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Epic: Crediting Developers “Common Courtesy”, L.A. Noire’s Omission “Just Stupid”

July 27, 2011 Written by Sebastian Moss

We were understandably horrified to hear that Team Bondi and Rockstar had allegedly purposely excluded developer’s names from the credits of L.A. Noire, and it looks like we weren’t alone – Epic’s President has weighed in on the situation.

Mike Capps talked to IndustryGamers over what he thought about the fact that over a hundred Team Bondi developers were omitted from the game’s credits. “I think credit is really important, and it’s really f***ing cheap – pardon my French,” he said, continuing:

It doesn’t cost you a thing to have a guy in the credits who worked for you for three years and had to move to Seattle because his mom got sick six months before the product shipped. Or even just say, he worked hard on this game but didn’t finish it. What we do [at Epic] is if someone’s a programmer on a game but doesn’t stay until the end – the end’s the hard part – we’ll just call them ‘additional programming’ as opposed to programmer. But we absolutely still credit them, because it’s free to us and I want the guys here to know that if they ever left they would never be cut out of the credits. It’s just common courtesy, really.

It’s just stupid for a developer to not give credit to people who worked hard.

Capps then explained how Epic ensures developers are credited:

We actually send out our credits here at Epic to everybody in the company to check, and we do that a couple times as we get to the end of a project to make sure we didn’t miss anybody. Someone, somewhere might forget a sound contractor who worked hard for us but producers forgot or I didn’t know about it, and someone will catch it and get it in there.

But he did say that the omission isn’t as bad as some of the developers claimed, saying:

I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as developers make it sound like. I read resumes; I don’t go back and check the credits of every game they’ve worked on to see if their name is there. If they tell me they were a programmer on a game, I’ll talk to them, take them seriously, ask them questions and I’ll know pretty quickly if they actually worked on it. And then I’m going to get a reference or two anyway. So no, I don’t think [credits] is as career destroying as people think.

But it’s just stupid for a developer to not give credit to people who worked hard. So it’s probably overblown on both sides, but it just seems to me like it’s awfully cheap to give credit.

It’s good to hear that Epic doesn’t condone what is simply an awful business practice, but it is sad to see that there is little that can be done about it, despite the fact that it is contrary to The International Game Developers Association (IGDA)’s guidelines on crediting developers.

P.S. Spot Marcus!