Though Rockstar has not yet responded publicly to the issues recently raised by wives of Rockstar San Diego employees, an internal message has been leaked in which Rockstar apparently suggests that the staff addresses any concerns to the HR department. Furthermore, two senior Human Resource managers will be on-site to discuss issues with the staff.
However, the message denies certain allegations, amongst which those that stated that health care benefits and other perks had been reduced and that pay would not be corrected for inflation. However, while it is acknowledged that the team is working very hard to finish Red Dead Redemption at this time, specific issues that dealt with pressure over longer periods of time remain unaddressed. A copy of the message that was sent out to Rockstar San Diego employees can be found after the jump.
The IGDA, the International Game Developers Association, also responded to the issues raised by the “Determined Devoted Wives of Rockstar San Diego employees” by stating that “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.”
Dear Rockstar San Diego,
No doubt you are all aware of the comments made on Gamasutra regarding some internal dynamics at the studio and some people’s dissatisfaction with the environment. We take issues related to working conditions extremely seriously and will look to address any genuine concerns immediately.
It’s been a challenging few years, and a tough last few months as the game moves towards completion, but the final product of all that incredible effort is on the verge of finally being received by the public: the stellar game that is Red Dead Redemption, a game of which you all should be justifiably proud and which you should be excited to see come to market.
We do not agree with the allegations in the Gamasutra post (e.g. there has been no reduction in health benefits or ancillary benefits and perks (such as free dinners and massages etc), wage increases across the studio have kept track with cost of living increases, and anyone who feels they have been overlooked for a bonus for a game they worked on please contact HR to discuss as soon as possible). Nevertheless, we do know that the team is working very hard right now, and we care deeply about the physical health and mental well-being of every single person on our team. We are committed to working through any issues anyone at the studio may have, and to providing support wherever possible. Please, if you have concerns, discuss them with Sarah Shafer or with Rob Spampinato who heads up HR for the whole of Rockstar and who will be on-site in the studio for the next few days (Rob is sitting in the “new york” office). If you would prefer to speak to someone in confidence outside of Rockstar, please contact Chris Casazza, who oversees HR for Take Two.
Red Dead Redemption is rightly one of the most anticipated games of 2010, and we’re incredibly proud of the entire team for the truly outstanding work that’s gone into making this remarkable game as good as it is. Here’s hoping we can give this game the reception it deserves this April.