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[翻譯] 探討遊戲產業的加班文化


Inside The Video Game Industry’s Culture Of Crunch Time

探討遊戲產業的加班文化

原文網址:http://www.fastcolabs.com/3026161/inside-the-video-game-industrys-culture-of-crunch-time

作者:

While startups have largely abandoned 100-hour workweeks, big game studios seem to be doubling down on engineer abuse.

當新創公司一週無法不工作一百小時,大公司在工程部分也持續用加班來應對。

Crunch time: the last-minute all-nighter, the deadline rush, the sweat and Red Bull and sleeping at your desk. For fledgling companies, it can be a perverse milestone—one which has become largely taboo. But there’s one corner of the tech industry where billion-dollar products still live and die shamelessly by crunch time: video gaming.

加班的表徵:熬夜工作,在專案期限前的衝刺,桌上的蠻牛飲料。對於新創公司來說,都已經知道當遭遇到幾乎不可能達成的時程,加班是必然發生。但在營收上億的大公司竟然也無恥的需要加班,我就是在說遊戲產業。

Culture Of Overwork

加班文化

Over-exertion is a problem in a lot of industries, but in gaming, whistleblowers and disgruntled employees regularly vent to the press, often anonymously, indicating that marquee game studios have formalized the habit in a way that other industries haven’t.

超時工作在很多產業都是一個問題,但在遊戲產業,我們卻常聽到私底下放出來媒體的八掛,比起其他產業,遊戲公司的加班文化把在公司過夜這件事情當作常態。

For most game developers, the crunch is a fact of life. An industry survey of approximately 1,000 developers found that 52% of of those surveyed put in between 40-60-hour workweeks during a crunch period, while 32% put in 61-80 hours or more. Furthermore, the study found it almost always negatively affects the personal lives of developers:

Asked to measure the impact crunch cycles have on their social and family life, 1% of devs respond that it has a very positive impact, 4% report a somewhat positive impact, 17% see no impact, 50% see a somewhat negative impact, and 28% see a very negative impact. In general, devs start reporting a negative impact on their social/family lives when crunch schedules exceed 50-hour weeks.

對大多數的遊戲開發者來說,加班已經變為生活的一個部分,針對產業的一千分問卷回應指出至少有百分之五十二的人在專案緊急時一週工作四十到六十小時。另外有百分之三十二的人一週工作六十小時以上。更糟糕的是,研究指出這些加班會對開發者的個人生活造成嚴重副作用:

詢問加班周期對社交與家庭生活的影響,百分之一的開發者回應有非常正面幫助,百分之四的人回應有一些正面幫助,百分之十七說沒有影響,百分之五十認為有一些負面影響,剩下百分之二十八說有非常負面的影響。一般來說一周工作超過五十小時的時程安排就會開始對社交與家庭有負面影響。

How It Feels

到底加班者的心理狀況如何?

To get a feel for what this was like, I reached out to a game developer with experience at three different marquee studios who agreed to speak to me on the condition of anonymity. According to the developer, the crunch experience varied from place to place. “I’ve had it both ways. I’ve had it where I was happy to stay late… and then I had times when it was imposed on me and it had lasting damage to my relationships and my life."

想要知道到底實際的狀況如何,我訪問了一位開發者,他曾經在三種不同大小的工作室工作過,他以匿名發表他的意見。根據他說,加班狀況在不同的工作室差異很大:兩種我都經歷過,曾經自願的加班,也有影響我人生及社交關係的時候。

The experience the developer referred to occurred from 2011 to 2012 where they worked for a major studio on a top-selling, highly rated first-person shooter. Their troubles began when top brass at the studio decreed early in 2011 that the game’s release date was moved up a full year—from an original Fall 2013 projection to Fall of 2012.

這位開發者2011到2012年在一個暢銷第一人稱射擊作品的工作室服務。當他們的釋出時間被高層決定從2013年秋季提前到2012年秋季整整提前一年的時候,專案開始陷入困境。

“Despite our engineering, creative, HR, every kind of risk that we posed to them, and all of our concerns, we were given a due date… So people scrambled to make new decisions, cut features, deprioritize features, come up with a whole new production pipeline."

儘管工程,設計,人資都把潛在的風險及顧慮提交給高層時,期限最終還是被訂了下來。所以我們只好想辦法,減少規格,調整先後順序,想一個新的製程。

In the mad dash to adjust to an accelerated timeline, the required crunch time began to escalate.

