Metro: Last Light dev responds to workplace conditions claims

4A Games creative director Andrew Prokhorov thanks Jason Rubin for telling the studio's story, but says, "We deserve the ratings we get."

4A Games creative director Andrew Prokhorov has responded to former THQ president Jason Rubin's detailed report that claimed the Ukrainian developer had a limited budget and faced adverse workplace conditions throughout development of Metro: Last Light.

His statement came from the comments section in the original Games Industry International report

Prokhorov pointed out that 4A Games had worked with THQ for 10 years prior to its bankruptcy. He said Rubin was the only company president to visit the studio, doing so during his second week on the job. Prokhorov said he does not blame Rubin for THQ's collapse, saying he had only a few months to "somehow fix the situation."

Regarding the studio's office space--where Rubin said developers worked elbow to elbow and sometimes in freezing temperatures--Prokhorov said it is generally known that much could be improved upon.

"It is a fact that our work conditions are worse than those of other developers outside Ukraine," he said. "I don't think anyone can doubt that--yes, it's true that American and most of European developers operate in a country far more comfortable than Ukraine. And yes, the publishers pay them more. This is clear: the more 'reasonable' the country the less the risks. And we don't want to be all dramatic about that--after all, better conditions are earned, and we strive to do this as soon as possible."

Prokhorov also said new publisher Deep Silver should be forgiven for not including the 4A Games logo on the Metro: Last Light website.

"Jason, please don't blame Deep Silver for not having our logo on the game site," he said. "Just like us, they ended up in a harsh situation and had to do a lot of things in two months, which was definitely a very hard task. I don't blame them for letting the logo thing slip. They are trying hard."

Regarding multiplayer, Prokhorov said the team at 4A Games wanted to make this mode, but only gave a cryptic answer for the reason it was canceled last year.

"We did want to make a multiplayer. Though if it was excluded from the start, a lot of precious time wouldn't be wasted and we'd make an even better single," he said.

Overall, Prokhorov said 4A Games is not looking for sympathy.

"We deserve the ratings we get," Prokhorov added. "After all, the final consumer doesn't care about our conditions. And this is right. We need no indulgence."

Metro: Last Light launched this week for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC and was published by Deep Silver, which acquired the franchise from THQ in January for $5.8 million. For more, check out GameSpot's review.

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Discussion

232 comments
Instructor_Doc
Instructor_Doc

.who deleted my comment?!
omg the truth is being censored on gamespot site?

KimCheeWarriorX
KimCheeWarriorX

i think the biggest issue with this game is realistic looking vaginas. i mean, this is an outrage.

kozzy1234
kozzy1234

Best singleplayer shooter of this gen imo, simply amazing on PC. Amazing graphics, great atmosphere, awesome gameplay and great immersion and sound.

Also its nice to see a Ukraine studio doing well as I am half Ukrainian

CrouchingWeasel
CrouchingWeasel

None of the hardships seemed to affect the final product any. One of the best shooters I've played in a long time. I especially dug the whole air filter mechanic. Added an excellent sense of urgency when running around outside. Just goes to show that throwing millions of dollars at a game doesn't equal quality. If 4A can do this with 50 people using shitty equipment in sub zero temperatures on a proprietary engine then what in the fuck is Activision's & EA-Ware's excuse?

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

Its too bad to hear the difficulties they have to endure to create something we are deem as entertainment.  I actually wasn't planning on picking up this game but I'll kick in a nickle and pick it up besides its not like a needed a whole lot to go out and pick it up anyways.  XD

spindie
spindie

Maybe thats why the puke ridden scenery of this game looks so damn accurate

WiredDreemz
WiredDreemz

Sympathy aside,  the game is wonderful. Maybe other developers should work in crap conditions, and maybe they will release as good a game as 4A! Really. There is so much attention to detail placed on every aspect of Last Light that it makes the world come alive.

earthnuggets
earthnuggets

Modest words, but they certainly do NOT deserve poor ratings from jaded consumers who burn through their labor of years in the pleasure of an hour. People need to be more reasonable.

edinko
edinko

That it was an THQ (a now dead publisher) decision to have this 5 dollar difficulty level is one of the lamest corporate corruption justifications I heard in this year.

