Moon Studios, the Austrian developer behind the Ori games, has been labelled an "oppressive" place to work in a new report.
According to GamesBeat, a number of "current and former" employees believe Moon's "behind-the-scenes atmosphere" does not match up with the style and tranquility of its games. These issues within the studio allegedly stem from the founders Thomas Mahler and Gennadiy Korol.
Moon Studios' almost entirely remote and "anti-corporate" culture has supposedly led to cases of casual racism, sexism and bullying. The founders also allegedly used an "open and honest" workplace structure to openly criticise the work of employees, and would very rarely praise work.
GamesBeat's report says the employees are "fed up" with the inappropriate behaviour of the founders, but no one at this stage is filing a lawsuit against Moon Studios or those in charge. Findings also suggest there's a high turnover of staff, but the founders allegedly use the prestige of games to counter these issues.
Here's part of an official response from the Moon Studios' founders to the lengthy report:
"Moon Studios has prospered for 12 years. We have grown and learned so much over all of these years. We have been privileged to work with many, many great, and extremely talented people. We are truly grateful and proud of our team — those who are here today as well as those who spent time at Moon and have since moved to other ventures — and we are happy to have made a positive difference in their lives. We are not perfect but we deeply care about our talent and are constantly working hard to improve. If we have ever made anyone feel uncomfortable or let anyone down — we regret that and we will always strive to do better."
— Thomas Mahler and Gennadiy Korol
Ori and the Blind Forest was released on the Switch in 2019 and followed with Ori and the WIll of the Wisps in 2020. Both games were highly praised on Nintendo's hybrid platform.
If there are any developments, we'll be sure to let you know.
[source venturebeat.com, via windowscentral.com]
Removed - unconstructive
Oh God, no! Not this studio too!
Well I didn't expect this from the studio behind Ori....
The game industry is really crazy.
Very disappointing to hear, stuff like this shouldn't be normalized by the industry. And sadly that only changes with people speaking up.
Removed - unconstructive
It's so disappointing to hear this sort of story happen, over and over.
These people are supposed to be making fun things; it shouldn't come at such a cost to the workers.
Removed - unconstructive
Not the Ori studio 🥺. Man, this sucks.
Sounds like a somewhat toxic environment but not really oppressive. I've worked in environments like that.
Unfortunately, narcissistic people are likely to end up in leadership positions so toxic environments are commonplace
As somewhat of a consulation prize, at least it helps out their CV to have worked for such an accomplished studio.
@Arawn93 You make a pretty good point, but you DO have to consider other people's feelings. It's just how it is. I don't believe the office is a suitable place for making vulgar jokes, do that with your friends or colleagues AFTER work hours. Some of my workmates were very cool with vulgar jokes, but others would not be.
Nothing wrong with having personal preferences or limits. The office is a place of work first, not a social gathering.
You are right about wanting bosses to praise you though. Praise isn't needed when you are getting to paid to do good work. But some people need it, so it's up to the leaders to figure out how to best use their employees.
Remember we don't know for sure how true this is, or how many of the accusations have merit. Not saying it's not true, just I'm sure there exists many people out there that have a victim complex and or are overly sensitive; and with the current culture we see emerging people can be easily manipulated imo, to feel and think a certain way and feelings certainly aren't known for always reflecting reality accurately.
Again, I don't know the truth of the matter. I don't know the people involved and I don't know their personality types/moral character etc etc. But I don't take every accusation against a company as gospel. People lie, embellish the truth, are flawed, act entitled, can misinterpret things... As well as obviously having the capacity for being honest/telling the truth about things.
I guess I'm cynical about a lot I read in the news these days.
Who really knows the validity of these accusations outside of the people directly involved?
So I won't condem the studio based on this but If it is true obviously it's disappointing to hear
Removed - inappropriate
Removed - discussing moderation
Removed - unconstructive
Removed - discussing moderation
@Tangerine This is extremely common behavior in the indie games space. People Make Games put up a video just yesterday highlighting three other cases as well. There's no reason not to believe the employees. After all, what do they have to gain for lying in your hypothetical?
Anyway, I urge you to watch that video. It might be enlightening.
I don't know what was said, the environment people had to work or if people are blowing things out of proportion. Some people could be overly sensitive and easily offended, there could be actual offenses being perpetrated. Til an unbiased third party audit takes place, I'm gonna stay neutral.
