The Case of the L.A. Noire Credits Fiasco

L.A. Noire, released to much fanfare last month, brought an incredible level of technology to bat in the fight for your gaming dollar. It's facial animation systems, unique gameplay and heavily researched visuals made for quite the package; but did the developer (Team Bondi) and publisher (Rockstar) play fair when it came time to credit the people that created the game?

The Sydney Morning Herald is suggesting otherwise. They're carrying a story about the website, a site that purports to include the full list of people involved in the game's creation - rather than the allegedly abbreviated list included in the game itself.

Game credits have long been a contentious issue for developers and publishers alike, with many seeing their inclusion at an appropriate level in a game's credits as tantamount to their resumes. With game development frequently taking several years, to be omitted is the kind of slight that most other means of employment have no equivalent of.

According to the SMH story, some of the developers omitted (who did not want to be named, for fear of jeopardizing future employment) had worked on the title for up to four years, including some extremely lengthy periods of overtime. This is in direct contravention of rules set down by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), which state:

"Any person, contractor or employee, who has contributed to the production of the game for at least 5.0% or 30 days (whichever is least) of the project’s total workdays in development must be credited"

Staff were told, according to the source, that they would not be credited unless they stayed with the company until the game shipped.


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