XSEED Games is currently under fire for not crediting former members of staff. This is all tied to its policy to only acknowledge its current members of staff.
According to Eurogamer, the US company which specialises in the translation of Japanese games has been attacked on social media, after former localisation producer Brittany Avery revealed on Twitter how her name had been removed from the credits of the PlayStation 4 title The Legends of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel and quite possibly the sequel as well.
XSEED felt obliged to issue its own statement via Twitter, explaining how it appreciated the hard work of everyone who had contributed, but the company policy was to only credit current members of staff. The tweet further explained how the company has never credited staff members for individual roles or when an employee has departed prior to a game's release.
Unsurprisingly, there was a huge backlash to this response – with many replies to this message demanding the company change its policy immediately and patch in updated credits acknowledging all staff members (current and former) who had worked on these game projects. This has also reignited debates about unionisation for video game developers.
Sadly, this isn't the first time this sort of incident has happened within the industry before and it probably won't be the last.
Sounds like something Xseed would do. They always seemed a little suspect for some reason.
It's called plagiarism, and it's illegal
@Wanjia Maybe she's worried about being credited because she wants to use her prior work in a portfolio or resume. People do not like to work on something only to feel like it amounted to nothing.
To make it a bit more clear:
She was in charge of the entire localization for the original (simultaneous) Vita/PS3 release so she was naturally listed in the credits there.
The game was later ported to PC with some more additional work by her, she was still credited there.
She left XSEED about half a year ago before this port was released and is now not credited in this version, even though this particular release had no new work done on it whatsoever and as such uses all of her previous writing.
Very unfortunate on XSEED and I hope they change their policy, this is personally one of my favourite series of all time and I'd hate for it to become more well-known for this incident than for Brittany's phenomenal writing.
I think this wins for most Random Words article title of the year. Is that about XSeed Games law enforcement (whatever that is! May the XSeed police show mercy on NL for this. ) or about an XSeed Games game called Cops?
Acknowledging people's effort should be standard practice. I am actually surprised it's apparently not!
Then change your policy, you can't hide behind that.
Yeah they should definitely change that policy.
And people need to stop desperately trying to force unionisation into every discussion. It would be good for a few people, and bad for nearly everyone else.
It's probably one of the main ways someone proves they've worked on a particular game for their CV. That's important. It's also just disrespectful to only appreciate someone's work if they're still at the company. That's a creepy attempt to disincentivise people from leaving.
Ok but what if you spent years of hard work only to be ignored and have your work resume harmed? This is serious
@Wouwter Reminds me of that episode of Seinfeld.
"I can't. It's store policy."
"But you own the store."
"Even I'm not above the store policy."
As long as their staff is informed when they start working for the company, and agrees to the terms, why kick a fuss now? It's not the first time we have heard them having unique practices about the credits. Another one is if you don't want your name in one game, you're not getting your name in future games either.
Good point. We don't know if they agreed to this previously. If they did, then there's no basis to complain really.
It's still a dumb policy though.
If she was aware of the policy or it was in her contract then she shouldn't be to upset. But then again $75 will get your name in the credits of a Kickstarter game so it's not to hard or costly to acknowledge someone.
This is news about a PS3/Vita port on the PS4 that currently has no plans for a Switch release...
Why is it being reported on a Nintendo news site?
@ALinkttPresent The simplest answers always carry the most truth. Well said.
This isn't exclusive to game devs. All people deserve credit when they've put in hardwork regardless of their employment status. A little, "nice job" or "good work" goes a long way towards making people stay motivated and feel appreciated. I can't believe we've moved so far away from basic validation in this day and age. We really need to get back too basics and help take care of each other in the ways we can. If we don't who will?
Credits are a person's CV in the entertainment industry. They shouldn't have to be (nobody asks to see my name in the credits of the financial software that I work on) but in the gig-economy of entertainment I guess that's just how it works. XSeed would be fair and respectful to change their policy.
@Wanjia this is stupid. Credits are CREDITS! As in crediting the hard work of those that worked on the project. If the person left and you don’t credit him is shameful.
Damn that's so wrong how do you not know how to credit the hard work of the people who made your product? That's like if NintendoLife published this article without crediting Liam, it's just wrong.
They can do what needs to be done - As long as we get Cold Steel 3 on PS4 on time.
This is definitely common in the industry, even at beloved developers like Rare Ltd. I would advise against advocating for unions, though — this isn't 1860, and unions today are scammier than employers. The US version of Donkey Kong 64 omits a Rare tester's name from the staff credits whose name is present in regional releases for other territories, think the name was "L. Godfrey".
@Agramonte Of course you don't care about who's name is in the credits as long as you get your vidya gaems. Go play your Fortnite, bud.
@TempOr Too many SJW's.
@BacklogBlues Hahaha yeah I remember that super 4 hour long credits in Mighty No. 9. I finished playing Mega Man X and the credit is still rolling.
@retro_player_22 Same with yooko laylee. Though it does show that the company do care to credit everyone who backed the project.
Personally I think this is disgusting.Whoever works on any kind of project should have at least their name mentioned to acknowledge their hard work whether they still work there or not.Seriously does it make things really difficult and complicated or something?
While I agree this policy is wrong...I also think posting this on Twitter for internet backlash was childish. Take this to court, don't try to backstab the company. She probably did sign a contract agreeing to this, so she can't say she was misused. The company did not force her to sign up with them. I'm pretty sure she could have her government change their policy on the grounds of plagiarism, but not specifically for her case.
