through Ubisoft’s Uplay service. Customers which purchased keys for Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, The Crew and Watch Dogs are affected. Kinguin said 4,600 customer tickets were submitted over the last 72 hours and 35 out of 3,400 of […]

  • Video Unlimited to be re-branded as PlayStation Video starting in February

    Like Music Unlimited, Sony’s Video Unlimited service is being replaced and re-branded PlayStation Video. PlayStation Video will become part of PlayStation Network to streamline digital services for the over 64 million PSN users. PlayStation Video and PlayStation Music will be added to PSN which is already a destination point for the PlayStation Store, PlayStation Plus, […]

  • Spotify arrives on PlayStation Music this spring, Music Unlimited closing

    Spotify will launch on PlayStation Network this spring as part of a new music destination called PlayStation Music. PlayStation Music is a replacement for Music Unlimited, and those with a PSN account can link to Spotify which can be used just for music, or when playing games on PlayStation 4. Existing playlists from current Spotify […]

  • Closed beta for Alone in the Dark: Illumination starts tomorrow

    The private beta period for Alone in the Dark: Illumination starts on January 29. Those who pre-order the game via Steam, will automatically be included in the beta, enabling them to provide feedback on the first campaign in single-player mode. An additional beta period will be announced in the weeks leading up to launch. The […]

  • Majora’s Mask Special Edition New 3DS XL available once more on UK store

    UK residents who want to get their hands on the shiny Majora’s Mask Special Edition New 3DS XL can once again pre-purchase it through the Nintendo UK Store. If you want one, you better hurry because units will likely go rather fast. Only one per customer is allowed, and once you drop £209.99 on it, […]

  • Nintendo Q3: 1.9M New 3DS models sold, Wii U lifetime sales hit 9.2M

    New 3DS XL has sold 1.3 million units as of December 31, 2014, Nintendo announced in its Q3 financial results today. New 3DS moved 580,000 units by the end of the same period. Lifetime sales of both systems combined total a little under 1.9 million. Combined global sales for current 3DS models available in Europe […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s exo zombies reanimate a familiar format

    Advanced Warfare’s exo suits manage to bring an undead format back to life. Dave Cook welcomes zombies back to Call of Duty. “The challenges start to spike early so seasoned zombie slayers needn’t worry about being coddled.” Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s first DLC went live this week, dropping four very solid maps for multiplayer […]

  • YouTube app and Maps will be removed from PS Vita

    Sony said that it will end support for the YouTube and Maps apps, as well as remove the “near” feature in an upcoming firmware update. Sony has revealed that a system update releasing in March will remove the Maps app and prevent the “near” feature from obtaining location address or display maps, making it redundant. […]

  • There is a Destiny loot cave Easter egg in Dying Light

    Dying Light is the latest game to take a jab at Destiny by having its own loot cave. Destiny’s infamous loot cave has been recreated in Dying Light, sort of. Of course the loot cave in Dying Light is only an Easter egg and doesn’t actually net you any loot. Instead, upon entering it, you […]

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 supports co-op in story mode, but only offline

    You can play the campaign of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 in co-op, but not online. 4gamer spoke to producers of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 and made out with a few details concerning story, setting and more. The site confirmed that while you will be able to switch between characters in the single player, and have […]

  • The Witcher 3 may have a permadeath “Insanity” mode

    Although not yet confirmed, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developer CD Projekt RED is working on a difficulty mode dubbed “Insanity” that will delete your save if you die. During Monday’s Twitch stream, the developer took a few questions from the chat and we’ve got a bunch of answers. There are many interesting little bits […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition is the most successful launch for BioWare, based on sales

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is responsible for the most successful launch in developer BioWare’s history, according to EA. During last night’s EA Q3 2015 earnings call, the publisher said that Dragon Age: Inquisition was the most successful launch for developer BioWare. Today, we get a bit more detail. “In particular, Dragon Age: Inquisition had by far […]

