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Games Entertainment

Nice Game! No Credit For You, Though 58

Posted by Zonk
from the just-a-little-acknowledgement dept.
In an interview with GameDaily earlier this week, IGDA's Jason Della Rocca expressed his extreme frustration over Rockstar's handling of the credits on Manhunt 2. You may recall that the core group that initially made the game at Rockstar Vienna were completely left off of the final credits . One of the producers has taken the step of speaking out about the poor treatment he received from the company. Producer Jurie Horneman initially expressed his displeasure on his blog, but followed that up with comments made to the site Next Generation. "I get the impression that Rockstar New York tried to close the Vienna branch as quickly and quietly as possible. The offices were closed down during E3 2006, making it likely that the news would be buried ... As I recall there was never an official press release stating we were closed - it even took some time before it was officially acknowledged we'd been closed down."
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Nice Game! No Credit For You, Though

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  • I thought copyright laws demanded them be at least listed.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
    • by Beached (52204)
      They where paid and Rockstar owns code.
      • by Applekid (993327) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @04:43PM (#21286759)
        True, but that doesn't make it any more classy a move.

        There's been a real shift away from giving credit where credit is due because things are bought and paid for. TV for a while now has been fast-forwarding and shrinking-towards-illegible credits since they just can't be bothered with it and are using the space instead to promote something else. Movies haven't had credits in the beginning of the movie for maybe 40 years and instead lump them at the end where nobody sticks around for it in the theaters.

        It's really unfortunate that our ownership and consumer society commoditizes EVERYTHING to the point where an individual's pride and accomplishment is just trivia instead of a display of credit.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Tridus (79566)
          A lot of movies also put little things in the end credits now to make it more interesting for people to stay, so its not all bad.
        • by Khuffie (818093) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @04:48PM (#21286841) Homepage
          What's the point in a list of names I care nothing about? Yes, the list of 100 names flowing before me created the game I enjoyed, big whoop! You know something? I really don't care. Just give me the full ending for the game already. If something impressed me enough, (which would usually be the music), I'll go and look for the composer myself, which is always a simple google/imdb search away.
          • by badasscat (563442) <`basscadet75' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Thursday November 08, 2007 @04:53PM (#21286913)
            Just give me the full ending for the game already. If something impressed me enough, (which would usually be the music), I'll go and look for the composer myself, which is always a simple google/imdb search away.

            I guess you're missing the obvious fault in this logic.

            If the composer is not officially credited, he's not going to appear in either IMDB or Google.

            It's not about displaying names. It's about assigning credit.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Surt (22457)
            You are not the audience for those credits. It's for the industry. When I hire, I care to know what games you've been credited on. Think of it as a resume issue.
            • by 91degrees (207121)
              I'm not sure if it's even that. Do you actually go to the credits fo the games people claim to have worked on? Most people I know are pretty honest about it and interviewers are more interested in thespecifics of what you did rather than the game you worked on.

              I think it's entirely about recognition. And developers get short shrift a lot of the time. I heard a story about a game release party; The publishers gave an award to pretty much everyone who was involved apart from the development team.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Surt (22457)
                Most of the bigger development places will make at least a cursory check to see if you are actually listed in the credits for something you claimed to work on. If mobygames won't turn you up, for example, it may mean you get a question at the interview about what your contributions were and why you weren't credited.
          • The credits are not for you, they are for the people who worked on the project. A lot of those people made huge sacrifices so you could kill that final monster. You don't have to sit through them all.

            Yeah, it's stupid as hell, but I felt a shiver when I first saw my name at the end of a game I worked on.

          • Beat Mega Man 2 and watch the credits. Fish Man, Yuukican's Papa and 2M03CM Man FTW! The credits also provide a nice undistracted place to add another great piece of gaming music, or toss in a little more story with sprites bouncing around the screen. (FF3/6)

            Opening credits do NOT beling in video games, but think they should be available (perhaps soundless) from the main menu for those interested, and in some enhanced form when you win.
        • The problem with movies is that there are hundreds of people in the process that no one wants to be expected to sit through five minutes of credits before seeing the movie. I want the credits to be there, but I wouldn't want anyone to be seen as forcing people to see them all before getting to the movie itself.