@tangerine my sentiments, exactly.
Removed - unconstructive
Removed - discussing moderation
@Spider-Kev Have you ever been in a position where someone more powerful than you was exploiting your weakness every single day, and made you feel unsafe? You might love your job and earn your money, but it wouldn’t make you happy and wouldn’t encourage you to do your best work either. I can see how you’re reasoning that the world is a rough place and that everyone should just learn to deal with stuff. But wouldn’t you want people to feel happier and more fulfilled if you could do something about it? That approach ultimately benefits everyone.
Hm, why am I not surprised?
Hey @Mr_Fox, I appreciate your feedback. I'd recommend contacting us directly with this one so we can keep the article comment section on topic.
You can contact us here - https://www.nintendolife.com/contact
It's all allegations - no concrete evidence and no court cases have been initiated. This is just gossip as of right now and should be treated as such until something with a bit more substance - for, or against the company - is revealed. Unfortunately we now live in a world where you are guilty until proven innocent, so my words will fall on deaf ears.
I work in the Games industry and the idea this would happen in our company is beyond crazy. I don't understand why people are like this. We've just had a tight deadline and we were working so hard to get things through, we had a last minute issue that delayed us a tiny bit as well. Yet we worked together, helped each other and in a couple of weeks are having a small party to celebrate. Some places get too big for their boots I guess. 'I work for Blizzard or Ori therefore I'm better than anyone'.
Removed - unconstructive
Removed - unconstructive feedback; user is banned
Okay so we just gonna skim past the sexism, racism, and bullying here? Quick to defend the studio?
Welcome to the absolute disappointment of human beings and adult life…..this kind of behaviour has been going on since the dawn of time and will never stop.
Have to say that once again we have articles like this and people jump to the defence of the alleged perpetrators with 'I don't know the truth of the matter but everything I will now type will doubt the truth and honesty of victims to the point where what I am really saying is I believe the company and not the victims'.
Combined with, 'until there is a 3rd party investigation years later I too think they are lying'.
It takes CONSIDERABLE bravery and risk to speak out about toxic cultures. People who are victims of racism and sexism in the workplace often think it is 'just them' or see others laughing along. It can cause significant damage to your career, both now and in future to be known as a whistleblower which is a problem when you have family and a mortgage and work in a niche industry.
It also feels quite sad that in 2022 bosses are still trotting out the 'still learning' excuse for things that many workplaces sussed out decades ago.
The founders also allegedly used an "open and honest" workplace structure to openly criticise the work of employees, and would very rarely praise work.
Lol this is my boss
Removed - flaming/arguing
@SteamEngenius the likes of metoo was hijacked long ago, it was a once legitimate movement. There’s not much to go on in this article, just random quotes from anonymous ‘sources’. Why is no one there taking any action, filing a lawsuit? These type of articles bother me, can be very dangerous and damaging but there’s no guarantee there’s a shred of truth in any of the allegations. I sincerely hope they’re NOT true, that staff there have not and are not going through these things.
"Moon Studios' almost entirely remote and "anti-corporate" culture has supposedly led to cases of casual racism, sexism and bullying."
Lots of businesses run remote, and being "anti-corporate" to me suggests a more flat, transparent organisation and could easily be seen as a positive. I don't see how remote and anti-corporate has anything to do with what makes a workplace toxic. There must be other factors that have led to these things otherwise someone needs to write a book warning about this organisational setup The blame must surely lie elsewhere.
"The founders also allegedly used an "open and honest" workplace structure to openly criticise the work of employees, and would very rarely praise work."
First, this should be viewed separate from the sexism and racism since the two are not related.
Second, this seems cultural (apart from the lack of praise which I'd say is individual), since Austria and Germany are known for open, direct communication that other cultures can see as rude. Read e.g. Hofstede, Trompenaars or the Globe study on culture. This doesn't mean these founders are bad people (which they might be, how would I know), but more likely other cultures clashed with their type of communication and saw it as a negative (where others would see it as simply honest).
My semi-educated guess would from above have been that the remote and anti-corporate structure led to less governance (nice for me) but with the added risk of not having as much insights/control/transparency of interactions between coworkers. If you then hire a few bad eggs they would have an easier time operating with bullish, sexist comments and spreading toxic feel. This is why recruitment is such a key factor for a company: mess up there and you can mess up the whole company culture no matter your intentions (good or bad, likely good since it doesn't benefit a founder to have a non-working environment).
