IGDA brands Mythic's credit snub as 'disrespectful'

IGDA brands Mythic's credit snub as 'disrespectful'
Michael French

By Michael French

August 26th 2008 at 10:45AM

Lack of recognition for departed coders 'misleads both consumers and game industry peers' says chairperson MacLean

The decision by EA's Mythic studio to only credit current development staff in the acknowledgements for its upcoming Warhammer: Age of Reckoning MMO is 'disrespectful' says the IGDA,

Last week, the studio confirmed it wouldn't be including former staff that had worked on the project in the game's credits.

Speaking to website Shacknews, studio head Marc Jacobs: "Over the years, we've had hundreds of people work on the game, and we thank everyone who helped us bring our Warhammer passion to life, but only current employees that have continued until the end will be credited in the final game."

But in the latest newsletter to IGDA members, chairperson Jen MacLean speaks out against Mythic's decision.

She says: "This policy is disrespectful of the effort of the game developers who worked on the game, and misleads both consumers and game industry peers.  Unfortunately, Mythic's stance is not unusual; according to a survey conducted by the IGDA Writers Special Interest Group, 35 per cent of respondents "don't ever" or "only sometimes" receive official credit for their work, and almost every game developer I know can provide anecdotal evidence of credit policies that vary by studio, and in some cases by individual title.

"The lack of accurate, fair, and consistent credit standards in the industry poses a serious problem for every game developer; by refusing to acknowledge their contributions, studio management limits the professional recognition and opportunity for development that every contributor deserves.

"Some people claim that providing complete credit information opens their staff up to contact by unsolicited recruiters, or encourages people to leave their job before a game is complete. These reasons are simple window dressing for policies that are arbitrary, unfair, and in some cases even vindictive, and they simply don't hold up.  Recruiters have many ways of discovering talent, and, more importantly, a valued employee will not leave a good job simply because a recruiter initiates unsolicited contact.

"It's an unfortunate fact that people leave jobs frequently, especially in the games industry; why refuse to recognize a contributor because, through circumstances they may not be able to control, they've changed employers?  And frankly, if being mentioned in credits is the only reason a person remains with a company, are they really someone you want to stay?  Other people claim that credits aren't important because "nobody reads them anyway"; the number of people who read a game's credits is irrelevant.  Even if only one person reads the credits of a game, integrity demands that all work be accurately and honestly represented."

The IGDA is now urging its members to read and support the proposed guidelines being put together by its Credit Standards Committee. For more information head here.