At least one of Rockstar Games' studios held a meeting on Friday to tell its employees that overtime is not compulsory, Rockstar Games said Variety.
While overtime at Rockstar Lincoln was not mandatory "The team was able to let their managers know when they would not be able to work the extra hours required so we could plan accordingly," said rock star Jennifer Kolbe. "Some people have said that they felt it was effectively mandatory because it was expected of them, and in light of the discussion on this issue, we have brought the team together today to make sure that OT work is not mandatory
"We also urge that each OT be more flexible in terms of schedule (ie" work if it makes sense to you "), even though Lincoln is the only place where we have a meaningful shift pattern We better coordinate certain times than other teams. The requested schedule in Lincoln called for staff to work 38.4 hours from October 9 to May 1
"We are very grateful to our team in Lincoln and the rest of our team worldwide for everything that has contributed to the development of RDR2," she added.
Comments come to Flik Green, Animation Development Assistant at Rockstar North,
"HR called me to let me know that Rockstar has announced to their QA teams that overtime is no longer compulsory," wrote Green on Twitter in a thread about how well the company and especially the studio Rockstar North is handling employees. "The leads and HR here in North and Lincoln are incredibly caring in my experience, and I really think Rockstar cares about their employees. Is this company perfect? No. Is there room for improvement? Part of that improvement, she wrote , came in the form of this internal announcement today.
Green & # 39; s comments come after Rockstar Games has told their employees that they can comment on working for the company on social channels, switching to a long-running policy This change in policy came in response to an interview with co-founder Dan Houser, in which he said that "we worked 100-hour weeks." Later, he told Variety that he was referring to the He himself and three others in the editorial team took care of his overtime.
Despite this clarification, the statement sparked a discussion about the state of the work conditions in the game industry. In particular, developers from a number of game studios have discussed the history and use of crunch, a term that defines developers' long hours of work in the days, weeks or months before a game starts. Other concerns that have recently been raised include the sudden closure of studios and the lack of stability in the industry. Some have called for unionization.
In their Friday thread, Green found that when she worked for Rockstar Lincoln on the quality assurance team, she occasionally worked overtime on Saturdays when a game neared the start, but that was paid overtime. These Saturdays had become mandatory, as the start approached.
Green continued to say, However, her time at Rockstar North was quite different.
Kolbe added that Rockstar will continue to communicate with his team about "how to make the best possible games in the best possible environment".
"We have evolved and will evolve over time," she said. "Today's clarification with the team in Lincoln is an example of this, and all in all, what we believe in and what we hear from our teams is that people are mostly happy and very excited to start the game, and of course we will continue to address individual concerns.
"We believe we have the best teams in the industry and we know that providing them with a great environment is the only way they can do their best work. "