          With TV, the same thing, though I think it's unfortunate that they are near illegible, though maybe they are optimized for HDTV, most HDTVs are clear enough to be able to read the credits. If you wa
        • by DingerX (847589)
          Er, you ever look at the credits for movies from 40 years ago? They're darn short, and a whole lot more people than that were involved in them. They were never heavily credited up front. At most, the only thing that's changed is that they've dropped the names of the musical directors. But the standard format has always been "moneymakers" first: stars, then the exec producers/producers/writer and finally the director.
          "Bought and paid for" was the modus operandi back in the fifties. And you know what? Unless
        • by aichpvee (631243)
          To be fair though, movies have a LOT more credits than they did 40 years ago. If every film opened with 5+ minutes of scrolling credits people wouldn't pay them any more attention and would likely just plan to arrive 5 minutes late so as to miss them.
          • by Y-Crate (540566)

            To be fair though, movies have a LOT more credits than they did 40 years ago. If every film opened with 5+ minutes of scrolling credits people wouldn't pay them any more attention and would likely just plan to arrive 5 minutes late so as to miss them.

            As opposed to 20 minutes, as they do now? I can understand not wanting to see the ads or the trailers (yes, there is a difference) but rolling in that long after the scheduled start time has grown increasingly common over the past few years. It has grown increasingly annoying, as well.

        • by LingNoi (1066278) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @06:42PM (#21288223)

          Movies haven't had credits in the beginning of the movie for maybe 40 years and instead lump them at the end where nobody sticks around for it in the theaters.
          GOOD! There's nothing more mind numbing then having to sit through the first 5 minutes of a movie watching either some boring walking sequence, car driving sequence or whatever the hell it is just so they can show some random names.

          Give me star wars style of "BAM ACTION!" any day over that credit crap.

          It's really unfortunate that our ownership and consumer society commoditizes EVERYTHING to the point where an individual's pride and accomplishment is just trivia instead of a display of credit.
          I disagree, I think it's just another blunder by the worse cut throat industry on the planet.

          Now taking people's names out of the credits is a no no. To me that feels borderline illegal. In a movie everyone gets a damn credit, even the coffee maker guy and the cleaner. I don't see why the games industry can't follow, especially when it costs them nothing to do it whereas in a movie more credits == more movie time.

          Shame on the games industry but then this is what they're like. They don't give a shit. They'd soon as fire you and replace you with someone less experienced just to save a buck. That's the industry right now. Unprofessional, greedy and heartless.

          Read any first hand experience of an experienced game developer and you'll see the horror stories pour out. I still remember one an ex-developer told me first hand. Their manager/producer (?) would throw an employees case out the window and scream "GTFO! You're done". Apparently a big muscled ex-military guy.

          Welcome to the games industry!
          • I guess you haven't seen "Once Upon a Time in the West" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064116/ [imdb.com]
            The credits are widely regarded as a masterpiece in themselves. They last for about 10 minutes into the movie and actively contribute to the pacing and epic quality of the movie.
            • by LingNoi (1066278)
              I just watched this movie based on what you said..

              It's ten minutes of three guys waiting for a train.. Yeah.. a real masterpiece with the credits there...
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by zippthorne (748122)
          The "credits at the beginning of movies" BS was foisted upon studios (and more importantly, the audiences) by the film actors' guild. It's stupid and annoying and caused a number of films to take twenty minutes of really boring opening sequence before getting around to actually starting.

          If you go to a play, you don't get someone shouting all the mains' names during the opening act. You're lucky if everyone gets an individual bow during the curtain call. But you will get a program with bios of the importa
        • Then why is it that when I buy bread, I don't get a "credits" list:

          Packaging designed by...
          Flour supplied by...
          Kneading machines built by...

          It's a product. Not high art. And even if you want to argue the "art" route, just list the guy who "owns" the project.

