Rumor: Rockstar Responds To Allegations Of Poor Work Conditions

Illustration for article titled Rumor: Rockstar Responds To Allegations Of Poor Work Conditions

Rockstar Games has yet to respond publicly to allegations that staff working on Red Dead Redemption have suffered through poor work conditions, but this apparent internal email is the next best thing.

Posted on Gamasutra, the supposed email to RSD employees goes to great lengths to distance the company from the accusations levelled against it by the "Determined Devoted Wives of Rockstar San Diego Employees".


The email reads:

Dear Rockstar San Diego

No doubt you are all aware of the comments made on Gamasutra regarding some internal dynamics at the studio and some people's dissatisfaction with the environment. We take issues related to working conditions extremely seriously and will look to address any genuine concerns immediately.

It's been a challenging few years, and a tough last few months as the game moves towards completion, but the final product of all that incredible effort is on the verge of finally being received by the public: the stellar game that is Red Dead Redemption, a game of which you all should be justifiably proud and which you should be excited to see come to market.

We do not agree with the allegations in the Gamasutra post (e.g. there has been no reduction in health benefits or ancillary benefits and perks (such as free dinners and massages etc), wage increases across the studio have kept track with cost of living increases, and anyone who feels they have been overlooked for a bonus for a game they worked on please contact HR to discuss as soon as possible). Nevertheless, we do know that the team is working very hard right now, and we care deeply about the physical health and mental well-being of every single person on our team. We are committed to working through any issues anyone at the studio may have, and to providing support wherever possible. Please, if you have concerns, discuss them with Sarah Shafer or with Rob Spampinato who heads up HR for the whole of Rockstar and who will be on-site in the studio for the next few days (Rob is sitting in the "new york" office). If you would prefer to speak to someone in confidence outside of Rockstar, please contact Chris Casazza, who oversees HR for Take Two.

Red Dead Redemption is rightly one of the most anticipated games of 2010, and we're incredibly proud of the entire team for the truly outstanding work that's gone into making this remarkable game as good as it is. Here's hoping we can give this game the reception it deserves this April.

He said, she said. It's why we have courts, people.


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It looks to me like Rockstar was very careful to focus on the trivial issues - massages, comp dinners - and make the complaining wives look petty.

I wonder what the actual substance of their complaints was. Unpaid forced overtime on a salary is never pleasant regardless of your industry, and a hostile work environment is a hostile work environment.

As a workforce, we are moving beyond the "suck it up and get paid" mentality of the 70's and 80's. Human Resources has become a cabinet-level function in all major businesses for a reason. This is an educated, discriminating workforce that deserves to be treated like customers. Retention is one of the biggest money-sinks for any company.

R*'s people are lucky to have jobs when so many studios are closing their doors, but that doesn't give R* license to treat them poorly. I don't know the details of the situation, but I know employers have a responsibility to their staff, regardless of the industry conditions.