Jump to content
We promise no intrusive ads, Please help keep the community alive
Consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker / add to whitelist / purchasing VIP.
Diablo

Eden Games striking. Due to Atari Redundancy Plans

Recommended Posts

A post has recently popped up on the official TDU2 forums by a member of the Eden Games Development team. Going under the name of 'pberanger' and clearly being labelled as a member of "Eden Team" they have posted the below message and searching for news on this seems to bring up some more info and even a couple of images.

 

What you have to remember is Eden Games is an inhouse developer owned by Atari [previously Infogrames] just like Turn 10 is to Microsoft and Polyphony Digital is to Sony so this is an interesting series of developments and one that could either show up one or both parties or hopefully result in some sort of decent compromise and understanding. It's hard to say anything about the matter as in for and against as obviously we don't know anything about what is going on but the fact of the matter is that with 'Test Drive Unlimited 2' Eden Games and Atari both haven't received the best of attention and respect for it.

 

So where do you stand?

 

Eden Games is currently undergoing a redundancy plan targeting 51 people on 80.

 

We had anticipated the problems faced by the company last year, triggering an alert after the first redundancy in 2009.

 

Eden Games pays now for Atari mismanagement. For several years we are witnessing multiple leader changes at its head, they did not hesitate to get rich despite financial difficulties.

 

Restructuring plans have been following each others for 10 years at Atari. Each time the recovery project was beautiful and promising, and ended in a failure. We are skeptical about the proposed project.

 

Atari does not play the game of negotiations with employee representatives on the redundancy plan measures. Employee representatives of Eden until now have been extremely collaborative, respecting the very tight deadlines of the redundancy plan.

 

To show the employees determination and mobilization, we advise that day, Tuesday, May 10th, 2011, a symbolic day strike Wednesday, May 11th, 2011. We want to:

 

- communicate and interact with the CEO, Jim Wilson, who has never introduced himself to his employees

 

- Have a constructive negotiation on the terms of the redundancy plan, and not one-sided as is the case now.

 

- be sure that an employee of Eden Games is compensated the same way as an employee of Atari

 

- have real visibility on the future of the studio after the restructuring, especially in giving us the financial records requested by our accountant.

 

 

Eden Games employee representatives

 

To help Eden Games employees you could stick your car on TDU2 with a strike theme and post image under.

 

Thanks for your time reading this.

 

Patrice

 

Follow us on facebook

 

You can read more (French) at the below sites.

 

Eden Games se met en grève

Eden Games en grève

 

You can follow and support Eden at their Facebook page

 

Eden Games en grève | Facebook

 

edenstrikemay2011_1.jpg

 

edenstrikemay2011_2.jpg

 

UPDATE #1 - 11th May, 2011: Gamasutra Brief Q&A

 

[UPDATE: An Eden Games employee representative answered the following questions from Gamasutra, explaining that layoffs are expected to actually hit in June, and that the studio expects its latest release, Test Drive Unlimited 2 to sell around 900,000 units. The Q&A follows:

 

So there might only be 29 people left?

 

Yes, only 29 on 80 will remain after the plan is effective.

 

When will the layoffs start?

 

Layoffs start as soon as we have reached the legal time defined by French law (should be around June).

 

What is the proposed project that Eden is skeptical of?

 

We cannot tell you the names of the future projects. Atari told us that they have a plan for the company in the near future, but regarding Atari's previous actions -- different restructuring plans that have been unsuccessful, one CEO following another -- we're far to be sure that this restructuring plan will be the last one.

 

How did TDU2 perform commercially?

 

We don't have official sales, because the head of Atari didn't provide us this information, but we can expect [sales of around] 900,000 copies of the game.

 

We're aware that there were several issues at TDU2's launch, but players continue to play and enjoy the game, so we believe it can be a long-time seller.

 

Have you had any luck contacting Jim Wilson?

 

Unfortunately, we never had the opportunity to talk directly with Jim Wilson, we are negotiating with his French financier.

 

How has Atari management reacted to this move?

 

We didn't receive at this time any information or feedback from Atari management. We hope that this symbolic strike will have an impact on the current negotiations.

 

When exactly did the strike occur? When was it decided that employees would strike?

 

The strike is happening today [Wednesday, May 11, 2011]. It was decided yesterday with the support of Eden employees.

 

Have you actually started negotiations with Atari?

 

Negotiations started two weeks ago, but Atari doesn't seem ready to move from their position at the moment. That's why we decided to start this strike.

 

How do you know Eden employees are not being compensated as fairly as Atari employees?

 

We know the content of all the Atari previous restructuring plans. And the actual conditions of our plan is basically half of the previous one [in 2009]. We're convinced that this is not fair for the game developers.

 

What kind of financial records are they withholding?