A woman whining on twitter inciting an outrage mob? Something about that sounds familiar....
Can't believe there are people here who think bring credited is just "ego-boosting"?? Mfs worked their butts off and deserve recognition. Unrelated but I also find the fact that people don't watch Notch credited for his work on Minecraft appalling. Sure, he made some controversial statements, but it's still his game.
@G_M Yeah, because I am sure every person here goes and contrast and compare the credits before they buy a port on Switch 🙄
I am also sure everyone over at STEAM is looking in those credits before they buy Octopath today. Nop, they care it is on sale for $46 dollars. Most will skip the credits.
@Drake wow that made this article very clickbaity. Xseed "plagiarizes" someone in a port they didn't work on, while crediting the work they did on another version.
If they have copied her original work over to the new port they should have transfered her name over to the games credits as well, simple as that.
And I think Kickstarter backers should have their own section in the game, a menu to scroll through at your own pace. The credits should be for the developers and publishers only.
@Majora101 I mean. I'm not saying unions are perfect (by any means) but without them.... well.
Also, to all the people here that say that crediting a person for their work is "ego boosting" or that she is a "SJW" for saying this. Stop. Please.
@MrVariant The work that person did on the previous port is still being used in the new one. Just saying.
@grupvilla hm wonder if that carries over well into remakes, probably. Still, I do feel context would've helped rather than make it seem she does 90% of the work, leaves in that same project and they remove her from credits. Though contextually yeah female getting robbed of her work looks bad, even if it's oversold a bit.
@MrVariant The new port uses stuff she made in the previous one. That's the reason why this is being discussed.
@grupvilla you're just reiterating. I know why it's discussed, even said why myself. Just the way is presented could be better.
In the scientific community to be included on a publication individuals are required to contribute to all components of the study: planning, data collection, interpretation, writing and revision. If you don't stick around for the whole thing you don't meet author's criteria. The aim is to prevent people who have contributed very little work to demand equal acknowledgement, and also to prevent political or quid pro quo inclusions.
Requiring people to be present for the entire body of work prevents the summer vacation kid from getting an equal acknowledgement to those who've spent years of their lives working on something. Clearly that's not what happened in this situation, but it makes sense to have a policy/requirement in place such as what XSEED has.
It may also help with staff retention during a project, and I imagine a mass exodus during a difficult or stressful project might have long-term implications for a company.
Also, what happens if a game doesn't pan out but some assets are used a decade down the track for a new game - do they need to credit everyone who used to work for them on a project that didn't work out?
One way to get around this might be to have a general "acknowledgement" section at the end of the credits, without specific roles, so they can throw in the names of everyone who helped out but didn't meet criteria for the full credit.
BTW I'm a big advocate for unionisation, but I hear there are bigger and more systemic problems in the game design industry (payment, work hours) than a particular former employee feeling unappreciated. Despite what people may think she can still put this work on her CV. You can put whatever you want on your CV.
I think it depends on the circumstances of the departure. If the employee worked hard and left under good conditions, it would seem petty not to give them credit. If there was controversy or the employee left in a very negative, harmful way, I could see why they wouldn't want to connect with them anymore.
This is not plagiarism. When you do work for a company, the company owns your work. They can do whatever they want with it. Does it suck she's not credited in future ports she wasn't involved in? Yes. But it's not illegal.
Pretty sure you've just described the typical credit roll
is it really that hard to just type their name huh XSEED?
Sorry to sound naive, but I might need an explanation for the last sentence here. Could someone give me some examples of a controversy similar to this?
What if they make a mess of the work after someone leaves. They still credit the person and it harms their future opportunities?
Then there would be accusations of why someone’s name was used on a product they were not involved with until the end and they have been misrepresented?
@Galenmereth I don't really know the law where Xseed is, I just stated a possibillity. Of course they can't do it if its illegal.
@TempOr He was removed from the title screen. He appears in the credits still.
@JohnQuixote It's true that putting all the people that participate in multiple versions of a game sounds kinda overkill. Like, when a game is released in 4 different generation of consoles, it would make the credits quite long to credit everyone that was on the company at every case. Even though I understand her point. She did work that appeared in this new port but they took her name out. That can be upsetting. And mentioning the previous development team (with a "special thanks to all the people that made the original version happen" and the key roles) I think is a must tho.
And it's true unionizing won't instantly solve all the problems the videogame industry has with the working conditions... What it needs to happen is a strike during the crunch time of big videogame releases as a wake up call to their bosses against the poor working conditions and threads against speaking up (common practises in a bunch of big videogame publishers). The thing is, to achieve that you would need a way to unite enough workers for it to matter... and how do you do that?
no one has a right to be in the credits. having a credit roll is just a custom, nothing more. and being included in it is just courtesy. employees work for the company and they forfeit all rights of their creative work to the company.
To those talking about not giving credits maybe you should go tell that to the US music artists and see how the reply back.
If this was listed in their contracts when they signed on then its on them and should have negotiated that before signing the doted line but if it its not listed on the contract than yea take them to court.
@Wanjia Removing a person's credit from their art basically takes away what little claim they ever had to it. It's always despicable to remove anybody's credit from a project without them explicitly asking for it to be removed.
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