Because the NEW publisher cannot reverse that decision when they own it right?

At least they have someone to blame who is dead. Dead cannot defend themselvees

l777l
l777l

Honorable man.

skubisz
skubisz

Well damn, there's a lot of nonsense being posted about Ukraine below, obviously from people who've never been there. It isn't a third-world hellhole. It's not a perfect but it isn't a country where people with on-the-level jobs should expect terrible working conditions. The main issue at hand seems to be the extreme working hours expected of employees in order to get the game out on time. For that to be notable in the games industry, notorious for 18 hour days and unpaid overtime, suggests that things got pretty bad. As time goes on, maybe we as consumers will start to see how this pressure affected the final product.


But anyway, to suggest any Ukrainian should be delighted to have work, any work, at any price, is grossly insulting and betrays a pretty narrow worldview.

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

I really hope this game does well enough to where they end up making Metro: 3 or whatever in a heated mansion with geisha women serving them truffles on platinum plates.  They deserve it for being in the top-tier of game-designers today. 

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

Life is hard in most of the world.  Most countries won't give you wellfare and section 8 housing if you are broke... in most countries if you are broke: you starve to death.  Life is hard and nobody was ever guaranteed anything.  I think the rampant freebies in a lot of western society kinda blinds us to the fact that life is mostly about just not dying; all the luxuries we all take for granted are not guaranteed and have only been in existence for a small slice of time for a small slice of society.  I'm going to guess the Ukraine doesn't have Food Stamps and Section 8 housing; these people are probably pretty stoked to have stable income.

No such thing as a free lunch: SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE is paying for it.

wizardboyus
wizardboyus

well the game is great..although if workplace conditions in the US are so much better why do our games suck ass? XD

LukeWesty
LukeWesty

If the devs was Jamaicon and forced to work in this climate it would make sence. Ukrainians working in Ukraine is dumb because they are used to that climate why would it be hard for them to work in their own country a place they live and have since birth a climate they are perfectly used to. People do work in Ukraine on a dayly basis you know.

I just imagine the clueless American will read and think " Ow no, they had to work in such a horrible commie country where its real cold you know"...

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

I was still on the fence about buying this game, not because I don't think it looks good but because I still have a lot of games I'm playing and not much time for new ones. But you know, I think devs like this need our support. I think its important to keep them going for the great work they are doing, so I'll pick this up and I hope others do as well so we can show them how great our community can be.

ArmorGod
ArmorGod

What needs to happen is more "comfortable" studios around the world take a look at studios/devs and woo them for hire. Talent like this should not "die' on the vine...

akiwak
akiwak

These guys delivered a badass game and they know it. Yet they remain Humble, these guys earned their paycheck. Not going to wait on this one, time to go out and buy!

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

The man deserves a round of applause.

Fuck it, I'm gonna buy the game. Damn the 5$ ranger mode, i'll just crack that.

They have done more than earn their money, and based on my experience with Metro 2033, I cannot let this one slip by.

zenstrata
zenstrata

This new game is a great game.  I suggest people check it out.

leikeylosh
leikeylosh

Just don't charge for hard mode on your game, 4A, and we'll respect you just like we respect Cd Projekt Red.

LukeWesty
LukeWesty

Did they not have central heating or something?.

Just dumb and don't get it. Its like saying  ALL Unkrainian's should be felt sorry for. Stop bitching about the weather and get to work.

People get used to their own climate, this is just a way of advertizing the game.

Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

@WiredDreemz
Should they also be Ukranian? As I think American developers in their more "comfortable" market would bolt at the first sign of hardship...

...and totally throw sh** at each other for forgetting credits and logos.

Ukranians just endure and continue making a great game.