          Why the hell should I care who the programmers were?

          What the hell makes film and video so special as a profession that every damn person down to the carpenters and personal assistants get a "credit"? I've never understood that one.
          • by fbjon (692006)
            Bread is a commodity, film is a creative work, intellectual property.
            • I think if you look at the majority of content coming out of Hollywood today that you'd have to be lying your ass off to say that it's *not* commodity.
        • by pla (258480)
          There's been a real shift away from giving credit where credit is due because things are bought and paid for.

          How many people do you give credit to, though?

          A modern large-scale entertainment project could easily have thousands of people who worked on it. Should the credits take longer than rest of the movie (or game)?

          Also, how do you define who "worked" on it and who didn't? If Random-Intern-Guy gets in because he wrote two lines of code, what about Secretary-Goddess who acted behind the scenes to c
    • by Surt (22457) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @04:50PM (#21286881) Homepage Journal
      Nope. The copyright laws have nothing to say on the matter. Credits aren't required at all, they're basically coerced into existence by the people who need them to prove the point for their resumes. I did work on 4 games for which I'm uncredited, and 2 for which I'm credited. The difference was all in my negotiating position for the 6 releases.

    • For a lot of film screenplays, the project is passed through many writers. They will each make small changes here and there, but only the last person (or team of people) who lay their hands on the screenplay will get the credit. I guess the video game industry is finally starting to catch up.
      • I don't think it's quite that straight-forward, but anyways, the key difference is that credits in the film industry are backed up by union contracts. If someone doesn't get credited, they can take it to arbitration.
      • Close. A lot of people may work on a script but the final writing credit always goes to the person who is judged to have done the most significant amount of contribution to the film. If multiple writers get credit, then the listings are adjusted to indicate seniority. If two people write collaboratively, the credit will read -

        written by
        J. Random Bozo and Hank Slashdot

        If once person writes a script and then someone else does significant revisions, the credit will read -

        written by
        Fred Linux
        and
        Herman Namespace
        • by 91degrees (207121)
          f two people write collaboratively, the credit will read -

          written by
          J. Random Bozo and Hank Slashdot

          Wouldn't that be "J. Random Bozo & Hank Slashdot"? I'm sure the difference between "&" and "and" is significant.
        • You're right that it's the writers guild that has pushed the credit rules and the reason is damn simply. it's called Residuals. Who gets paid for all the reruns/vhs/DVD releases. Money is the entire damn reason.
  • by logicassasin (318009) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @04:36PM (#21286633)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activision [wikipedia.org]

    Sounds a bit similar to Atari in the late 70's early 80's. They didn't credit their developers, so several of them left and formed Activision, which credited their devs quite a bit (commercials, print ads, etc).

  • Why not credit the developers? Why go to such lengths to conceal the closing of an office? What did they stand to gain or loose?

    Seems like a pretty odd way to behave and whatever they did gain is probably not worth the minor shit storm this has kicked up.
    • by toleraen (831634)

      Why go to such lengths to conceal the closing of an office? What did they stand to gain or loose?
      Investors.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by JCSoRocks (1142053)

      What did they stand to gain or loose?
      See Signature.
    • If you list the designers, then you should list the developers. If you list the developers, then you should list the QA team. If the QA team gets credit, then you should also include Operations...

      Eventually, to be "fair", you'd have to list the whole company. If you draw the line somewhere else other than all or none, then you'll be leaving someone off arbitrarily.

      This was one of the arguments put forward at Apple to justify removing individual credits from Mac OS X.
      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        you list the team that worked on the game, then you give special thanks to any other teams that made parts that went in, such as the engine if it was a separately developed engine. it's not all that hard.
      • by aztektum (170569)
        Everyone dogs on professional sports teams because of how they're all about money and the bling... But I still go "See they get it." when a team will come out on the playing field, court, diamond, rink, whatever as a group rather than have their names called out.

        Anyone who cares knows the names of the people involved. Everyone else remembers what can happen when a group works together.