At least above was my guess before reading this in their letter:
"We are not perfect but we deeply care about our talent"
The way they phrased this suggests to me they care more about the performance of their coworkers rather than them as human beings. Then again, maybe they tried to be nice and call their coworkers "talent", but to me it implies how you view your coworkers: as people that should perform or they're "waste", or as people to help have a fulfilling work environment where you help get their life balance right and care for the individual.
Edit: I wrote, "If you then hire a few bad eggs".... After reading the original article on Gamesbeat, the founders seem to have been the bad eggs. I still stand by the points above in general, but in this specific case they seem to have been the main perpetrators of the toxic culture and their behavior had gone beyond the cultural norm.
Removed - unconstructive feedback; user is banned
@Moonsorrow999 as you may - or may not - have realised with my initial, measured response: I won't be baited so easily with childish replies such as yours.
The bosses at it again. Think there is a common issue and it is the corporate structure and lack of employee power in companies.
This kind of suck, I hope moon studio can fix this, I enjoyed ori 1 & 2 and can't wait for their next games.
Wow, I would never, This studio, guess even the best as there skeletons ):
Long rant above aside, just read the original article. Forget what I said. These founders seem bad
Removed - inappropriate; user is banned
Kind of a bummer if true. I'm currently playing through Will of the Wisps and I've been enjoying it a lot. Now, I don't feel bad for enjoying a great game, but I don't feel as motivated to get their future games at this point unless they fix their workplace issues.
In all fairness we do not know the whole truth either way, and this is the situation from only one viewpoint, sure there will be issues like this in a lot of workplaces, not just games developers.
This is disappointing to read. Where there is a large amount of money potentially to be made and extreme corporatism, this inevitable can occur. Sadly.
At the end of the day neither of us was there so its unclear what happened and what not. The cultural aspect you raise is certainly interested.
I am Austrian myself and I agree about your point of direct communication (though, typically Austrians are less blunt about it than Germans). Praise is something that is rarely given and more implied through actions. If you did a good job at work, with a project an idea or whatever higher ups usually reward that by saying something like "allright we will do that" or "sounds alright, we will push forward with this." Praise is implied because your idea/work was deemed a suitable path to continue on with.
I can see how in a multicultural "remote" team this could lead to issues. The key being "remote" because its tough to embrace and understand this part of our culture if you dont actually live here.
Lastly, the topic of racism. Austrians, despite being a pretty open society are very quick to note differneces. These could be appearances, dialects, maneurisms etc. And Austrians are typically wary of strangers and everythibg strange to them. In a company where employees have a certain level of familiarity with one another this manifests in cracking jokes at the expense of your colleagues. These jokes are often "racist" but its expected for everyone to crack these kinds of jokes about each other. So everyone can have a good laugh. To outisders this may seem pretty inacceptable, to us its normal and fun. Again, something you have to live here for to truly understand.
That said, i dont want to belittle the concerns and issues their employees expressed, just wanted to comment on the cultural aspect being a factor in all this.
Part of my job is to train new hires. One thing I often say is that bosses have one job: get as much done in as little time as possible. And I tell them bosses can be jerks--it's not right, but it is permissible at my job. Harassment is difficult to prove, but, I tell them, if you think somethings not right, tell someone.
While I do believe people (and companies) are innocent until proven guilty, allegations need to be investigated. Since it has become public, I think an independent organization needs to look into this. Ultimately an investigation would be good not only for employees but for the company in the long run.
This is the corporate world. Step on others to get to the top.
Most places you work at are oppressive in some way. I'm not sure about the whole "racist, sexist " part.....
I will add, I'm not PC but at work in professional but if you ask me how I feel about something I'll nicely tell you.
It's really hard to go with either side here. On the one hand, I really want for working conditions to improve across the industry (come on people, UNIONIZE ALREADY!!!). On the other, I HATE how the internet goes about doing so. Just because someone's done something bad in the past, doesn't mean that they should still be punished for it today, if they've changed in the meantime. Times can change, and things that were once acceptable can become unacceptable. It feels like a lot of the internet doesn't understand that. It feels like the internet as a whole always judges on modern standards, never thinking to look at the context of the actions committed by the people committing them. Plus, once the internet has deemed you guilty, you can NEVER recover. If the internet says you're a bad guy, people will see you as a bad guy, even if you've become a better person since then. As a person who holds mercy, patience, and the ability to give a second chance in very high regard, that immediate, vitriolic reaction towards anyone who's been said to have done anything wrong hurts me a lot. I just wish people would be willing to see both sides of the story, and would give people the ability to become better after a mistake.
