Warhammer Online Not Crediting All Developers

By Chris Faylor, Aug 19, 2008 3:19pm PDT EA-owned developer Mythic Entertainment will not be recognizing former staff members that contributed to its upcoming PC MMO Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, the studio has confirmed with Shacknews.

"Over the years, we've had hundreds of people work on the game, and we thank everyone who helped us bring our Warhammer passion to life, but only current employees that have continued until the end will be credited in the final game," Mythic VP and general manager Mark Jacobs told Shacknews.

"Accreditation in Warhammer Online recognizes the incredible team that has poured their heart and soul into making WAR an amazing MMORPG experience," he added.

An ex-employee of Mythic, who requested anonymity, described the surprisingly frequent move as "dogging out many, many developers."

"This has been an ongoing problem in this industry for many years," they informed Shacknews, while expressing confidence that their work appears in the final product. "I spent three years on WAR and I, including many other people who spent just as much if not close to the same amount of time, will NOT be credited in the game."

Mythic announced that it had acquired the license for Warhammer Online in 2005. Following numerous delays, the title is slated to launch on September 18.

"I was told they made SURE to not include anyone in the list who was not at the office the day of the credit list creation," the one-time staff member continued. "This is wrong on many levels and should not go unnoticed."

The subject of accreditation and the criteria surrounding it is a major issue among the development community.

"Game credits are often inconsistent from game to game within the same company," claimed the International Game Developers Association, which has formed a dedicated committee to draft crediting standards for the gaming industry.

At present, the IGDA suggests its members credit "any person...who has contributed to the production of the game for at least 30 days of a 12-month or greater project...[or] any person who has contributed during 10% of the project's total time in development [for projects shorter than 12 months]."

A glance at the IGDA's list of studio members reveals only three EA studios as members--EA Montreal, EA Mobile Montreal and EA Partners--suggesting that EA does not have a blanket policy on accreditation and leaves those decisions up to the individual subsidiaries.

"The actual people who do the menial tasks and long hard hours deserve their credit," our source concluded. "If our work is to be 'shown' in a game and 'shipped' on a released game then that developer should be credited...I wish to get all former employees of EA Mythic / Mythic Entertainment together to discuss this and possibly take legal action against EA."

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32 Threads | 144 Comments
  • This happened to me. Really burned my britches; after spending a whole year working on Halo2 as a contract employee, my max end date arrived. I left with a few others that were maxed out only to find out a few months later that we were all "forgotten". What really sucked, is that they knew the problem before it was too late and still decided not to spend that extra 30 minutes to fix it. I worked on other games after that which were great experiences, but Halo2 really left a bad taste in my mouth and ultimately, I ended up leaving the game biz to further my career as a developer. So far it has been a great move for me.

  • Its not EA that does this, its a Mythic Entertainment policy now, 'supposedly'. This is a classic Mark Jacobs move and he's done it many times pretending its not his fault that the developer was mysteriously removed from the credits. It doesn't hurt him any to keep you in the credits, but he takes it personally and has now made it policy. Funny thing is, if you come in at the tail end of the project for 2 months, you get FULL credit, but if you leave after working on a Mythic project for 2 years, 1 month before its released, you get nothing. When I left I was told "...and don't worry about your credits, you're all set."

    Its an a$$ move, but that's just who Mark Jacobs is. Even EA gives you "supporting artist" credits for working on something for 2 months.

  • I hate companies with such practices. And trust me EA is not the only one. I used to work for Nintendo of Europe, for almost two years, and was never, ever credited in their games.

    I worked my ass off on Metroid Prime 3, Mario Galaxy and other projects, and was really proud on working on them, but technically, I have no proof I was working on them at all!

    Their policy was: if you do not have a permanent contract (aka you have been working for them for at least 3 years), you are not worthy of being mentioned in the credits! This sickens me deeply, as most of my colleagues, as I, deserved to be mentioned in the credits after the hard work we put into it. It’s just f***ing text for crying out loud!

    Just for the joke, if you have a European copy of Metroid Prime 3, check the Localization Testing Team Credits. Out of 30 testers, only one name shows up since he was the only one with a permanent contract. So basically Nintendo says “only one German dude tested this game in all 5 languages.”

    Today I work in another company in a much higher position, and I am the one who compiles the Credits. I make sure to leave no one out, even the interns. If you had any role in making a game, as insignificant as it may be, you should be credited.

  • This goes along with 'responsibilities of positions aren't standardized, making credits misleading' - both are well known and discussed issues with credits.

    Unlike the movie industry, the game industry doesn't have any standards here. Nothing is promised unless you get it in your contract. Most devs try to be fair to all parties, but will prefer to be fair to current employees over people who left.

    In many cases, people who contributed but are no longer at the company are listed under 'special thanks' or other such headings. Some publishers are stricter with who they want in the credits - just like they want their own staff listed first at times.

    In other words, nothing to see here, move along. This battle needs to be fought at a much larger level if people want change.

  • This is a very common practice to not list people who don't work at a company when the credits are made. It is also common to list people who didn't work on the game, as long as they work at the company when the credits are made.

    To those who are saying it's incredibly terrible and that you wouldn't buy a product done that way...keep in mind...many of the companies you love actually do this. I've personally never understood why (i have to assume there is some weird legal reason), but it's common.

    I've never been effected by it or known anyone effected by it because probably 90% or more of hires (of significant value) in the game industry result from a process that starts from word of mouth and/or networking.

  • Here's the reason I think this is bullshit:

    It's not just the dev team that will end up in the credits, but every single person in the entire EA company that ever saw or heard of the game. The IT guy who burned builds for QA will be mentioned even if he never played the game, the QA people who didn't actually test this specific game (but is still part of the EA QA team) will be mentioned, and tons and tons more who really didn't contribute to the game will be mentioned.

    That fact in and of itself is fine. Sure, credit everyone who wants it. But if you are going to credit the guy who scrubs the toilets, you sure as fucking hell better credit the artist who spent months of his life making that one model, despite the fact that he left the company before the project finished.