對這種趕工的時程簡直就是一個瘋狂的衝刺,加班只好無限制的升級。

“It kinda crept on. It was like, ‘Hey guys, we’re gonna be ordering food on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week. If you are staying past 7 p.m.; if you have a lot of work to do, email us, and we’ll make sure you get a meal.’" For a month or two, that arrangement stood. But then another email went out, adding another day to the list. And then another.

當高層宣布某一天開始有食物福利的時候,也是一種警訊:假如你超過晚上七點還沒離開,請寄信出來,公司會提供晚餐。慢慢的每天都變成同一個模式。

“In it’s final form, it was lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday and then some people were coming in on Sundays."

最後就是周一到週六都有午餐加晚餐,這時候連周日都有人來了。

The word, “crunch," the developer says, was never used.

但高層從不使用加班這個字眼。

“This is people coming in at 9. Working all day. Leaving 10, 11, 12, 1, depending what they were doing. And then coming back the next morning and doing it all over again, six to seven days a week. To my knowledge, five couples got a divorce because of this. Almost the entire creative leadership has now quit, after ship. It was toxic; it was a toxic environment."

員工從九點家搬到晚上十點十一十二點一點才離開,依照工作狀況而定。然後隔天再來上班,一周六到七天。就我所知,就有五對情侶這樣分手。幾乎整個創意團隊都在產品釋出後離職。這就像是毒品或一個重病的環境。

“My relationships became affected," the developer said, “I became affected as a person. I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating very well. I was going out to drink a lot [sort of laughs] It was the only way to deal…[you start] shirking work, because you feel the anxiety. I’d wake up in the morning, and I’d be like, ‘Oh god I have to go to work. I do not want to get out of bed today, because I don’t want to deal with this crap.’ Because if people on the ground are feeling this, it means the leads are feeling it, the execs are feeling it—and they push down harder and make it worse, you know?"

另一個開發者說到:我的社交關係被影響了。我變的易怒,失眠,胃口不好。我只能透過喝酒,來排除工作上的焦慮。起床前都會強烈質疑自己是否要離開床鋪,去上班解決那些麻煩。基層,主管,高層通通都知道,但他們只會更用力的壓榨,把情形變得更糟糕。

Word About Game Company Abuse Begins To Spread

遊戲公司開始濫用加班傳開之後

The game industry is an insider affair, but in 2004, a Live Journal post by the disgruntled spouse of an Electronic Arts employee exposed the darkside of crunch time. The post described a management that required longer and longer hours, eventually mandating shifts of 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week “with the occasional Saturday evening off for good behavior (at 6:30 p.m.)."

這些事情本來只在遊戲公司內,但在2004年,一篇由開發者配偶發表的雜誌文章發覺EA這間公司的加班黑幕。文章中指出公司高層不斷要求更長的工時,最後就是造成幾乎一個禮拜七天,每天都是早上九點到晚上十點的工時,只有周六才會稍微體貼一點可以晚上六點半下班。

The post struck a nerve in the game development community, and set off a media firestorm in the industry press. Its author, Erin Hoffman—who had remained anonymous for three years for fear of retribution—stepped forward in 2007 after EA settled two resulting class action lawsuits out of court, paying out over 30 million dollars to employees and reforming a number of practices.

這篇文章打擊了遊戲產業的社群,還讓產業收到了來自媒體的密集砲火。該篇作者Erin Hoffman在三年的匿名之後,終於在2007年EA的兩項法律訴訟結束後站出來。該公司給付了三千萬元的賠償給員工,並重新檢討製程。

While “EA Spouse" remains a seminal, widely cited case study in the gaming industry, its impact did not seem to herald widespread change.

當EA員工的配偶這個詞彙被列為遊戲產業的研究課題後越來越有影響力時,它所造成的影響似乎仍未能造成業界習慣的改變。

In early 2010, a group of similarly disgruntled spouses organized themselves and published an open letter on industry trade publication Gamasutra. This time, the studio in question was the San Diego branch of Rockstar Games as its developers crunched to release Red Dead Redemption by mid-2010. Following the letter’s publication, employees of the San Diego studio stepped forward anonymously to corroborate the letter’s claims of poor management, as did a former employee of the company’s New York office, who claimed there were similar conditions at the studio’s East Coast head office.