As for this particular indecent, I want to see all sides of the story. If there's real, hard evidence of this occurring, then yeah, consequences are deserved, but these people are most likely to get much worse than they actually deserve, for what most likely amounts to a few unsavory comments. I just wish that there was a different way of solving this other than firing the responsible employees, because I feel like that's too harsh.
Then again, I have no real experience in this particular space, so my words ultimately mean very little.
The workplace practices and culture obviously worked well since they produced some quality work. The only thing employees need to decide is if the renumeration is enough. If not, move on.
Removed - unconstructive; user is banned
Thanks for sharing that. I learned more about Austrian culture Didn't know about the "jokes that could be seen as racist" part, could explain how the founders inappropriately joked with each other.
The Gamesbeat writeup was extensive, but eye-opening. I think they went beyond normal behaviour so seems to have been quite dysfunctional culture they had going there.
From what I've heard this guy Thomas Mahler even discriminates Austrians (therefore his fellow citiziens) by saying stuff like "I don't hire Austrians cause they are way too arrogant"
Really ironic considering the stuff he says
Bosses saying “your work is sh**” or “this makes me want to throw up” is not an example of ‘a direct communication style’—it’s unprofessional and inappropriate in any work context, in Austria or anywhere else. There is a clear difference between ‘direct’ and ‘demeaning and insulting’.
Likewise, jokes about genital size and racial/religious backgrounds (especially when said by bosses and owners) are inappropriate in official company communication anywhere. No employee should be subjected to that on the job. There is no way to acribe that to ‘Austrian work culture’.
The general lack of praise in German-speaking workplaces is a valid point, and I have often seen instances where cultural expectations on this clash. But if you read the full article, it’s clear that the lack of praise is a side note to a much bigger issue.
I find it odd that anyone is surprised by these discoveries. Heck, I'd be surprised if only a few of these cases popped up.
This is not a problem limited to the games industry. It's an overall issue that happens on a lot of work places around the globe regardless of the line of work.
its sad but is true...a lot people x 2?
Those claims sound a little..."allegedly".
Especially because their games were such smash hits. it's curious to have never really heard anything like this during its prime.
Stories like this would have caught on like wildfires in their haydays.
On top of that, we also had a phase where several workers of bigger companies finally spoke out about their employers and it saw massive support from all sides.
I find it curious that no one apparently felt inspired to join in, especially because the claims here sound pretty substantial, given the alleged high turnover rates.
It sounds like a lot were affected, even those not with them anymore and thus free to speak up.
While i definitely don't dismiss it, i personally take it with a pinch of salt.
Removed - off-topic; user is banned
@QueenKittenWrite Centuries of summary and unfair dismissals, blacklisting, industrial relations and changes to employment law pretty much disagrees with your 'um this is probably the wokes again' argument.
The employees are always taking a risk speaking out and should be congratulated for their bravery rather than your assumption that people just make stuff up to get at their bosses
How can comments on here be saying “I don’t know the truth” and then immediately start defending the company and assuming the accusers are liars? I thought you guys didn’t know the truth???
While I wholeheartedly support the devs and this sounds like a horrible situation they are in, I really don't like how their situation is presented as propaganda against remote and "anti-corporate" workplaces.
Removed - flaming/arguing
C'mon guys, it really isn't that hard to have good work environment for your employees
@Serpo Well, I don't think you need to be particularly 'woke' to realise that Steve Jobs was a very, very toxic boss indeed. Sure, he did have some great ideas that lead to quality products, but I don't think the success of Apple was due to him being an ass.
Come to think of it, a lot of great names in tech are not the kind of people that I would consider to be great, you know, people. Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux is also a very difficult person. Or was, I'm not sure if he has redeemed himself nowadays.
This "positive vibe" making company isn't so positive underneath. But it also happened with Pixar, so...
I just buy games based on the quality, not on the work enviroment. It seems at least with game-company's the enviroment is terrible everywhere.
How hard is it to behave like a mature grown adult? Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, ableism, and every other “-obia” and “-ism” are stupid things to bring to work. Be nice to people, don’t crunch developers into depression, and treat people with dignity. This isn’t rocket science.
