Maker of games, Rockstar has responded to allegations that it is forcing coders to put in untold hours of unpaid overtime.
In response to a question posed on the company's webisite, a Rockstar spokesman said, "Unfortunately, this is a case of people taking the opinions of a few anonymous posters on message boards as fact. No business is ever perfect, but Rockstar Games is a tight knit team made up of around 900 supremely talented and motivated professionals, many of whom have worked here for a very long time.
"We're saddened if any former members of any studio did not find their time here enjoyable or creatively fulfilling and wish them well with finding an environment more suitable to their temperaments and needs, but the vast majority of our company are focused solely on delivering cutting edge interactive entertainment." [In other words, don't come whining here just because we sacked you. Ed.]
The company adds: "We've always cared passionately about the people working here, and have always tried to maintain a supportive creative environment. There is simply no way Rockstar could continue to produce such large-scale, high-quality games without this. That being said, making great games is very challenging, which is why we have and will continue to try to keep hold of some of the best talent in the industry and support them in every way we can."
Gaming industry advocate IDGA said that is was aware of the complaint made by 'the wives of Rockstar employees' about excessive 'crunch time' imposed to finsih the game Red Dead Redemption on time.
"In any studio, the IGDA finds the practice of undisclosed and constant overtime to be deceptive, exploitative, and ultimately harmful not only to developers but to their final product and the industry as a whole," and official statement said. "While our research shows that many studios have found ways to preserve quality of life for their employees, unhealthy practices are still far too common in our industry."
The organisation has offered an open invitation to Rockstar developers, studio heads, and corporate officers offering "consultation to bridge overtime gaps on the basis of their common interest in producing the best game product possible".
IGDA pointed out that excessive unpaid overtime was counterproductive, unethical and damaging to both employer and employee.
The simple fact of the matter is that, for every gainfully-employed game developer, there are probably a hundred equally-talented young upstarts flipping burgers for minimum wage who would more than happily burn the candle at both ends, and in the middle, for the opportunity to work on Grand Theft Auto 5 or whatever the next big Rockstar roll-out happens to be.
And do it with a great big smile on their faces. [For a while. Ed.]