在2010年早期,也有一群相同境況對現況不滿的配偶組織起來並在業界知名的網站Gamasutra上發表對產業的公開信。這次中標的是Rockstar Games的聖地牙哥分部,導因於在2010年中期Red Dead Redemption開發釋出前的加班。聖地牙哥分部的員工以糟糕的管理證實了這封信的內容。從另一位前紐約辦公室的員工指出,在東岸的總部也有類似的情形。

A year after the Rockstar debacle, a report surfaced detailing comparable conditions at Team Bondi, the studio behind the Rockstar-published L.A. Noire. Last November brought the topic to light again when an ill-advised tweet from development studio Crytek bragged of the thousands of dinners they served during crunch time. And two weeks ago, a Reddit user claiming to have worked on Ubisoft’s alleges numerous unrealistic expectations and unfair demands by management.

在Rockstar的事件之後一年,Rockstar在L.A. Noire的開發商Bondi也被爆出有相等的工作條件。去年十一月這件事由於Crytek自豪於他們有加班晚餐造成的反宣傳後再次曝光。兩周前,一位聲稱自己是在Ubisoft工作的Reddit用戶也指控該公司不合理的要求。

Is Crunch Time Forever?

難道加班情形都不能改變嗎?

Most notable figures in mainstream game development believe that crunch will never go away. It’s an inevitable evil in a field where most projects have an immeasurable number of unknowns and a marketing commitment to a seemingly arbitrary ship date, and it can be caused by any number of reasons. Some of them can be good—an organic response from the team in order to meet a goal that’s in the project’s best interest.

有很多在線上的遊戲開發者認為加班是常態。這是這行業的必要之惡。因為做遊戲就是充滿了不確定性與時程進度壓力,原因不能細數。有時候加班有幫助是由於團隊內求好心切,並可以建立回饋。

But Avery Wong, cofounder of independent mobile game studio Critical Bacon, does believe there is an element of exploitation in the industry. “You’re not in the game industry because you like money. You’re in the game industry because you have this passion to make games. So, a lot of crunch time is tolerated because of this passion."

獨立行動遊戲工作室Critical Bacon的共同投資人Avery Wong卻相信這是這個產業的必然要素。假如你在意錢,那你就不應該在這個產業裡。你是因為有熱情要做遊戲才會到這個產業來。因此加班就是因為這些熱情而來。

That passion, and the insular nature of the industry, perpetuates harmful crunch periods to this day, 10 years after EA Spouse. It makes it impossible to find employment and have a family, and even affects the livelihood of a few who work independently, outside of the demands of a large studio. It’s also why, of the many instances cited here, few of the people involved use their real names.

這樣的熱情,業界的狹隘現象,持續有害的加班行為,從十年前的EA配偶開始。就讓這個產業的員工沒辦法進入家庭。甚至造成了很多業界人士離開大公司變成獨立開發。也造成了只有很少從業人員使用真名。

When I asked our anonymous developer about the condition of their anonymity and why they felt it was necessary, the dev first quoted the EA Spouse, Erin Hoffman:

I am retaining some anonymity here because I have no illusions about what the consequences would be for my family if I was explicit. However, I also feel no impetus to shy away from sharing our story, because I know that it is too common to stick out among those of the thousands of engineers, artists, and designers that EA employs.

當我詢問幾名匿名的開發者這種情形時,及為什麼這樣的情形變為必然時,EA配偶Erin Hoffman說到:我仍維持匿名的原因就是我堅信當我站出去時我的家庭就會有甚麼後果。然而,我也覺得我不需要羞愧分享我的故事,因為我知道這是EA數千名工程,美術,設計員工的共同遭遇。

Then they used their own words.

“It is understood that major publishers have the litigation dollars sue into submission. They may not actually follow through but the implied threat is enough for people to remain quiet. Frankly, it’s not worth the risk to go out publicly. And on top of that, the industry is a very small place. It may forgive, but it rarely forgets."

然後他們這樣說:我們知道發行商在訴訟中投入資金逼員工就範。這樣的手段雖不一定會使用,這樣的威脅卻使大多數人敢怒不敢言。老實說,確實站出來是冒了很大的風險,產業也很小。產業雖很寬大,但從未遺忘。

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One thought on “[翻譯] 探討遊戲產業的加班文化

  1. 說真的
    加班單純只會影響隔天的精神狀況
    員工有心為公司付出的話
    8小時已經很夠了
    人一天真正思緒清晰的時間又能有多少

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