After working on something for several years, putting in tens of hours a day into making it the best you can be, it’s only fair that you get the recognition that you deserve. In the games industry, being credited for working on a title is not simply just about what’s fair, but often about one’s livelihood, with being credited for a game essential for finding a new job.
That’s why we’re sad to report that over 130 developers have allegedly been left out of the credits for the critical and commercial smash hit, L.A. Noire. Disgruntled developers set up L.A. Noire Credits to record those who were not named, saying:
These people devoted their talent, creativity and passion towards the project and, as is common in the games industry, have not been credited because they were not there during the final month or two of production, or other subjective criteria.
A significant portion of these people did not leave Team Bondi by choice: they were made redundant as art production wound down, and as Quality Assurance work was shifted off-shore to Rockstar’s studios.
Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, several anonymous developers explained how important being credited is:
In this industry a lot of job applications ask for credits on a shipped title.
Another developer, who contributed to the gameplay of L.A. Noire for over three years (“25 per cent of [his] professional life”), told how he left before the game was completed because he “felt as though [his] sanity depended on it”. He was asked to work 10-12 hours almost every day, as well as weekends, describing Team Bondi as an inflexible and virtually praise-free environment. With the development time of L.A. Noire unusually long, other reports put the game’s crunch period (the few months leading up to a game’s release where developers are expected to work overtime to finish the game) at over a year.
“So, after my wife had been pushing me to quit for more than a year, I did,” he explained, going on to say:
There has been a lot of press saying how incredible this is for the Australian gaming industry, since it is the biggest (and most successful) game made in Australia to date. But that has come at the price that most of the people that worked on it will never have proof of having worked there (unless they want to pull out a paycheck).
It is claimed that Rockstar previously left 55 developers off the credits of Manhunt 2 for similar reasons. This is contrary to The International Game Developers Association (IGDA)’s guidelines on crediting developers, that state that any contractor or employee who was involved in the production of a game for at least 30 days must be credited, and that credit is retained by people who leave the company or project before the game’s completion.