Many people think working for a big-name game developer is a dream come true, and perhaps it is, but sometimes stories comes from the developers that makes me cringe.
On a recent article of Destructoid, User Interface Designer Xander Davis used twitter to describe his poor working conditions for the
three years three months he worked on Darksiders II. Long hours, sudden changes prior to shipping, poorly staffed, stifling deadlines. It’s all fascinating stuff.
This story reminds me of Zynga, the developer of the Farmville. Former employees of Zynga came forward to tell the terrible conditions which they had to work in.
You can read all of it here. Sorry if it’s linked to the mobile site, as I am still using my phone for everything.
(edit: I was misled from the article. Davis claims his life had been hell the last three years, but as Vigil Games General Manager David Adams’s email pointed out, Davis had only worked on Darksiders II for a total of 90 days. Adams also points out that employees terminated due to poor performance are not in the credits, which makes some sense.
So on one side, I believe Xander Davis had hard stipulations he had to work with due to releasing a AAA game with the development time of 2 1/2 years. It’d be hard for anyone. I also believe he was terminated due to poor performance (though this has been all but confirmed by Adams email to Destructoid). Davis was definitely acting out of anger, and his remarks seem a bit childish to me. But at the same time, no matter how minuscule your work is in a game, part of me thinks that you should receive some credit. So who’s to blame? Really no one. This is just another example of the dashing life of a game developer.)
Um, wow, just need to call you out on a huge correction there. Davis did not work on Darksiders II for “three years.” The game was only in development for two and a half years, and Davis was only at Vigil for less than three months.
Thank you for correcting me, I honestly appriciate it. I am only one man and I work with secondhand sources. As soon as I am able to, I will correct this article with more accurate information.
Poor working conditions can be pretty common in the game dev industry. Pressure from publishers or employers and miss management i.e last minute changes or feature creeping mean that the devs have to work harder and longer to stick to the original release plan.
I totally agree. Publishers try to meet deadlines and make money. Some games are fine with this, others end up with less content than originally planned. Devil May Cry 4 and Saints Row 3 are perfect examples of this. It’s not really wrong, as these companies need to make money, but at the end of the day, the developers and players end up a bit stifled.