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IGDA Putting Rockstar in Its Place

A little over a week ago, the loving spouses of video game developers for Rockstar Games issued an open letter revealing truths and eye-opening grievances they had with the working ethics and environments of employers and their employees at Rockstar San Diego, developers of Midnight Club: Los Angeles for the PlayStation 3 and 360. And due to the public outcry for reformation against these crunch-time tactics, the International Game Developers Association has put their foot down.

It is difficult to hear about such deceptive practices. Thankfully, gamers everywhere not only take concerns in the games we love to play, but also where they come from. Whether in a comment on a public forum or even a lawsuit, gamers will be heard. As a result, the IGDA had this to say about the matter:

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. 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.

Events like these raise the awareness of quality of life issues in the industry and among the public.  The IGDA has made clear its stance on excessive uncompensated overtime, and this instance represents an opportunity for reflection across the industry.

As mentioned in the statement, due to the declining economy and pressures to meet deadlines, development houses need to hold their horses when it comes to cutting wages and increasing workloads. Hopefully the issue is not as bad as it seems, since it is disheartening to see respected designers and triple-A title developers treated in this manner. What is your take on the dilemma?