The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is looking to thoroughly investigate Sydney based games developers, Team Bondi, due to the accusations of an intense crunch work policy and aggressive management raised by the eleven anonymous ex-Team Bondi developers who contributed to the investigative IGN article on the seven year long development of L.A Noire.
The reports of the overly excessive crunch time, which included more than 100 hour work weeks, has caused industry outrage. The IGDA has described the gruelling work conditions as 'absolutely unacceptable'.
Complaints of crunch-time related issues, compiled by Develop from the IGN article, include:
- "The crunch was ongoing. It just kept on shifting; an ominous crunch that just keeps moving, and moving. Management would say, 'Oh, it'll finish once we meet this deadline,' but the deadline kept moving. That went on for a good year."
- Workloads were, on average, about 60 hours per week, the person said.
- That would jump as high as 110 hours per week when milestones had to be met, alleges one developer.
- "If you left at 7.30pm, you'd get evil eyes"
- “There was simply an expectation that you'd work overtime and weekends. I was told that I was taking the piss by saying that I couldn't give every single one of my weekends away. We were looked at as a disposable resource, basically. Their attitude is: 'it's a privilege to work for us, and if you can't hack it, you should leave'. I heard one of the upper echelons say pretty much that. I thought it was disgusting. I don't understand how they can't see that maintaining talent would actually be good for them."
- Three 100-hour weeks for a demo that wasn’t released
Management abuse included:
- "It's one thing for him (McNamara) to be angry behind closed doors, but it was incredibly common for him to scream at whoever was pissing him off in the middle of the office."
- Reprimanded for being being 15 minutes late to work - “I arrived at 9:15am – despite the fact I had only left work around 3:15am the same day, and paid for my own taxi home."
Speaking to Develop, Brian Robbins (chair of the IGDA Board of Directors) has said that the association would fully investigate the issue. From Develop...
[But] certainly reports of 12-hour a day, lengthy crunch time, if true, are absolutely unacceptable and harmful to the individuals involved, the final product, and the industry as a whole...
We encourage any Team Bondi employee and/or family member to email firstname.lastname@example.org with comments about the recent past and current situation - positive or negative