Like other gaming companies, Rockstar has dark sides or mistakes that they don’t want the fans to remember.
The name Rockstar Games is relatively cleverly named, as a bright star in the gaming industry. And in fact, Rockstar is one of the most famous and successful game studios, with well-known global brands such as Manhunt, Grand Theft Auto, Bully, Red Dead Redemption with a big open world, side quests, diverse main quest routes, making players entirely immersed into the game world.
However, a good game does not mean that the developer is perfect. Games are just the last stage of a firm, and before and inside, companies always have the dark side that management never wants to show. Rockstar is no exception.
The salary difference between men and women in the company
In a gaming company environment, the culture of sex between men and women is relatively sensitive. They may declare good things about equality on the surface, but inside, there is always a dark side that not everyone knows. According to the International Association of Game Developers, about 23% of developers are women, which may increase over time. However, not all studios pay equal to men and women. Rockstar in the UK is such a case.
According to calculations in the UK, the average salary between the sexes is about 18.4% difference, but this index is not as high as in Rockstar North company in this country. The report shows that in 2018, the average hourly wage at Rockstar in the UK for women is 64% lower than for male employees.
Since these figures are publicly available, Rockstar has promised to close the gap, have more gender equality support, encourage women to contribute, and develop more for the gaming industry.
“Game of Thrones” version of Rockstar Games
At one point, Rockstar was led by the Houser brothers and Leslie Benzies. The success of GTA certainly cannot fail to mention the talent of Leslie Benzies. However, at this time, it is quite similar to the “Game of Rights”, Benzies was overthrown by Sam and Dan Houser. It was a time after Grand Theft Auto V was released. Benzies’ corporate email is locked, the Blackberry is also remotely disabled, and the Benzies database is deleted when he tries to enter the studio offices.
The reason is that Benzies has asked for royalties of up to $ 150 million. Rockstar said that he was too greedy after seeing GTA V become the best-selling game in history and seemed to see Benzies want to “jump on his head to sit”. Of course, Sam and Dan Houser cannot accept this request.
Benzies said it was tricked into paying royalties and accused Rockstar of showing signs of sexual abuse with its employees and violating workplace environment standards. He then sued the New York Supreme Court. But the final verdict is that there is no rule in the contract that says Benzies have the same rights to claim royalties as Sam and Dan Houser.
Everyone feels “disgusted” when developing Manhunt.
We are no longer strangers to the elements of violence, gore in video games. However, the level of violence in Manhunt is different from other games in the same genre. Even this game has a substantial impact on the people who make it. Most people who participate in the development of Manhunt feel “disgusted”. It seems they always ask themselves: Is it right to make such a game?
In 2007, a former member of the development team, Jeff Williams, wrote a blog titled “Manhunt made us feel icky” (Manhunt made us uncomfortable). He entirely disapproved of making the game and said Manhunt was so violent that there was no way to rationalize it. He and the developers had to overcome their tolerance limits. There was almost an internal uprising about opposing the making of Manhunt. However, in Rockstar’s “pet” project, the management does not care about the opposing opinions.
Rockstar rebellion because this game is also understandable. The Grand Theft Auto series at least gives players a choice between ethical or immoral actions. And Manhunt, that’s simply the worst of a person’s nature.
Irresponsibility in gender equality
A problem that fans have long wanted Rockstar to address is gender inequality, even in games. Fans can easily recognize that the female image in Rockstar’s products never seems to be a playable protagonist but just programmed NPCs. The Grand Theft Auto series allows gamers the freedom to do what they want, including violence or harassment. Therefore, many people believe that Rockstar is reducing the value of the female image.
Change.org has collected more than 48,000 signatures for a petition calling on retailers to take down GTA V games because “games like these are creating a generation of boys. adolescent has a habit of violence against women ”. In the end, only Target and K-Mart stores in Australia removed the game from their shelves.
Take-Two, Rockstar’s parent company Karl Slatoff, said it was an unreasonable violation of freedom of speech. “If you don’t like it and it bothers you, it’s best not to buy it,” he said. This is considered by many to be irresponsible to the company. So far, many have called on and expect Rockstar to add a playable female lead, thereby restricting a series of violent acts against women in Grand Theft Auto VI.
The company wants employees to lead a Rockstar lifestyle.
In 2010, a letter from the wives of employees in Rockstar San Diego was sent to management. In the letter, the wives emphasized Rockstar’s harsh working conditions and disregarded the employees’ feelings. Many people have even been diagnosed with symptoms of depression, which can easily lead to depression but is not of concern to management. During the first Red Dead Redemption development, employees were required to work 12 hours a day, six days a week, and reduced benefits.
More significantly, Rockstar believes that working for a company must be considered a way of life, not just a job. Former employees have shared that having a family outside the company is viewed as an obstacle. When these words were made public, the International Game Developers Association made its comments. They believe that overtime employees and exploitation will harm game developers and the products they make, more broadly affecting the entire game industry.
Rockstar’s reaction to this is that they are unfortunate that no company is perfect, that fans don’t have to worry about their accusations. The representative of the company spoke:
“There is no perfect business. Rockstar Games is a united team of more than 900 talented professionals and is always motivated to devote. Many of them have been with the company for a long time. ”
“We are unfortunate if any former member of any studio in the world does not find it interesting to work for Rockstar. We wish them the creative flame and find a more suitable environment for them. ”