  • Here’s a walkthrough of one mission from Far Cry 4 Hurk Deluxe DLC

    Far Cry 4′s latest DLC pack, Hurk Deluxe, seems like good fun, judging from this video. The Hurk Deluxe Pack was released today on all platforms. It comes with five new missions. The video below takes a look at the “Call of the Wild” mission. In the walkthrough you’ll get to see some of the […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beta date confirmed on Xbox Store

    The beta date for Battlefield Hardline has popped up on the Xbox Store, confirming the rumoured date. The listing for the Battlefield Hardline beta is available for anyone to see right now on the Xbox Store. Granted, it’s for Xbox 360, but unless EA is starting this beta early on Xbox 360, this will pretty […]

  • GTA player flies jets backwards in impressive stunts

    Doing stunts with jets in GTA 5 can be impressive, but it’s nothing like flying them backwards. Making videos of your jet stunts has become too mainstream. Which is why the latest video from YouTube channel GTA5Videos is all about defying that. The video below features some insane stunts mostly done by flying jets backwards, […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare balance patch out, System Hack nerfed, HBRa3 buffed

    The latest patch to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is here with some major changes to game balance. Making good on the promise to nerf System Hack, developer Sledgehammer Games has released the latest patch to Advanced Warfare to do just that, and much more. The patch is out now on Xbox platforms, with PlayStation […]

  • Grinding three purples in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel may crash your game [UPDATE]

    Update: Gearbox Software has announced there’s currently a hot-fix in place for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel as a temporary solution to crashes caused with the DLC update. Until a permanent fix can be made, the hotfix should correct crashing issues. All will be fixed in the next major game update. Original Story A bug that snuck […]

  • Havoc maps up the tempo for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

    Dave Cook dons his Exo suit to find the new Havok DLC maps a great change of pace for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Given that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare places great emphasis on verticality, it’s little wonder that Sledgehammer Games has designed the first of its four DLC map packs with elevation and […]

  • G2A responds to deactivated Far Cry 4 keys debacle

    G2A, one of the third-party sellers that were named in the ongoing episode of deactivated Far Cry 4 keys has decided to release a statement. G2A is a well known third-party key sellers online. Most users know it through its sponsorship deals with many YouTube and Twitch channels. The service sells keys both through its […]

  • Petroglyph’s Victory resurfaces with Korean co-developer

    End of Nations, Mytheon and Grey Goo developer Petroglyph Games seems to have salvaged a stalled project. Victory popped up back in early 2013 after Trion Worlds took End of Nations in-house. Petroglyph’s attempt to crowdfund the unusual strategy title ended in iniquity, but it vowed to do whatever it could to bring the game […]

  • Far Cry 4 Hurk Deluxe DLC now available

    Far Cry 4′s latest DLC pack adds new story missions and a pile of new weapons. Far Cry 4: Hurk Deluxe is now available on PC and Xbox platforms, and is rolling out to the PSN in line with local network updates. The pack bundles five story missions, including Yak Farm, Blood Ruby and Hurk’s […]

  • Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has microtransactions

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has microtransactions, but thankfully they’re not as outrageous as initial reports suggested. The subject of Resident Evil: Revelations 2′s microtransactions arose earlier today with reports filtering out of a European press event that you’ll be able to pay to keep playing after your character dies. The ramifications of this are pretty […]

  • Play mini-games to unlock Magicka 2 content

    Magicka 2 publisher Paradox Interactive has invited fans to earn in-game rewards by playing other games. The Magicka website will host various mini-games in the build up to Magicka 2′s launch later this year on PC and PS4. Playing these games controbutes to a community score total which will eventually unlock in-game content as well […]

  • Deactivated Far Cry 4 keys were purchased through Origin

    Far Cry 4 owners who found their games deactivated without warning may be surprised to learn where they came from. Many copies of Far Cry 4 purchased through third-party re-sellers have been deactivated without notice. Although resellers affected by the deactivations argued that they had made authorised purchases, Ubisoft has denied this. The publisher told […]