Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has said games development staff should not expect paid overtime, should expect some crunch time, and don’t need unions.
“I don’t know anybody in game development who calls it a nine to five job,” the analyst said, speaking in the latest episode of his GameTrailers webshow, Pach Attack.
“I’ve never heard a developer say ‘I don’t work overtime and I don’t work weekends’. If you’re getting into the industry – if you’re going to be a developer – you know you’re going to work plenty of hours.”
Although he conceded that developer should complain if crunch time – extended periods of overtime and weekend work – lasts the whole development cycle, Pachter said the last three to six months before a release are fair game. He predicted that L.A. Noire’s success will mean compensation for development staff.
“If a game is good – and L.A. Noire was good – there will be a profit pool, and there will be bonuses,” he said.
“My guess is that Mr. McNamara is going to be able to compensate his employees and they’re going to make a lot more than just their hourly pay. And I think they’re going to get compensated for overtime.”
The analyst said Team Bondi staff complaints of overtime were unrealistic, and those of underpay, premature, as bonuses could make up for it.
“The cool thing about this industry is, if you’re good, you’ll make a ton of money. I just don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for people who say ‘I worked for such-and-such, and I didn’t get paid, and that’s not fair’. If you want to be an hourly employee, go build automobiles,” he said.
Pachter commented that games studios shouldn’t have unions, because they “pay people a lot of money”.
“I just don’t think people who make over $100,000 a year need a whole lot of protection cause they might have to work overtime.”