In an open letter reminiscent of the now infamous 2004 blog postings by EA Spouse, a group of Rockstar San Diego employee wives have banded together to lament working conditions at the West Coast videogame developer.
Gamasutra has posted the letter in its entirety, which was signed by the “Determined Devoted Wives of Rockstar San Diego employees.” The group alleges that Rockstar San Diego employees have been in a perpetual state of “crunch” since March of 2009, employees have been diagnosed with symptoms of depression and that mandatory work hours have extended to nearly 12 hours a day, six days a week.
The letter also claims that comp and vacation time have been recouped by the company and that, since doctor’s offices are typically closed on Sunday, those working six days a week must utilize a sick day on a Saturday in order to visit their doctor. Those that do so receive “an attitude presented to them that they pose a hindrance.”
Additionally, the spouses claim that salary raises issued over the past four years have not kept up with inflation and that:
While managing to endure through the trying times, they still were hit with more blows. Again balance is denied, as working conditions worsened with no appreciation. Working harder, longer, faster, yet there was never a guarantee of a bonus nor if there was any earned, when they will be received! Moreover, bonuses could significantly be reduced based on ANYTHING management comes up with, while the employee would have no way to know about it.
The spouses write that if conditions “stay unchanged in the upcoming weeks, preparation will be made to take legal action against Rockstar San Diego.”
A user comment on Gamasutra posted by someone who claims to be a Rockstar San Diego employee stated:
RSG is not a bad place, and for many years, we hadn't crunched a lot. The last 10 months though have been terrible and were avoidable. Same for all previous projects that went through the same extended crunch, and unless something changes, for all future projects.
Rockstar San Diego is currently working on Red Dead Redemption, the successor to 2004’s Red Dead Revolver.