Thursday, 14 July 2011

Team Bondi responds to allegations

With the ongoing statements from Ex-Team Bondi staff members about the bad working conditions there, it seems we finally have someone else's side of the story. Today Dave Heironymus, lead gameplay programmer at Team Bondi, posted a statement on his blog showing his side of all this.

In it, he claims that everyone who worked weekends at Team Bondi was generously rewarded for their efforts. Also, to reward people who stayed late for the last 6 months of the project.

"Recognising that working on the weekend was inevitable, Team Bondi put in place a scheme to (generously) reward employees for their weekend days spent at work. Additionally, in the last 6 months of the project a scheme was put in place to reward employees for staying back late on weeknights"

He also refutes claims of 100 hours weeks being encouraged and says that he would have tried to stop that happening on his team.

"Towards the end of the project I was probably working (on average) around 65 hours per week. Apart from a few isolated cases (various demo builds) this was the highest my regular hours ever got to, and at no time did I ever work 100 hours per week. If you think about it, that's 14 hours per day, 7 days per week, which is huge. I can't say that no-one ever worked 100 hours per week, but those sorts of hours were not encouraged. In fact, if someone on my team was working that hard I would have done my best to stop them."

However, there is no mention whatsoever of the issues with ex-staff members not being on the credits of the game, nor does he address management issues that were brought up originally.

This whole thing looks to be pretty bad for Team Bondi as a company. While I can believe that these allegations could eventually lead to better working conditions, it doesn't seem like management wants to rectify current problems and just want to sweep a lot of it under the rug. This could end up looking bad for them if they never get a publisher for their next project as a result, and while I would like to see some punishment for managements allegedly poor decision making, no one wants to see an entire studio go under and have many people lose their jobs.

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