@JaneBear to answer your initial question, in the world we live in today, it's virtually impossible.
Austrians like to poke fun at differences. Whether thats between two neighboring towns or people of different continents doesnt really matter. However, unlike others we can take being the butt of the joke too. This kind of behavior is not something youll see in touristy areas, so you wouldnt be confronted with it anyways unless you plan to stay for an extended time.
If you cant take jokes concerning your country or heritage and learn not only to brush it off but make a witty combeack (which usually results in you getting invited for a beer) then I agree, youre probably better off not coming here. From my experience with foreigners who have come to study here for instance they learn to grow quite fond of this aspect. To each their own.
I didnt read that in the NL article so I didnt have those statements on my radar. I agree with you, even in our more direct culture, thats not considered criticism and pretty ***** behavior.
I dont have examples of racist jokes they used so I may stand corrected but keep in mind that what people from, say tue US see as racist is not neccessarily seen the same way everywhere else. To us some of the latest outcries that we have seen in the previous decade are just seen as hyper-/oversensitive. What I do agree with though, and I have seen this in person, that if a person is subjected to those kinds of jokes, adresses that they do not like it and feel uncomfortable things are put in place to ensure this doesnt happen again.
I did not expect this for moon studios, but i guess it can happen anywhere. It's really a bummer and i hope this can be resolved in a non-controversial way in the end
@JaneBear Some people value their right to oppress others and take a stance of righteousness. As if they are defending some sacred, divine freedom.
The truth is they are just fearful of anything different than they are, because they don’t understand it, and wish to believe it is absolutely wrong. They believe that by allowing others to be free to live as they wish, without repudiation , they will lose their own freedoms.
Their fear has turned them into rotten people.
They are beyond redemption if you ask me.
@JaneBear It's two types of immature adults running into each other. The "hurr saying slurs is funneh" kind and the "I heard a mean word and now I have PTSD" kind. 4chan vs Tumblr.
The correct response would be "hey, cut that out" and/or leaving the company with a bad employer review. "Oppressive" should be reserved for the Blizzards of the world, otherwise people will roll their eyes next time a sexual assault victim comes forward.
Like all companies in the business world there will be some bad apples in there among the few good ones. You just had to be careful of who you trust and work with.
@Diogmites I signed up here for the ignore list. 8)
@molkom Apparently, remote work amplified Mahler's 4chan habits and he were considerably nicer on camera or in person.
@metroid02 Mahler's reputation seems to be lacking in the DE/AU sphere as well. No need for "I don't know how much you know about Austrian culture…".
Removed - unconstructive; user is banned
In the west we put "small businesses" up on a pedestal so this is an uncomfortable topic, but much of the worst employee treatment I've experienced or heard of has been at small businesses or studios. Makes sense if you think about it - if a petty tyrant is in charge of one, they basically have zero accountability. No HR department, no one from corporate who has to read all their negative employee feedback, etc.
The games industry combines having teams of not that many people in the grand scheme of things, with being a creative field, which already tend to have low employee leverage. So it's not surprising at all whenever a story like this comes out.
Address it with HR, and if that doesn't work file a lawsuit. I know everyone loves to pile on and consume this stuff, but spreading muck on the Internet is not the productive way to address a workplace issue. Most people aren't going to boycott Moon Studios despite talking all tough online, and even if they do that will just hurt the current devs at the studio.
@Coalescence how do you know staff never went to HR @ moon studios or Microsoft?
@Lordplops Yeah, I know. Wishful thinking I suppose.
@Diogmites I know. It doesn’t take much to be nice, but I guess it doesn’t take much to act like a jerk either.
@SmaggTheSmug Truth to this for sure. I fall into one of the categories I listed for full disclosure, but I’m also someone who definitely wishes for a live and let live world.
The clash of perspectives you mention is a good point and it’s not something that is going to simply disappear over night. Enjoyable and welcome teasing should not be persecuted, but I do think a boss or owner has a responsibility to communicate to employees in a respectful way.
The original article is very long, but also quite interesting and puts the complaints in the context of a company that grew very quickly, hiring a staff located around the world who work remotely because the studio has no main office. One layer to the story perhaps is that jokes and comments which are ok when a company is 5 to 10 people might no longer be appropriate when being written in an official chat to 80 employees working remotely from around the world. And it seems that the founders of the studio lack the management and leadership skills to realize that.
