IGDA sharpens knives over Manhunt 2 credit cuts

Former Rockstar Vienna employee says contributions of more than 50 devs at closed studio ignored in final game's credits; developer lobby pushes for industry standards.

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SIDEBAR: Scenes of graphic violence weren't the only things Take-Two Interactive cut from Manhunt 2 for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii. According to the blog of Jurie Horneman, a former employee at the shuttered Rockstar Vienna studio, more than 55 of his coworkers' credits for 16 months of work on the title were also left on the cutting room floor. A Rockstar Games representative had not returned a request for comment as of press time.

"I am disappointed and outraged that Rockstar Games tries to pretend that Rockstar Vienna and the work we did on Manhunt 2 never happened--the work of over 50 people, who put years of their lives into the project, trying to make the best game they could," Horneman wrote. "I am proud to have been a part of that team."

Anticipating that some people would suggest the studio's closure in May of 2006 was due to poor performance on Manhunt 2, Horneman dismissed the notion. While Horneman said such a statement couldn't be proven one way or the other, he noted that from what he's seen of the game, the majority of the Vienna team's work made it into the game, albeit sometimes in a modified form.

With Horneman's blog post raising the issue of proper crediting in games, International Game Developers Association executive director Jason Della Rocca took the opportunity to point to his group's push for an industry-standard set of crediting guidelines. Calling the Manhunt 2 incident "a significant example of why crediting standards are needed in the game industry," Della Rocca stressed that accurate and complete credits are "essential to ongoing employment, professional development, and artistic fulfillment for all developers."

The issue is not a new one for Della Rocca's group. John Feil, the chair of the IGDA's credit standards committee and a designer with Amaze Entertainment, is slated to host a roundtable session at February's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco titled, "The IGDA Credits Movement: The Revolution Is Already Here."

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