October 23, 2006

[Industry] Indie Built Rape Continuing?

Okay, let me see if I've got this straight.

Access is bought by Microsoft in 1999. Some divisions, like technical support, were eliminated because they were redundant. Unfortunate, but part of doing business.

Microsoft staffs up Access to where MGS SLC is not only working on Links for the PC, but several Xbox games as well.

November 2003 comes around, and as part of an MGS-wide restructuring, about 25% of the studio is laid off. When news of the layoff is let out via Penny Arcade on November 17, Daryl Welsh's statement denies many people a chance to get jobs for anywhere from six months to a year afterwards.

Less than a year later, Microsoft sells off the studio to Take Two Interactive. Wages are "right-sized" (read: reduced) for much of the staff, so the overall effect is more work for less money.

Six months ago, the studio (now called Indie Built) was closed. I know several people who are still looking for work after that fiasco. Nobody was told they were closing, not even the studio head. They came in to chained doors, and it took several months for people to get their personal belongings. Some people still haven't received theirs.

And now, people from Take Two are writing former employees trying to leech out additional information on tools and techniques that they had created while there.

I'm speechless. I'll back Take Two's rights to make the games that they want to make, but at the same time, the human toll here...wow.


dr.d00m said...
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dr.d00m said...

Thank you to Okie and Rom for posting about these happenings. I was one of the 3 people to recieve the e-mail. Unfortunately I'm not exactly a blogging/public kind of guy.

If anyone cares I did actually spend some time replying to him, if there is any interest I would be happy to post the e-mail. In short, I did offer my services, on one condition. I told him he would need to find those responsible for making decisions regarding closing Indie Built and have them set up a meeting in Salt Lake City to publicly apologize for what they did.

Also, this has fueled my fire to rewrite some of these tools as either open source or commercially available tools (both with the stipulation that they can never be used by a Take Two affliiated company). It might still take some coaxing though so if you have any opinion on this feel free to let me know.

P.S. Sorry to hijack your blog, Rom but I am tired of being publicly silent and have nowhere else to post this stuff.

Michael Russell said...

Don't worry about it, man.

Maybe we can talk it over sometime this week via IM.