Ha, a company’s boss saying “we’re like a family here” is a sure sign of trouble ahead 🙂
@Serpo Steve Jobs was a glorified project manager whose employees made little telephones you can walk around with. WGAS if his abused employees would have come at him.
I see no problem here. Either you get the "corporate" dev where you aren't allowed to say anything and are under an NDA or you work for the "anti-corporate" dev where you can say stuff but it also means your boss can ruthlessly give you *****.
There's no middle ground for this. Having worked for both, its just part of being an adult.
@Diogmites No cognizant person is beyond redemption.
Perhaps this is the reason Moon said they wanted to make games outside of xbox? Maybe MS already knew about this.
As someone who works in film, and has seen this toxic culture begin to finally take a turn in our industry after a few meaty scum bags were finally brought to justice … I love seeing this stuff called out. People also defended Harvey Weinstein and said, “that’s just the industry, babe” so don’t listen to these guys telling you that life’s hard and you gotta suck it up.
Removed - trolling
@MostHandsieBoy Software yes, gaming big NO. One reason why game devs are being treated like crap is because they are easily replaceable by a huge inflow of new aspirants.
@CaptainCluck No, that argument carries no weight whatsoever. The Pyramids and the White House are two examples of "fine work" that was accomplished with actual slave labor. Meanwhile, Foxconn have made and continue to make excellent electronics with working conditions so bad Foxconn laborers have committed suicide rather than face another day at the factory.
@JasmineDragon But Foxconn isn't the Normandy, see.
The Ori studio? this is so disappointing if this is true. Nobody deserves to feel unhappy at work because of bullies racists and what have you.
That's the problem when wallet guys decide how a game should be and game designers have to obey instead of deciding what game they want to make.
I often wonder how true all these accusations are. Either the videogame business is rotten to the core, or employees who were laid off/refused a pay rise are teaming up and using allegations as an attempt to destroy their former employer. Either way, someone is in the wrong, and this is despicable.
@PtM Agreed. Gaming software developers should go to other software, like enterprise where I used to work, and be treated not only with respect - but as irreplaceable parts. Not to mention the pay.
In enterprise the coders where treated like heroes - because they made everything. The suits just pushed paper. Everyone seemed to understand their role more.
Removed - inappropriate language
@JaneBear - The "crunch" part of your comment is sadly never going to go away, unless you do have an endless time and budget. That sort of thing simply exists by the sheer nature of limited resources. And is applied everywhere, you don't tell someone to take their time cooking your meal and getting it to you, and peak hours cause that crunch. Building entire complexes take work and require a tight schedule of crunch, mateinence to Broken structures are the same way.
Gaming is an industry, and most will not have the leisure to whimsically trott through development, there simply will be crunch.
And just like cooking, building, writing, maintenance... Game development isn't for everyone when the pressure finally comes down on them. Definitely a test of mettle. Just look how many people quit a job in your life under the pretense of "They don't pay me enough for X."
The former part is worth considerable investigation when the accusations arrise. Though, some have made a few blots on the record for falsely accusing someone, for each their own reasons, it's reasonable to see why some are cautious about another story, it's becoming "too uncommon" in some fields. Though I still believe each are worth treating with severity, I also believe false reports should be treated just as egregious as the claim. As the court of public opinion is already doing damage regardless the outcome, and will not heel-turn under the discovery of the truth not fully being what they already were led to believe.
I, in no way, shape or form agreed on practices like this, however i dont see the "I will never buy a game from this studio again" that we saw during the Metroid mercury steam gossip, so i guess i will come back later. It is a damn shame since those games are very good.
@Rhaoulos na its not rotten to the core, it has always been like that, maybe some of you are just to young to remeber but it has always been like that. The thing seems to be that at the begining, devs did crunch by free will, cuz they were passionate about their creations, whereas now, its about profit, studios have grown so big and games have scaled up so much, that you need to adapt. Deadlines are more aggressive and in order to maximaze profit some studios must be underhiring. Its a shift in paradigm with a change in generation.
The games were good but not so good that they should be crunching.
@Henmii I think it's partially driven by the players.
I think one of the worst descriptors that has caught on is the habit to call developers lazy. Which plays into the hands of crunching dev studios.
