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Ex-Codemasters Dev Speaks Out About Horrible Staff Treatment

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A recent blog post by Semmi Essessi who worked on the game Bodycount claims that Codemasters have neglected to pay staff for hundreds of hours in unpaid overtime. 

Essessi says that 400 hours of his own time have not been paid – and apparently that pales in comparison to other workers. The issue had been raised multiple times by staff, but ignored. When Codemasters then made the employees redundant, Essessi again contacted HR representatives within the company. 

They responded negatively, claiming that the staff was fully aware that no overtime pay would be received.

To further rub salt into the wound multiple employees of the company – including Essessi – surprisingly got an extra amount of pay with their final pay check. They were soon contacted and told that there had been a mistake and they’d been paid for an extra month of work. This money was demanded back by the company and legal pressure was applied to the staff who were already stressed by being fired over Christmas. Essessi added:

After laying us off, after horribly mistreating us, after cocking up the redundancy procedure and best of all, just before Christmas, they are coming at us aggressively because they made yet another mistake.” And closes with “I don’t like bullies, I never have, I never will…

Codemasters have responded with their own statement:

As the conversation regarding his personal situation is ongoing, the company has not, as alleged, pursued it as a legal matter with him. The company’s advisers are now aware of the additional comments that Semi has published and these will be addressed with him directly through the appropriate channels as necessary.

Whatever the aftermath of this is, it highlights one of many cases of worker abuse by the game industry that’s been further exacerbated by the current economic climate.

Your Comments

  • avatar
    WC said Jan 13th 2012 3:46 PM

    This should be a lesson to all software developers out there: Don’t give yourself to the company. If you’re doing work for them, they should be paying you for it. Working for free means the company does not respect you.

    This practice is far too common in the game development industry, and despite yearly stories like this, nothing is being done about it. Why? Because the developers themselves need to be the ones to do it. No government intervention, no unions… Just people refusing to work for companies who do not value their employees.

    Reply

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