Let's have a talk about crediting people for their work

Discussion in 'Mostly Harmless (Serious Discussion)' started by Ammy175, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. Ammy175

    Ammy175 Well-Known Member

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    https://twitter.com/XSEEDGames/status/1137132042863251457
    Or, if the above doesn't work: https://web.archive.org/web/20190608070740/https://twitter.com/XSEEDGames/status/1137132042863251457

    "We appreciate the hard work of everyone who contributes to our releases, but it is and always has been company policy that only current members of our staff are credited. We have never credited staff for their individual roles, or if they have left the company."

    So you mean to tell me that if I join XSEED Games, put lots of time and effort in localizing [Game X], but I quit working for XSEED Games before [Game X] is finished, I get zero acknowledgement for anything I've done for the game? Is that the definition of "appreciation"?

    If you appreciate everyone's work, then is it really that hard to actually list everyone that did something for that game? And on a related note, why tell people I worked on a game if I didn't do anything?

    I'm honestly asking all of this; I don't know a damn thing about game development/localization.
     
  2. Terro

    Terro Well-Known Member

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    According to some places online, if you point out that other companies do it too, it makes you an "XSEED defense force", yet I don't think anyone else would be better qualified to even be in that position than us forum dwellers (hanging here for like, what? 8 years?? Holy crap it's been that long?!") but no, it's not good anywhere...

    It sounds like XSEED just lists staff who is employed at the time, even if they didn't work on it, which is odd... Did they work on it? They should get credit, even if they left for whatever reason (unless, like Tom, they requested NOT to be in the credits for whichever reason). It sounds like one of those corporate policies that a lot of places use, but it stinks... Many workplaces can be pretty bad when it comes to recognizing what people do (especially in really big companies).
     
  3. Kikki

    Kikki Active Member

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    Even barring whether it's fair or not, or how many companies may use this policy, it makes no sense. It makes the credits completely meaningless, if all they are is a staff roll-call and have nothing to do with who actually worked on the project. With a policy like this, all the credits mean is 'This is who worked for Xseed at the time of release. No, they didn't all work on this project, but they were in the building somewhere some of the time!'

    What about freelancers or extra help brought in just for that project? Does that mean they get no credit at all, for anything, ever? I don't know how it works, but certainly how it appears from the surface makes no sense to me.
     
    Ammy175 likes this.
  4. Terro

    Terro Well-Known Member

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    Freelance/contract people are at the bottom of the totem pole. Since they aren't "real employees" I feel like a lot of companies, in general, just treat them as ghosts (aka "free work", essentially). Kinda like interns being the "get the coffee" guys or whatever. Paints a picture on how there's a lot of messed up stuff in corporations these days :/
     
  5. Ammy175

    Ammy175 Well-Known Member

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    Big yes right here. Asking to not be credited is one thing, but having to keep your job to be credited??? And then yeah, I pointed it out, but I seriously don't get why someone should get credited for something they didn't do. This whole thing is a bit backwards when you think about it. :p

    Also, the freelancers bit is a good point; I'm genuinely not sure how that's handled.
     
  6. DustyStarr

    DustyStarr Well-Known Member

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    I can understand employees who did not directly work on it being mentioned in the credits, because even if you do not directly work on a game by working at the studio you are helping keep the production afloat by virtue of your efforts, though it should be clear who did what.

    People who put in work not being credited is unacceptable and seems almost like a way to burn employees who left or were fired. I also really do wonder how the freelance employees get treated too, if they have ever even been credited in an XSEED production.
     
  7. AttentionDeficitGuy

    AttentionDeficitGuy Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure I remember seeing Sara being credited in an XSEED game in some capacity (I think it was the PC version of TitS FC, but I could be wrong), so it seems that at least some freelancers are getting credited. Which just makes the decision not to credit past employees who worked on the localization all the more bewildering.

    EDIT: I just remembered YouTube exists and checked the credits for FC - sure enough, Sara Leen is credited under Localization Programming. So again, good on XSEED giving credit where credit is due there... but why can't you credit former employees who worked on the game again?

    EDIT the Second: On the other hand, checking the credits for the PC version of ToCS, I don't see anywhere where Durante is credited, so this freelancer crediting is a bit inconsistent.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  8. DustyStarr

    DustyStarr Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering about Durante too, but I never played SC so I wasn't certain. I know there was some sorta drama with SC and I don't know what it is but he should have gotten credit for his work.
     
  9. Ammy175

    Ammy175 Well-Known Member

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  10. Ryos

    Ryos Active Member

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    In general I just don't like this policy. If you're largely doing a remake using work done by someone/someones in an earlier title, I'm not sure why you wouldn't credit that portion of the work unless they specifically say they don't want to be credited for whatever reason. Now if the company completely throws out whatever effort that person had in search of another direction, that'd be another story, because at that point the ex-staffer contributed nothing. Freelancers are definitely another story as I'd imagine most of whatever they contributed is handed over to the gaining company...such is life as a mercenary.
     
  11. Ghaleon

    Ghaleon Active Member

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    Like Tom said, it's an industry standard... In fact, there are a lot of industry standards in game development that are BS. It boggles my mind when people think Jason Schrier did some amazing reveal when he was talking about crunchtimes. People have known this for over a decade, but the game industry keeps getting away with it. I imagine this standard is merely to reinforce another standard that is also BS. Oftentime game development companies make you sign these NDS agreements where you aren't allowed to work for other gaming companies for like 5+ years, yes over 5 years. In an industry as fast paced as software development , that pretty much makes you completely obsolete by the time it's over.. It's like saying, You must stay with us FOR LIFE OR ELSE LOSE YOUR CAREER MWAHAHAHA. Though I suspect it doesn't prevent you from making your own, which many industry vets seem to be doing as of late, and going indie and such.

    I agree with Tom though, that it would probably be pretty easy, and mean a lot for Xseed (or any other company) to just set up and go, nope, we'll do it properly. I mean how hard is it to give credit anyway.
     
  12. Gintoki

    Gintoki Active Member

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    This is a dumb policy. Credits exist to recognize the people who put in the work on something.
     
  13. Ghaleon

    Ghaleon Active Member

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    Bonus is the original Japanese staff get credit even though they aren't part of the company, and likely never were, and likely never will be. why shoudln't the English staff who are no longer part of the company get credit?
     
  14. Cqef

    Cqef Member

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    Actually they don't. Falcom has the same crediting policy.
     
  15. Ringwraith

    Ringwraith Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, a lot of companies do, and will do that aggressively; if someone leaves just before a project is done, they get no credit. Like they didn't exist at all.

    Rockstar does this, and even uses it as a threat to get people to stay working there in their by now well-documented awful working environment.

    Not a company you want to be compared to.

    It's also a ridiculous practice.

    There was a thread I read (which I won't be able to find now) of someone mentioning it's so widespread, a lot of companies will understand if you mention you worked on <project> even if you aren't credited so have no proof.
    However, this means a lot of people also use this to lie about what they've worked on in a bid to win contracts, so basically the whole system is extremely messed up even if you can avoid the normal obvious problems not getting credited causes.

    The idea of crediting everyone at the company is all well and good (most credits list all the support and admin staff after all) but it's definitely not a catch-all when people who worked on it, especially those who were a major part, of it leave and thus don't get credited.
    Especially when it's a port a few years down the line so you're actually mostly reusing their work wholesale but also deleting them from history books.
    You don't need to include job titles, but you do need to include everyone who worked on it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019 at 11:26 PM

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