The Great Video Game Business and Financial (In)Stability Thread

Hardly. Horrifying that someone felt that there was no other option.

When an employee sues a big company obviously one's first impulse is to assume it's justified. But in the few times I've had firsthand knowledge of such things, randomly trying to sabotage stuff on their way out tends to be something that crazy toxic people do after being fired for being crazy and toxic, y'know?

I mean, were the cutscenes and scripts they released supposed to evidence of wrongdoing or something? It sounds like they just tried to sabotage the project for revenge, even though that hurts their colleagues.

There have been reports for years now of a toxic culture at Naughty Dog with horrible crunch, harassment, and mistreatment of employees. There have been articles recently about the conditions of The Last of Us II being particularly grueling. I've had a few people I know in the industry tell me that it has a reputation as a brutal place to work. In that context, I'm less likely to view this as a toxic employee acting out against a benign workplace than the other way around.

fenomas wrote:

When an employee sues a big company obviously one's first impulse is to assume it's justified. But in the few times I've had firsthand knowledge of such things, randomly trying to sabotage stuff on their way out tends to be something that crazy toxic people do after being fired for being crazy and toxic, y'know?

I mean, were the cutscenes and scripts they released supposed to evidence of wrongdoing or something? It sounds like they just tried to sabotage the project for revenge, even though that hurts their colleagues.

It sounds like they weren't in their right mind. For what reasons, well I assume the worst based on the reporting out of Naughty Dog lately.

Totally fair, I don't disagree. Hopefully details will out.

All of which being said, it doesn't really seem likely to hurt the title (the leaks I mean, not the reports of abusive conditions - which I suppose also won't hurt the game, even if they ought to). This being an age where ten minutes after release the cutscenes will be on youtube and on streams anyway, one suspects that anyone intending to buy the game will just avoid the leaks.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I've had a few people I know in the industry tell me that it has a reputation as a brutal place to work.

I can't help but wonder if the brutality might have been exacerbated by trying to get the game out during the pandemic.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

So... a developer at Naughty Dog got fed-up with the studio over payment issues and workplace problems, so they uploaded pivotal cutscenes from The Last of Us II and the game's entire script. Sony has since suddenly produced a release date for the game (June 19). Wow.

My first thought is this could backfire on the saboteur to the point they may not be trusted (or hired) too often in the future. If they should care at all.

It's a grand table flip on the way out when viewed towards those in power at Naughty Dog. It's a selfish collateral bomb when viewed towards everyone else who put in the work.

I'm not sure. Many of us have been overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. Toxic environments, too. So, on one hand it's awesome to see someone say "You know what. Enough. Fu©k off. Fu©k you." On the other the how is entirely unnecessary and a real low blow breach of trust and respect. It depends on how the workers feel about it. I'd be unhappy if it were my script, my performance, my animation, my art work. I'd trust that individual no more. Others may decide it's fair if it produces positive change.

Out of curiosity I went poking around on this - taking the grenade since I'm not likely to play the game. No spoilers here obviously. But what I found was mainly:

(a) Nobody seems to have any actual idea why stuff was leaked. Lots of sites refer vaguely to an employee with a payment dispute, but they all describe that as being "a rumor making the rounds", or they reference another article that says that. The earliest tweet I found mentioning it just says "reportedly".

(b) Some of the leaked plot points involve the sorts of issues that gamers (e.g. of the "-gate" variety) tend to scream at each other online about.

This feels like a thing where, until the facts come out, grains of salt and ten-foot poles might come in handy.

My first thought is this could backfire on the saboteur to the point they may not be trusted (or hired) too often in the future. If they should care at all.

The games industry is so competitive that one misstep and you are essentially out. I know from personal experience.

So if there is even a hint of toxicity regarding an employee, it will be even that much more certain that they are out.

The industry is still by and large a boys club. So some are able to bounce from company to company contributing to the havoc, seemingly immune to repeated missteps. (Some even rise to studio head...)

