Gameloft is known throughout the mobile gaming world for gathering their inspiration from popular console titles. They’re also known for porting many console titles to mobile platforms such as Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell Conviction. But today, they’re suspected of creating harsh work environments in their New Zealand offices.
These kind of accusations are becoming a serious trend in the gaming industry as publishers try to squeeze every bit out of their development teams to meet deadlines. Last month Team Bondi, the Australian developer behind L.A. Noire was being investigated by the IDGA for brutal work conditions.
Rockstar San Diego and Electronic Arts have also been infamously scrutinized for overworking their employees.
Now a former employee of Gameloft’s Auckland, New Zealand office revealed during an interview that he was “working 100 to 120 hours a week.” While talking to gamers.on.net, former Head Studio Programmer Glenn Watson stated that he “found out that one of the junior programers had actually worked a 24-hour straight stint in the office.”
Glenn claims that these exhausting conditions made the work suffer as a result, and that when he confronted senior staff about the long hours, they were apologetic. While the execs claimed that the deadlines were set by the head office, Glenn suspected that they were artifically set to keep the team motivated to work harder and faster.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to motivate employees to push their limits and to make profits, but working employees to the bone not only opens the doors to bad press, it also leads to health risks. The video game industry is an attractive one for many, and while there are a number of companies that treat their employees well, it’s not always fun and games when working as a contracted developer.
Gameloft has yet to comment on the latest accusations of unfair working condition, but we’ll keep you up to date if and when they decide to negate them. What are your thoughts on the constant rumors circling the video game development industry? Leave us your own opinions in the comments.