16 votes

The Human Cost Of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

4 comments

  1. [3]
    alyaza Link
    well belated update, but treyarch sent out an email to everybody on their staff as a result of this story, so congrats to kotaku for that:

    well belated update, but treyarch sent out an email to everybody on their staff as a result of this story, so congrats to kotaku for that:

    Team:

    Today, Kotaku published a story that explores a number of reported behind-the-scenes issues in Black Ops 4 development. The first and most important statement that we want to make to the team is that, as managers of this studio, we take the well-being of every single individual working here very seriously.

    We have a vision for the future of this studio that includes significant improvements to work/life balance, and we plan to achieve that through better project planning, streamlined production processes, and rigorous decision-making timelines. It is also our intention to maintain our commitment to increased transparency.

    Getting there will require time, hard work, and commitment — most of all, it will require open communication. If you ever feel like your needs aren’t being met, please do not hesitate to communicate actively with your manager. No one should ever feel like they don’t have options, can’t talk openly, or that the only choice is to take their concerns to the public. These conversations should always start with an honest dialogue with your department manager, and if that’s not working, feel free to reach out to one of us.

    Game development is a wildly complex art and it requires a diverse set of people and skill sets to do it successfully. It’s important for all of us to foster a studio culture that treats all team members with respect.

    We appreciate the contributions made by all parts of the team in the name of the games we make.

    Sincerely,

    Dan & Mark

    2 votes
    1. dblohm7 Link Parent
      "We'll get there eventually, all we need is two more years of crunch from you." /s

      "We'll get there eventually, all we need is two more years of crunch from you."

      /s

      2 votes
    2. tunneljumper Link Parent
      I highly doubt the QA testers will even get this email.

      I highly doubt the QA testers will even get this email.

  2. tunneljumper Link
    I love (read: abhor) the legalese in Activision's statement: [emphasis mine] But wait, aren't testers outsourced to contract work? Aha!

    I love (read: abhor) the legalese in Activision's statement:

    Black Ops 4 represents three years of hard work, creativity, and passion from hundreds of talented individuals across Treyarch, Activision studios and publishing teams, as well as agency partners around the world. It represents the culmination of a wide variety of development initiatives, the best of which comprise the game that our fans are playing today.

    The teams who created this game are diverse and widespread. It’s important to us that everyone working on the game, or any of our projects, is treated with respect and that their contributions are appreciated. If there is ever an instance where this standard is not met, we work to remedy it immediately. We constantly strive to provide a rewarding and fun development environment for everyone.

    Everyone at Treyarch is extremely proud of Black Ops 4. We love bringing games to life, and we always want to do the best work of our careers. We realize this is only made possible through the varied perspectives and contributions from every individual working on the team.

    [emphasis mine]

    But wait, aren't testers outsourced to contract work? Aha!

    Testers at Treyarch aren’t actually employed by the studio or its parent company, Activision. Like testers at many other big game studios, they technically work for an outsourcing company called Volt.

    2 votes