I think it's a Russian disinformation campaign to stir up chaos among gamers and developers.

only half joking...

BadKen wrote:

I think it's a Russian disinformation campaign to stir up chaos among gamers and developers.

Actually, it's about ethics in games journalism.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
BadKen wrote:

I think it's a Russian disinformation campaign to stir up chaos among gamers and developers.

Actually, it's about ethics in games journalism.

Didn’t know this was the Coronavirus thread! Sorry!

fenomas wrote:

Out of curiosity I went poking around on this - taking the grenade since I'm not likely to play the game. No spoilers here obviously. But what I found was mainly:

(a) Nobody seems to have any actual idea why stuff was leaked. Lots of sites refer vaguely to an employee with a payment dispute, but they all describe that as being "a rumor making the rounds", or they reference another article that says that. The earliest tweet I found mentioning it just says "reportedly".

(b) Some of the leaked plot points involve the sorts of issues that gamers (e.g. of the "-gate" variety) tend to scream at each other online about.

This feels like a thing where, until the facts come out, grains of salt and ten-foot poles might come in handy.

So apparently the leakers were not affiliated with Sony or Naughty Dog. Not really sure what to make of that, though.

ComfortZone wrote:

So apparently the leakers were not affiliated with Sony or Naughty Dog. Not really sure what to make of that, though.

That may be but a convenient press release to subvert attention. It's much more preferable to have folks move away from issues such as crunch culture, working conditions, and office atmosphere. Discredit the source. Discredit the story. Please do move along. It may also be true. Data breach does occur.

Without knowing for sure, and from following up on this way too much, it seems it may well have been a simple data breach. Which is somewhat dull. So, it became dressed up as both a Naughty Dog employee with an axe to grind going rogue, and as a Hero Without a Cape jumping on a grenade to save the masses from another social justice diversity push, to stir a 'get woke go broke' hornets nest.

The story leaks themselves are being diluted amongst what is accurate and what is conjecture. Not to mention Naughty Dog gaining support from those who oppose the partisan rhetoric crowd. Any valid concerns or criticisms on the alluded direction and possible focus have mostly been drowned out beneath the hyperbole.

It'll be interesting to see how or if sales are affected. As well as how opinions may have been influenced for those knowing who the players are, and what they stand for, and what they ultimately do, going in. It's possibly got me more interested to see how it all shakes out. The why and the how are often more interesting to me than the destination.

Strange source so take it for what it's worth but these translated excerpts of an article on Dying Light 2 make it sound like a project in turmoil, might explain why they suddenly announced Hellraid assets as a DL1 DLC

https://twitter.com/LotteMakesStuff/...

Top Overwatch Team Loses Entire Player Roster Amidst Allegations Of Mismanagement

Or, what happens when all of the players in a Canadian league are Korean, and Covid-19 hits...

Found this interesting:

https://twitter.com/charlesrandall/s...

The side missions in Assassin’s Creed were added five days before the game went gold.

Blind_Evil wrote:

Found this interesting:

https://twitter.com/charlesrandall/s...

The side missions in Assassin’s Creed were added five days before the game went gold.

Couldn't see that tweet (restricted to friends or something) - could you screenshot it?

Edit: this story has screens: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ccn...

Apparently he made his account private in between me posting that and now - I can only see the one tweet that I linked rather than the thread which I saw. Copy pasta:

ok ok so if you've ever played the original assassin's creed, you'd know that there were the missions with the targets, and there were also a bunch of side activities

what if I told you those side activities didn't exist in the first submission

Synopsis of the thread: The CEO’s kid played AC pre-gold and said it was boring because there weren’t enough things to do. The team leaders got told they needed to add something to do other than the main missions and had five days to do it bug-free.

Lovely.

ಠ_ಠ

Meanwhile, on 4chan...

Nintendo 3DS source code leaked.

Man, that hack got 3DS too? Wow. Does that mean Wii U is next?