A former Rockstar employee has suggested the company is run with an “Eye of Sauron management style.” The anonymous tipster also said “Many developers including myself never really had much of a clue what kind of game we were really working on until a few months before the game shipped.”
The source for the tittle tattle is Glassdoor, a website that promises “an inside look at jobs and companies.” A review of the site alleges Activision are “Terrible at pay rises,” and that THQ senior management should “Play the games THQ makes, or games in general.”
It’s not all bad news though, Codemasters is praised for “Great projects to work with such as DiRT IP and GRID IP. The Office has all the comforts, including canteen and pub,” and Ubisoft Vancouver get “Wine and beer served every Friday afternoon.”
Many of the reviews for Sony’s Playstation group seem to confirm what we have suspected for a while. “Corporate IT Policies block production progress at every turn. There is a HUGE disconnect and lack of communication between departments. No one knows what anyone is working on,” was one comment, “Communication from ANY management level is sorely missing,” was another. “There is no structure at all to the organization, causing tension and a lot of unnecessary runaround which lessens the company’s ability to innovate and do things quickly,” was yet another comment, “Communication is lacking and sometimes things aren’t done effectively or on time because of this.”
Another constant within the reviews of Sony are accusations that is very difficult for employees to be promoted and there are a number of elderly “fat cats” who do little to justify their continued employment.
I should point out that the Glassdoor review system is open to abuse and there is nothing to stop disgruntled ex-employees giving their former paymasters a roasting. Having said that, a huge number of reviews for Sony highlight the lack of communication, even the generally positive reviews have comments such as “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.”
My favourite review is for Square Enix, a company that is described as “lenient on the work clothes.” Dress down Friday must be an real eye-opener.
Stil hankering for a sequel to Mirror’s Edge? Then you may like to cast you gaze over the trailer for Outcast which, through the miracle of YouTube, you can view above. Created by a new studio, the amusingly named Red Barrells, the game is described as “Mirror’s Edge meets 28 Days Later”. That means it will scare the bejesus out of you then make you run for your life.
“Mirror’s Edge was definitely a good inspiration,” said cofounder David Chateauneuf. “We definitely like that feeling that you are actually the main character and not feeling that you’re just a camera floating in the air with a gun at the bottom of the screen.”
Time to don a stereotypical striped jersey, place a baguette under our arm, wear a beret at a jaunty angle and hop across the channel to the land of David Cage. He has been talking to the PlayStation Blog about Beyond: Two Souls and has addressed some of the criticisms that were levelled at the E3 demo, notably the control scheme.
“What we showed at E3 was in fact a working version based on the same interface as Heavy Rain, but it is not the final interface of the game,” said Cage. He recommends avoiding any previews of the title and to “go into the game trying to learn as little as possible!”
Staying with la langue Française, a lengthy blog post from Bioware Montreal is available in both English and French, ooh la la! It is the charming tale of Yanick, Studio Director, and explains how he came to work for the developer and that their latest project is the next Mass Effect game which will be built using the Frostbite 2 engine. After 875 words Yannick tells us “There is really not much I can tell you about the game right now,” and “It’s probably going to be quite a while before you hear from us again.” Cheers for that Yannick!
One of our favourite indie games, Thomas Was Alone, is now available on Steam for the bargain price of £5.39. Danny Wallace is an excellent choice as narrator, for once, I did not want to stab forks into his eyes.
More indie news, Curve Studios are to bring The Lone Survivor to PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. I am not a fan of retro/pixel graphics but the game is said to have a “lovely cat sub-plot” so let’s file this one under “Interesting, could be worth a look.”
Activision has posted a list of known bugs for the PC version of Black Ops II. The game will crash if you join a Nuketown 2025 lobby if you don’t own the DLC, if you have another on-board audio device and a PCI sound card enabled, if you change resolution while live streaming and if you look in a mirror and say the name “Bob Kotick” three times.
And finally.. It did not take long for the smutmongers (in this case GameSpot’s Danny O’Dwyer) to find a new uses for Wonderbook. Utterly filthy and very amusing.
Please note that this video is NSFW.