A report published by GamesIndustry alleges that The Callisto Protocol developer Striking Distance Studios has failed to credit roughly 20 people who worked on the game, citing five former developers who were also omitted from the survival horror title’s credits.
Many studios in the industry implement policies that restrict developers from games’ credits regardless of the work they’ve put in unless they meet certain stipulations (such as not departing from the studio until the game has shipped), but as per GamesIndustry’s report, no such policies were conveyed by Striking Distance Studios to its employees.
As per report’s cited sources, some senior developers, directors, and designers who made “significant” contributions to The Callisto Protocol’s development – including “really core people who built the studio up” – have been left out of the game’s credits.
“I understand if a contractor does a small amount of work for a few months and is left off, but we’re talking full-time employees with over a year invested in the title, and had a hand in significant parts of the product,” says one developer, who chose to remain anonymous.
“There was definitely some amount of playing favorites with the people who got credited,” another developer says. “My impression is that they pretty much picked people they liked or had some sort of relationship with, and those would get credit and the others wouldn’t.”
The report goes on to shed light on crunch and overtime being implemented during the course of the game’s development, with studio employees working 12-15 hours a day, 6 or 7 days every week, even in the middle of COVID. Striking Distance Studios CEO Glen Schofield was criticized for seemingly glorifying these workplace practices a couple of months prior to the game’s launch.
“It’s a pretty intense culture of delivering and putting in those crunch hours, which is fine,” says one developer. “Game dev can be intense, especially delivering a product of this magnitude, you don’t always strike the best work-life balance. My issue is those of us who took part in that culture, who put in that time, and worked intensely to help craft this product, were punished with a credit omission for not going the extra mile… to stay until it shipped.”
Sadly, developers not being properly credit for their work on games (or credited at all) isn’t an uncommon occurrence in the industry, and has been the case even with multiple major recent releases. For instance, the likes of both Metroid Dread and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart have come under fire for similar behind-the-scenes issues.