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Games industry 'burns out talent'

The games industry has a long hours culture that is burning out young talent, UK union Bectu has warned.

Bectu's Gerry Morrissey said: "It's not unusual... to do 12 to 16 hours a day for three to four months at a time".

Games giant Electronic Arts recently settled legal cases with ex-employees in the US over working conditions.

"The industry can take young, green people, put them through the mill and spit them out," said Gareth Wilson of developer Bizarre Creations.

"People are generally happy with their pay. However, the big complaint is about the long hours culture," said Mr Morrissey, assistant secretary general at Bectu.

"People are asking us to get involved and speak to employers' associations," he added.

Mr Morrissey said Bectu was trying to build up a membership within the industry in the UK.

"We are trying to build up membership so we can go to employers' associations and show we represent the industry, the critical mass.

"We are a long way from that."

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speed3722d ago

for those that believe game development is somehow glamorous or high-paying. the pay is decent, but not when you calculate in your overtime and stress. most IT companies that expect too much unpaid OT from their employees really don't give a damn that the rest of your life suffers, its all about their profit. you learn not to take it personally and to just move on to a company that appreciates you and demonstrates that appreciation often. life is too short...

silent ninja3722d ago

100% agree with you

this is one of the most difficult changes jbs in the world both physically and mentally

Bill Gates I Am3722d ago

Seriously, game companies need to stop trying to make unrealistic deadlines and start treating their employees better. A law needs to come into effect where companies are only allowed to make their employees work from 9 till 5, five days a week. So what if we have to wait longer for games? At least we'll still get them, and with them not being rushed, they might be less bug-ridden! You know what's going to happen if they don't change? Employees are going to start quitting in their droves and that will only hamper the industry.

Witewunder3722d ago

Hopefully if they start quitting in droves, these employees will start their own indie game companies. That way they can enforce treating employees better themselves.

ironwolf3722d ago

Contrary to popular belief, there aren't that many good jobs available in programming anymore. If your lucky enough to get one that pays well you take the sh!t to keep it.

The last software development house I worked in, I never had a week of less than 50 hours and 80+ hour weeks were common. But, we usually met our deadlines.

When the company shut our offices down, they took some of our engineers to Europe to work on the follow on to our software package; it was supposed to take 6 months in a development shop with 5 times the number of people that we had. They dropped it and gave up after 2 1/2 years. I talked to the guys when they came home and they blamed the entire debacle on the europeans lack of work ethic. No one was allowed to work extra hours, and no one would have been willing to if they could.

THELANDSOFSAND3720d ago

thats true, if you want something done, get america to do it. they dont give a sh1t about workers, just deadlines.

Dragonopolis3721d ago (Edited 3721d ago )

I personally think we need to scale back our work week to 30 hours a week as considered fulltime. After 30 hours its double time (for instance $6 becomes $12).
I also believe the law needs to be changed to prevent companies from using salary as a means of getting past the fulltime hours.

Personally, a salary should be based whatever hours is considered fulltime by law. If the company works the individual past the number of hours in a work week they must pay the overtime for the hours worked regardless of the Salary.

I believe a 30 hour work week would also create more jobs. Most Companies are stingy about overtime probably hire out instead of paying you overtime. If you need a second job to pay all your bills it is very difficult to work two fulltime (40 hr a week) job for a total of 80 hrs verse working two 30 hr fulltime jobs for 60 which is more feasible. Also with the possibility that fulltime comes with benefits it quite possible you could work two jobs with benefits vs one fulltime job and a part time job under the 40 hr a week rule.

Anyways its time we workers take back control of our Country and our Jobs.

ironwolf3721d ago

It's called France.

Thats the place with the unemployment rate in the teens, tax rates twice the US's, unemployment riots, and forigners who work full weeks coming across the channel and buying all the best property for weekend getaways.