Hey, fellow Osidianites! All this CD Projekt Red Controversy has really got me thinking and I really want to have a discussion about it. Yes, I know everyone with a Youtube channel is talking about it at the moment but I'm curious about what y'all think here. If y'all don't know about the CD Projekt Red hurrah, apparently working at current Video Gaming's Sweetheart company is the 7th circle of Hell. Due to the spotlight of negative Glassdoor reviews , the game company put out a PR clean-up statement. Here are some really good videos to get you up to speed: 1, 2
Now I wont lie, I'm also starting this discussion out of self-preservation. If you don't already know, I'm a black woman that wants to get into the video gaming industry. In an industry that is 78% white males and with African American MALES only making up 9% of the industry, I know my journey is gonna be an upstream battle with a spoon for a paddle. But I love this industry so much and see so much potential in it that I think it's worth it. However as a black person, the true canary in the coal mine for black suffering in a workplace is: if even the WHITE people there ain't happy, then your black ass is gonna roast.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think the workplace should be adult daycare with everything being fun and stress-free, but as an educated psychology student, I know morale in the workplace is crucial. There can be stress, pain, overtime, and frustration of the highest order but if there isn't any emotional payoff or self-actualization to justify it you end up with what's to be expected: people quitting, depression, hatred for upper management, health problems, rebellion/sabatage among workers, even suicide. Studies have shown a thousand times over, happy employees = less financial and social scandals for the company.
I think the reason why CD RED is getting a lot of the spotlight is that most of their consumers aka people who don't work at CD RED but know their product are really conflicted about what to do with this information. The Witcher series has changed the game, not just for video games, but how to treat your consumer base. In one of the videos I've linked, a supposed ex-CD RED employee joked that since CD RED treats their fans like gold but their employees like ****, they can essentially get away with HR and PR murder.
So I have to ask, are great games worth it even at the expense to the emotional and eventually physical immolation of its employees? Most of us are aware of the infamous "crunch" sessions in the video gaming industry. Those last 3 weeks before a game is launched and in the game developers offices where employees are spending 15-18 hour days at their desks. They're away from their loved ones, bad posture, eating breakfast, lunch, dinner takeout in the break room (if they even have one) on a product that might not even sell and/or review well. Here are some articles (for and against) crunch in the video game industry, 1, 2, 3, 4. Game developing is definitely a high risk-high reward industry and we, the consumers often see the high reward part. But what about the high risk and possibly little to no reward part? Do we as consumers have an obligation to demand better treatment of the employees to an entertainment that we cherish so much. There's the Actor's Guild for the movie and TV industry. We've seen that video game Voice Actors are demanding better treatment and trying to unionize, and some of you guys might remember the 2007-2008 Writer's Guild Strike . Is this par for the course for Game developers? Also this might pertain to us, Obsidianites more because most of us are backers for PoE and PoE II. What if we were to find out the game we kickstrted were forcing employees on year-long crunches and firing anyone who objected, such as the Glassdoor reviews for CD RED? (I don't think Obsidian is like this, but just to serve as an example). What kind of reaction would we give?
TL;DR: Sorry for all the questions asked here. We as consumers often praise the "Blood, sweat, and tears" mentality in the video game industry, but what is too far? Video game fan and consumers have a lot more power in the entertainment consumption as to compared to the movie, book, or tv industry; sometimes swaying how developers work on their games. Is CD RED in the wrong if their products come out so right?
Edited by EbonyBetty, 19 October 2017 - 02:47 AM.