Rockstar complaints get IGDA response

Industry group says it has reached out to Take-Two and studio employees to mediate alleged overworking of staffers.

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Red Dead Redemption is expected to ship for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on April 27, and its launch will apparently come as a monumental relief to many of the employees at Rockstar San Diego. Last week, an anonymous person claiming to represent the "Determined Devoted Wives of Rockstar San Diego employees" leveled gross quality-of-life violations at the studio, alleging excessive mandatory overtime and time-off denials, among other exploitative practices.

John Marston would like to get out of Dodge.
John Marston would like to get out of Dodge.

Today, the Independent Game Developers Association responded to the claims made by the Rockstar San Diego spouse. In its note, the representative body stated that it has issued an open invitation to mediate any concerns between Take-Two management, studio heads, and employees over overtime practices.

"In any studio, the IGDA finds the practice of undisclosed and constant overtime to be deceptive, exploitative, and ultimately harmful not only to developers but to their final product and the industry as a whole," the IGDA said. "While our research shows that many studios have found ways to preserve quality of life for their employees, unhealthy practices are still far too common in our industry."

The IGDA went on to note that while "crunch" hours continue to be an issue within the industry, it is not the norm across game studios. Citing its 2009 Quality of Life Survey, the organization said that while more than half of developers desired more time off, the majority felt that their employers worked to avoid excessive overtime requirements.

"While crunch has always been a concern for the games industry, the IGDA concludes from its research that conditions in most workplaces are improving and, with diligence and an emphasis on increasing process efficiency, can continue to do so," the IGDA said.

Rockstar had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.

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