Things which alleviate development like asset re-use or even Pokemon reducing the number of Pokrmon in each game. End up controversies when really the best way to avoid crunch is not to stigmatise efficient development, and not to idolise unsustainable development practices.
@MostHandsieBoy Perhaps workforce should be treated with respect irregardless of supply and demand?
People don't deserve to be treated like that.
My mantra: Making Metroidvanias mustn’t make me mental.
@Rhaoulos It's all the working industries, not only gaming companies.
Removed - unconstructive
One time I ate a Moon Pie, it was so-so 🤷🏻♂️
@mereel Having been here earlier, a lot of those comments were mad about the site's Ukraine posts. So they weren't constructive at all.
That's unfortunate to keep hearing this, i only recently finally started playing the first ori game
@PtM Sure- but in the event you aren't and have the skills/freedom to go elsewhere - you should leave.
I agree. Players can be soo demanding and mean, putting a lot of pressure on developers. Its not wrong to criticize, but don't overdo it and don't be mean!
@Ear_wiG I want little moons now.
Most employees hate their bosses for whatever the reason so unless they produce proof of actual bad behavior will take reports like this with a grain of salt.
Urgh disappointing and amazing that in spite of this the Ori games are as good as they are. Goes to show how talented and determined the people doing the actual work really are.
Honestly if your whole schtick is "we're anti-woke" just get in the bin already. All you have to do is respect other people and not offend, belittle or degrade them and their work for the hours a day you're employed to work. It's literally just the basics of being a decent human! It's not hard and it shouldn't be something you have to worry about getting fired over if you're not a piece of trash who deserves to be fired.
@DESTROYA they have chat logs and records of the bosses belittling employees, making jokes about their genetialia size and making racist 'jokes'. Did you read the article or the linked report?
@PBandSmelly the question is more of whether or not thats actually happening if this is another false accusation mob which tends to be common these days, especially on sites like twitter where someone sees someone else making accusations and starts making the same accusations until there's a mob of people making accusations with no evidence of their claim and potentially ruining someone's life over it.
when enough idiots spreading the same lie, it tends to override the truth resulting in people getting punished for things they didn't do and its even worse when the mob pressures their target into lying.
so, unless there's actual evidence of it, there's really no reason to trust the ones filing the reports.
Gotta love the empty and meaningless comments the higher ups make. In my mind a little caricature goes to a machine, pulls the lever and gets their pointless general public response. If they actually cared they would’ve stopped it before it went public in a spiteful light.
Not sure why my original comment quoting the Gamesbeat article was removed.
A work environment that promotes being "anti-woke" over all else is indeed very cringe.
I just wish that there was a return to professionalism in the work place. Everyone is there to do a job, you wanna shoot the breeze? Do it after work.
@westman98 both extremes are bad. Workspaces that promote a certain ideology to a fault always end up becoming toxic, whether they are woke like Kotaku or "anti-woke" like ActiBlizz. Corporations should just follow tried and true work environment guidelines and hire people based on merits instead of what trendy political ideology they believe in.
It looks as if Microsoft dodged a bullet XD
@Erigen trust me, in this environment, no one is safe. They will bring everyone down until they "end capitalism"... 🙄
@Shadowmoon522 so true.
Strange how any time something like this happens nearly everyone who does the, "I'm not going to take sides," thing uniformly backs the company. You've picked your side, at least be honest about it.
Removed - unconstructive
@MostHandsieBoy Nobody should feel forced out of their passion like that.
@EriXz that's not exactly true. Crunch period date back to before the internet was widespread and games could be easily patched. The final product couldn't be changed after it was released, so they had a crunch period of a few months, then they got several weeks, or even months of holidays as a compensation. Nowadays, the intensive work continues for months after release to fix the unfinished mess and firefight angry people who paid for it.
Removed - inappropriate
It seems that I was right about my earlier comment https://gamingbolt.com/microsoft-was-reportedly-aware-of-moon-studios-issues-and-chose-not-to-publish-its-next-game
Removed - inappropriate; user is banned
These video games were not made with slave labour. It was a voluntary workforce.
Removed - inappropriate
man it is impossible to tell when some of you are being facetious on this website
based on the information provided, we really have no idea if anything negative even happened. those criticisms are so vague and easily thrown around these days that they have no meaning on their own. discrimination is illegal, so, take them to court if it really happened. it actually sounds like many of the complaints came from the studio trying to be as welcoming and open as possible.
