The early reviews are in for Darksiders 2, and so far, the game looks like pure win, as it improves upon the original. It sounds like a title that the staff of Vigil Games can all be proud about. Well, those members who weren’t dumped from the project and then had all their names removed from the end credits, that is.
Xander Davis, who worked on the user interface for the game, is understandably miffed at his exclusion, along with various other people who worked on the game, from the end credits of the game, where their contributions were ignored entirely.
“Oh delightful. Just found out I’m not even credited on Darksiders 2 when the UI is 99% from my direction and hard work, done in record time,” Davis said on Twitter. “I led the revamp effort, created the pipeline, redesigned and rebuilt every screen, worked till 2AM every night, worked with leads every step.”
This isn’t a new fad in the industry though, as Davis, who has founded indie studio Atom Games, said that people being left off of the credits “happens all the time”, something that doesn’t surprise him, but does irritate him rather, considering that his employment was done during the dreaded crunch time.
Was whisked to Austin and tasked to fix it, with months to ship. And I did. My team worked as hard as we could. Then, we all lost our jobs. From what I’m hearing now from my former Vigil co-workers, MANY are left out of the credits apparently on Darksiders 2.
In triple-A this happens all the time. A lot, the rule is you have to be employed when the game ships. I was let go a month after [Warhammer 40K: Dark Millennium Online] changed [from an MMORPG to a multiplayer action game], they merged the other UI team, and Herb Ellwood swooped in and stole my job.
After all my hard work. Herb Ellwood only had a contract with THQ. He used the team merging (which we needed to make ship) to secure a salary. Mine. Despite revamping 27 screens in 30 days, providing a new art direction, new layout and flow, starting from none.
Davis also claimed that the delay from June to August for Darksiders 2, was not that the game needed a final touch of polish, but was because the title needed some drastic redesign elements.
“Their coordination was a mess. In Beta, you really only want to be bug fixing. If you have to redesign and rebuild your entire UI, you’re in a state of emergency,” Davis said.
And even as you and your team are desperate to solve their problems, and you do it, that still doesn’t fix horrible mismanagement to ship. Then mass-layoffs and a delay ‘for quality’. I’ll bet. Or maybe a game isn’t ready to ship period and your house isn’t in order. It’s on fire.
It’s just another dark side revealed, when it comes to developing games with hollywood movie budgets, as Davis warned potential developers of the danger of the industry, telling them that they have “no idea yet how shitty it is to work in triple-A”
It’s the price game devs pay. They put up with it, because it’s their dream, to make games. Publishers and studios exploit that to the max. Everyone on my team truly wanted Darksiders 2 to be the best under the horrid circumstances. We all did as best we could.
Darksiders 2 is going in my portfolio. Exactly my roles, expectations, and what was accomplished are going my portfolio. Believe it.
THQ has yet to respond to this, and the game launches next week on our side for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Last Updated: August 16, 2012