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Darksiders II Designer Speaks Out On Conditions During Development

Posted on Wednesday, August 15 @ 16:30:13 PST by

If I hadn't said anything, nobody would've even noticed. Who reads credits anyway? No one. I know it probably doesn't even matter. But you know, what? I read them. It matters. After the hell that I went through, after giving Vigil everything and more, like so many others, after doing my job and doing it well and leading with no support, in record time... once I saw the credits, I simply couldn't stand to let that pass.

That's Xander Davis, a UI designer on Darksiders II who's taken to Twitter to speak out about how he was treated by management at Vigil Games. Davis continues:

What's crazy is most aspiring game developers have no idea yet how shitty it is to work in triple-A. My life has been a nightmare for 3 yrs. Let's say it'd be pretty crazy with 30 days left to ship to revamp the UI, that wasn't good enough. Vigil kept pushing harder.

Destructoid reports and notes that late hours, at one point falling asleep at his desk only to wake up and work 14 hours straight on the weekend. Davis was then terminated. Vigil Games General Manager David Adams', who is named by Davis along with Herb Ellwood, the developer who eventually obtained Davis's job title, said:

While employment and privacy laws preclude us from discussing the circumstances surrounding the departure of any individual no longer with the company, we can confirm that the employee in question worked for us a total of 90 days, whereas Darksiders II was more than 2 ½ years in development.

When we were forced to reduce staff due to the cancellation of a project, we worked hard to ensure every single person effected by the layoff received their credit in the game. We did not include individuals whose employment terminated for any other reason, for example, being let go for documented poor performance.

Yeesh, someone get these cats away from each other! No, but seriously, this back forth isn't going to reflect well on anybody. Adams continues:

To reiterate, Vigil's primary concern while doing Darksiders II credits was that we credited team members that were affected by the recent downsizing. We were not focused on the issue of employees that voluntarily left or were fired from the company. We find it alarming that a former employee would personally attack and lie about other team members while falsely inflating his contribution to the game.

Another anonymous employee has also defended Herb Ellwood, despite also tempering his statement by agreeing that conditions were a little fishy at the studio.

We'll update with more if we hear anything.
Related Games:   Darksiders II

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