EDIT: Just went and read the entire GamesBeat article. I side with Moon. I've seen lots of articles on games sites say worse things about their readers (or portions of their readers) than we said to these people getting paid to do rewarding work. So, if we're OK with it from gaming news sites, I'm definitely OK with it from a professional studio. In the end, it is a shame if not every employee's vision of the workplace aligns with the owners, but, that can happen anywhere.
If you don‘t like working there, then quit. I know it‘s not easy because you have to pay the bills and probably liked it there in the beginning. But ultimately it will leave you depressed and angry. If your company offers reduced work time then you might as well try that. That‘s what I‘m doing at the moment. My job is boring as hell but the company pays well and I kind of get it balanced by following my hobby (making music).
The thing is: if you really think your workplace is oppressive then talk to your boss about it. He might see your problems and is able to help. And if he does not listen or cannot help you it is not the right workplace for you. There‘s no point in posting it on the internet and start some sort of campaign. Try to see what you can do yourself. A good starting point is spending less time on social media or working out more often, taking walks, etc. We all have to deal with stress and it can get overwhelming at times but it‘s down on you to take the next step when something is not working out right for you.
One of the few games that actually made me tear up , this is really disappointing
@Duffman92 surprised when talking to a boss or higher boss is never mentioned in this cry wolf situation.
As many have said we know very little about what is actually being said and done.
To some this might seen as an accusation of the employees lying but a reputation is easily destroyed by damning rumors, I have been in that place a few times myself.
People are very quick to take the side of the accuser.
On the other hand some people are just bad leaders, great artists, programmers, composers etc. but not when in a position of power.
The Ego is easily inflated if you gain control over others and if you couple this with perfectionism this can lead to unwarranted behaviour.
It could also just mean a disgruntled employer wants to get back at their boss and just throw some rumor around and see what happens.
It could also be that the leadership just let everything fester because they do not want to boss around people or put them in the place which also gives them the ability to do whatever.
In the end this just goes to show that people are flawed beings and no one fits any idea of perfection or moral superiority.
It seem to me a lot of people want to be on the side of good but what it truely means to be a good person is not as black and white as a lot of people seem to think these days.
@roboshort you're making excuses for them?
@mrjingles75 care to elaborate? He just stated a sad truth of the industry.
Yup but still don't see any proof of any of that just people saying it, if you have a real case then sue the ***** out of them and see where that takes you, I've seen it myself in the workplace where people were of accused of something saying they had damning proof that in the end was made up BS to get back at a employers perceived slight.
Sounds like a good workplace to be honest. It's just that an open workplace where people are allowed to say their opinion is somehow now "oppressive" for modern people.
Then again, it's hard to say without knowing what was going on exactly.
What's wrong with this industry? Man, WtF!?
@DESTROYA So unless you can see the chat logs yourself, you don't believe it? I mean if it weren't true they'd all be liable for slander, which is quite serious crime and not one to just do to your boss for media attention.
I get the impression you're not ever going to believe them because you want to believe people are being 'soft' as it makes you feel bigger about yourself, or validates your own actions of not reporting such behaviour in whatever your workplace is. I may be wrong, but that's just the impression you're giving off, I don't see any other reason to not take any of this seriously.
@Miriam94 You consider a workplace where racism, homophobia and sexism can be banded about openly as good? One where feature reviews don't resulting a discussion as to why something isn't working and how to fix it but instead are a public humiliation of the person presenting with crass insults thrown at them such as "this makes me want to vomit from my eyes" or "this is a failed abortion".
Honestly do people read the article let alone the report before jumping on here trying to prove how tough they are by calling everyone else "crybabies" and "soft" and bragging about how they have it much worse so are therefore better?
Because if you didn't read it, congrats you've just said you stand with the racism and sexism and homophobia without even realising! And if you did then, well you're part of the problem I guess.
Your a armchair psychologist now and figured everything out about me from 2 posts ...LMAO
I told you from what I seen and know from my own eyes about a particular situation I personally seen myself , your starting to sound like one of those "me too" people that has been proven that not all accusations turn out to be true and nothing happens to those people that make those accusations.
( And before you think I don't harassment seriously I'm just tired of the tribal mentality that exists in these movements. Tired of gross generalizations. Exhausted by witch hunts. So tired of media assassinations that ensue to try to make people pick sides)
Tap here to load 144 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...