Bioshock Infinite was one of the most awarded and applauded video games of 2013 for its great quality in all aspects. The game of Irrational Games, led by the creative Ken levine, managed to conquer the heart of the public with the complexity of its story, how charismatic its characters were and for the imposing, beautiful and brimming with life floating city of columbia. On Vandal we loved it at the time as you can read in our analysis.
Recently, an excerpt from the book of Jason Schreier, entitled Press Reset: Ruin and Recovery in the Video Game Industry. The book is a very comprehensive investigation into the how the video game industry works internally. One of his chapters tells us about the collapse of studios that managed to publish great triple AAA games. It includes interviews with developers of Irrational Games who were involved in Bioshock Infinite So what suffered from labor exploitation. One of the producers, Don Roy, says in an excerpt that he joined the project in March 2012 and was surprised by the lack of organization being a year from the launch.
Bioshock Infinite had a development full of problems that ended up deriving its developers into labor exploitation
The development of Bioshock Infinite suffered setbacks and all kinds of problems that made workers have to work more hours than they should to launch the game within its deadline. Several developers stated that working with Ken levine It was a challenging and somewhat uncomfortable experience. Levine was considered within the studio as a brilliant and very capable creative, but with serious problems conveying or explaining your ideas to the development team of 200 people which is made up of Irrational Games. Following the release of the extract from the book of Schreier, other former developers who worked on Irrational they have shared their experiences.
Developer Mikey Soden comments on his personal Twitter that he is proud of the game and the team that built it almost 10 years ago, but still has mixed feelings with Infinite’s development. Also comment that many employees experienced numerous difficulties that posed a problem for them, the team and their families. The development of Infinite it came to affect the workers physically and mentally. The closure of Irrational Games it was inevitable because his method of operation was not sustainable and their practices should not be taken as an example, although they are still familiar to us.
I’m proud of this game and the team who built. Those of you sharing your stories openly are inspiring. Almost 10 years later my feelings on developing Infinite remain complicated. As folks like @LadieAuPair have shared: Infinite gets the most attention on my resume. https://t.co/MWdQTMdlYB Mikey Soden (@BonusSoden) May 10, 2021
The developer Tara Voelker has also shared details about the disastrous development of Bioshock Infinite On twitter. Broadly speaking, he comments that when he entered Irrational Games, was in charge of the quality control of the multiplayer mode, which ended up being eliminated, in a team of between twelve and fourteen people. However, more than half the time he had Ken Levine’s personal secretary to take specific notes, jot them down as tasks, and follow up. By account, it was frustrating not being able to devote time to their true role within the development team for the extensive meetings with Levine. Voelker emphasizes that he loves the companions and friends he made in Irrational, but what he did not feel healthy working there with all the pressure.
When I started at Irrational, I was the Multiplayer QA Lead. When I left, I was technically QA Level Lead but honestly spent 50% of my time as a personal Ken secretary, sitting in 1:1 meetings to take very specific notes, entering them in as tasks, and following up with Rod. https://t.co/vcQEwqr9XY Tara “Riot Starter” Voelker (@LadieAuPair) May 10, 2021
The Labor exploitation is one of the biggest problems and one of the current worst practices that surround the video game industry. Long development times, internal problems that end up leading to overtime that harm the health of developers and the inevitable closure of studies due to their unsustainability is something rather common. What do you think about the statements of the Irrational team?