Game industry exec celebrates 60+ hour work-weeks

Just in case you thought working in the games industry was OK now that Electronic Arts has (supposedly) cleaned up its act, Greg Costikyan has a scorching post about top game execs who celebrate "corporate culture" in which people are expected to work 60 hours a week:

Mike Capps, head of Epic, and a former member of the board of directors of the International Game Developers Association, during the IGDA Leadership Forum in late 08, spoke at a panel entitled Studio Heads on the Hot Seat, in which, among other things, he claimed that working 60+ hours was expected at Epic, that they purposefully hired people they anticipated would work those kinds of hours, that this had nothing to do with exploitation of talent by management but was instead a part of "corporate culture," and implied that the idea that people would work a mere 40 hours was kind of absurd.

Now, of course, the idea that a studio head, which Capps is, would have such notions is highly plausible; but he was, at the time, a board member of the IGDA, an organization the ostensible purpose of which is to support game developers. Not, you know, to support management dickheads.

Morever, the IGDA has for some years had a Quality of Life Committee, which strives to demonstrate that long hours are an unproductive use of employees, and that superior alternative to the exploitative conditions at many development studios exist. The simple fact (as demonstrated in its research, available at the link above) is that most game developers burn out within 5 years of entering the industry, because of the absurd hours (for, incidentally, lower pay than programmers, artists, producers, and Q/A people can command in other software and media ventures). (And for the youth reading this post, this is why you are an IDIOT to attend Digipen or Full Sail — get a generalized CS or art degree, so you can get a job somewhere else when you get burned out on the industry. Do NOT get a degree that ties you to the medium for all time to come.)

Mothers, Don't Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Game Developers

(Thanks, Greg!)