“Overtime is NOT Optional, it is Expected,” Says Rockstar QA Tester, Notes That Changes Are Coming Next Week

Amidst all the backlash against Rockstar for their comments regarding 100-hour work weeks, a QA tester for Rockstar Games in the UK (Rockstar Lincoln) has taken to Reddit to declare that overtime was never an optional mandate, but rather an expected one. Normally, employees would sign NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) and forgo discussing Rockstar and any projects currently in development on social platforms. In light of the work hour controversy, Rockstar granted permission to employees to speak up on the topic, just as long as the discussion remains about work-hours. The QA tester stresses that he only knows with absolute certainty the hours worked by Lincoln QA, and not by any other Rockstar studio, refusing to speculate about what has been heard regarding their work hours. This is what they had to say:

The other big thing is that this overtime is NOT optional, it is expected of us. If we are not able to work overtime on a certain day without a good reason, you have to make it up on another day. This usually means that if you want a full weekend off that you will have to work a double weekend to make up for it.

The second thing that can cause some confusion is how you count the hours. We do not get paid for our lunch or dinner breaks but we are at work for that time. This means that a standard full day is 7.5 hours paid and 8.5 hours actual, with an overtime day being 10 hours paid and 11.5 hours actual.

The final thing to note is how our overtime works. We have to opt into a certain number of overtime weekday shifts per week depending on the current rules as well as a certain number of weekend shifts per month. During our ‘standard’ crunch hours we work 3/5 weekday overtime shifts and 2 weekend overtime shifts per month but during our ‘true’ crunch hours we work 5/5 weekday overtime shifts and at least 4 weekend overtime shifts per month. We have been in crunch since October 9th 2017 which is before I started working here.

One important thing to note is how the Rockstar work hours controversy has impacted company policies. According to the QA tester, overtime has since been changed for employees, effective next week. All overtime will reportedly be optional for employees, making the developing crunch period less of a burden to bear.

To end this, overtime has changed for us now as of next week. We had a big meeting today where it was announced that all overtime going forward will be entirely optional, so if we want to work the extra hours and earn the extra money (As well as make yourself look better for progression) then we can do, but there is no longer a rule making us do it. This is huge for us here in Lincoln as many of us haven’t been able to take full weekends without paying for it in a long time and it’s a giant step forward in making crunch less of a hell to deal with.

What do you guys think about the ongoing work hour controversy with Rockstar? Will it all have any impact on the impending release of Red Dead Redemption 2? Let us know what you think in the comments.

[Source: Games Industry via Reddit]