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

@edinko not a big deal, ranger mode is balls hard 

but hard is just as hard as ranger mode, it's just gives you some massive glass cannon feel to it 

and that U-ak 

zulwalks
zulwalks

@skubisz You should know that in the games, or any media industry, countries like the Ukraine is like China, where publisher just look at them as cheap labour. It's the same where i'm from (singapore) its not a third world country but where an american game artist would get $3000 as a starting pay, we get minimum pay ($1200) and get little or no overtime pay. But we still would consider ourselves lucky because not everyone gets to work on Assassins Creed 3 or Ghost Recon or do VFX work for the Avengers. 

bluefox755
bluefox755

@CaptWaffle Lol, ask anyone on welfare who pays for their stuff, "the government" does, people have little appreciation that others are subsidizing them, it's a shame how comfortable us westerners have become living off of other taxpayers.

hundredand
hundredand

@wizardboyus What a stupid statement. Valve, 2K, Naughty Dog, Blizzard, Bethesda. These are just a few great American developers.

acon9775
acon9775

@LukeWesty your one stupid bastard! Try working on anything in minus 20 degrees C! Oh yea you cant cause youre nice and warm in your moms basement.

homeslice101
homeslice101

@LukeWesty why don't you go ahead and develop a metro game for us, i'm pretty sure the work conditions in your moms basement are superb.

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

@leikeylosh No, hard mode is included.  What isn't included is "super crazy hard" mode which removes the HUD and changes a lot of in-game settings.

bluefox755
bluefox755

@somatzu It isn't america where everyone pisses and moans about everything, they're happy to be working, it's not an entitlement culture like it is over here.

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

@somatzu They probably are.

Ukraine is no silicon valley. It's one of those European countries that stayed behind where other societies progressed.

Just working in such a well-known studio and getting decent wages is an honor in itself. It could have been MUCH worse, believe me.

BrutalPandaX2
BrutalPandaX2

@somatzu yeah they don't care. Ukraine is a country in turmoil. They would be glad to work their asses off in freezing weather if it meant moving to the states soon into a better facility.

Aramantha
Aramantha

@LukeWesty  the devs were not bitching, the former president of THQ merely commented on the depth of their work and dedication. Try leaving your western bubble for once you ignorant oath

JangoF-76
JangoF-76

@LukeWesty Spoken like someone who's never had to set foot outside of his own comfortable little western bubble. Must be nice in there where everything is black and white, and you have the whole world figured out, huh? 

lilmcnessy
lilmcnessy

@LukeWesty You understand that it is extremely cold in the Winter there. Are you used to every Winter where you are from? There housing and building standards are probably very low and may not contain good insulation in the buildings. And it's not just the cold, they are elbow length next to each other on fold out chairs etc. And they are bitching.

acon9775
acon9775

@LukeWesty are you braindead? wait dont answer because you obviously are. No they dont have central heating you dickhead theyre in a third world country! Why dont you stop bitching about Ukrainians and go find a job you maggot. 

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

@LukeWesty They did have central heating. Heating in Ukraine breaks down alot, this was claimed by Rubin.

And they didn't bitch, he specifically said "we do not need indulgence".

Your words convince me you're someone who likes to bitch alot.

rann89
rann89

@LukeWesty They weren't bitching about it. They were commenting on the fact that someone else commented on their working conditions. Instead of being an anonymous internet badass, try learning to read the article you're commenting on. English 101 is your friend.

Orvell
Orvell

And the wealthy and poor are very similar in this position, they both want more for less.. While the working class carries the load. I would rather tax dollars go to feeding or educating a child, than a corporate hand out.

LukeWesty
LukeWesty

@TohouAsura

Heating breaks down a lot in Ukraine?... priceless.

LukeWesty
LukeWesty

@rann89

Someone else who wasn't Ukrainian and wasn't used to the climate like the Ukrainian devs was you mean???

ryanreynolds
ryanreynolds

@TohouAsura @focuspuller @leikeylosh It was THQ's decision to make ranger hardcore paid DLC,not theirs.And Deep SIlver couldn't do anything about that. And it's only five bucks. Is it really that much? Ranger Hardcore for 2033 was paid too for Xbox.Big deal.