        That said, who the fuck would want credit for that game anyway? This just makes it easier to leave that eye sore off your re
  • Not a new problem (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The International Game Developers Association has been working on this sort of problem and is trying to come up with guidelines for giving fair credit to game developers http://www.igda.org/credit/ [igda.org]. Perhaps this will give them a bit more attention.
    • They could always unionize. Proper attribution is one of the major things that the movie/TV industry's unions got for their workers a long time ago.

      I'm normally not a big fan of unions, because they invariably progress beyond the ideals of worker protection to the farce of earning their officers a fat paycheck. The movie/TV unions are probably the least objectionable in this regard, though, in part because most of them are led by people whose careers already earn them plenty and who understand that there'
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ivan256 (17499)
      As far as I'm aware, "fair credit" comes in the form of a paycheck. Everything else is just gravy.

      "Nobody" watches the credits of a video game. Really I don't see any reason for them to be there at all. It only causes problems like this, and doesn't actually accomplish anything other than ego stroking.
  • Never Ascribe... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nick_davison (217681) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:59PM (#21289933)
    "Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

    I have been left off several of the credits for games I worked on* [mobygames.com].

    It sucks at the time. After all credit is just that... being given credit for the work you did. Not being given the credit you earned is kind of a blow.

    The thing you really quickly realize is that there's almost never actual malice behind it. A marketing drone or some exec's PA is given the task of gathering the names of everyone involved. When they don't know the dev process well enough to cover a chunk of one department, get the names of the people who're out that day, get the names of people who did the original build but are now on a different project, etc... those people get missed. There's no malice, just a complete lack of awareness from someone who has no notion of what the credit means to the people who sweated over the game.

    So, you can get bitter about it and spend energy blaming and hating people... Or you can accept laziness and lack of consideration are unfortunate but they happen.

    *Ironically, the MobyGames list misses me from all of the Planetside games - the one place where my ideas actually got directly included in gameplay whereas I'm credited for plenty of games where I only did behind the scenes work.
    • by Dutch Gun (899105)
      I'm sorry to hear you've been left off of the credits. I've worked on about ten game titles or so, and I've never had any problem receiving credit for the work I've done. I think it really depends on the studio you're working for.

      As a general rule, pretty much everyone in the company received some sort of credit in our games. People were generally pretty aware of the sensitivity of the issue, and did a reasonable job at giving credit in a fair and thorough manner. I do understand how upsetting it would
  • it being an accident as quickly as they could have, and promised to fix the credits in the next patch or a small, quick update. Sounds like it was something that should have been handled with proper diplomacy, and wasn't. Not like it's the first time it's ever happened in a game. Besides, my name didn't make the credits in Halo 3. (Certainly, I'm not a development house, but still.)
  • Its like doing a huge research project or a book with a bunch of people and not being able to have your name on the end. It has nothing to do with the public except those who are interested.

    I would be royally pissed off if I worked one something for many months or years and I dont even get to have my name on the product.

  • Oh cry me a river (Score:3, Interesting)

    by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@keirste ... minus physicist> on Friday November 09, 2007 @09:05AM (#21293821) Homepage
    Can I do Help -> About in Windows Vista and see credits for the thousands who helped write that program? What about Mac OSX? Hell what about Firefox?

    Why do video game developers for some reason get put on this pedestal compared to other developers - it is all coding. In the end, they did their job, they got paid for it, end of story. This isn't another EA scandal here, this is just a bunch of whiny babies.

    • by geekoid (135745)
      Because they are in the entertainment industry...so they think they should get credits. It's the same reason there are 100s people listed at the end of a movie these days.

      Next up they will get a union and demand pay for every one sold.
    • In many prior versions of Windows there were Easter Eggs for showing off the development teams. Of course this left out many people, but consider what Windows is. (Largely recycled) The scale of the project makes crediting everyone accurately a difficult, if not impossible project. Sure, each person can record what they did, but their managers can record otherwise, with people attempting to steal credit. Rather than hire clerks for the sole purpose of knowing who does what, it's easier to say "no perso

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