 

Unfortunately we cannot give you the details of the missing documents, this would break the confidentiality agreement.]

 

Source: Gamasutra - News - Atari's Test Drive Unlimited Studio Goes On 'Symbolic Day Strike'

 

France 3 - French News Media/Television Report

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good on ya', Eden! :) I think it's pretty clear that Atari is just fading as a distributor. Their games come and go quietly, and they spent too much money on quiet games. I'll admit I'm not an expert on Eden or Atari's strategy, but I see the publisher's move as just another step in a long-running restriction on Eden.

 

Even a symbolic strike may hurt the negotiations, but I say go for it. It'll at least get the internet on your side. :)

 

-Leadfoot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is true, they are masters of industrial action. The fact that they spent enough time working to finish release this game is in itself impressive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The french strike all the time so I'm not sure this would come across as symbolic in France as it would in the UK.
Certain sectors tend to do this here also (Royal Mail not due for one?) so it could be said be for anywhere however I don't remember reading anything about them striking in a good number of years. Now the Air Traffic Controllers of course you hear about them often enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Since they are going bankrupt it would be nice if EA would buy them . EA has enough money to throw on any license and enough people to make any island they wish

 

You want awful underground-scene storylines and ricing with no support for PC when it's about new content, and a part of the series that succeeds a previous part within 1,5 year?

 

No thanks...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen ATARI ruin some games because of their strict policy on keeping the deadline (Temple of Elemental Evil, or Neverwinter Nights 2, anyone?). They always rush developers and make them release unfinished unpolished products. I'm surprised Eden got the luxury of postponing release. I guess it must have been really unfinished by then. So, even though they deserve criticism for the current state the game is in, I'm with them. I wholehartedly hate ATARI, just as much as EA and Activision. Rockstar is the only decent publisher around, even if their prices are steep and the PC segment is ignored.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look at how Rockstar maintained for example GTA, and look at Valve's games, they're both very good companies indeed. I just don't know if they'd be the best candidates for taking over an online racinggame. I do know they will make TDU2 a lot more serious, with some hidden funny things maybe, but racinggames are, especially in Valve's case, not their main territory. But if they can, GO AHEAD BOYS!

 

The strike might become a true war, pberanger just posted on TDU2.com:

 

Eden Games is currently undergoing a redundancy plan targeting 51 people on 80.

 

We had anticipated the problems faced by the company last year, triggering an alert after the first redundancy in 2009.

 

Eden Games pays now for Atari mismanagement. For several years we are witnessing multiple leader changes at its head, they did not hesitate to get rich despite financial difficulties.

 

Restructuring plans have been following each others for 10 years at Atari. Each time the recovery project was beautiful and promising, and ended in a failure. We are skeptical about the proposed project.

 

Atari does not play the game of negotiations with employee representatives on the redundancy plan measures. Employee representatives of Eden until now have been extremely collaborative, respecting the very tight deadlines of the redundancy plan.

 

To show the employees determination and mobilization, we advise that day, Tuesday, May 10th, 2011, a symbolic day strike Wednesday, May 11th, 2011. We want to:

 

- communicate and interact with the CEO, Jim Wilson, who has never introduced himself to his employees

 

- Have a constructive negotiation on the terms of the redundancy plan, and not one-sided as is the case now.

 

- be sure that an employee of Eden Games is compensated the same way as an employee of Atari

 

- have real visibility on the future of the studio after the restructuring, especially in giving us the financial records requested by our accountant.

 

 

Eden Games employee representatives

 

To help Eden Games employees you could stick your car on TDU2 with a strike theme and post image under.

 

Thanks for your time reading this.

 

Patrice

 

May 10th, 2011, Eden Games strike day - Test Drive Unlimited 2 Forums

 

 

 

However, I really think Eden should strike a lot more than just one day to get the attention from Atari. What's one day if they won't have any big stuff to work on now (ye, future DLC and maintaining TDU2, but they take a long time to get something done so 1 day is like nothing).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So when you fail to come up with the goods and you're late... you're universally disliked? I'm sure there is someone, or tier of staff who called the shots over the TDU2 project and ultimately left it in it's current state. That said even the latest DLC has not been without it's problems.

 

For those of you looking forward to Modern Warfare 3 take note, this is what happens when you have a money hungry publisher and a development team with few remaining links to the previous installments which won you into the franchise.

 

They are welcome to strike, if they've been pushed and made to look incompetent then power to them. If they've simply managed themselves badly and got in deeper than they had the man power for then they are architects of their own demise, and quite frankly they can go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's about time Eden spoke up. This pushes me even farther in my anger with Atari. First it was that they use those thieves called Digital River to download games off their site. Because of them, I can no longer play TDU1. Never again, Atari, never...:-x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They aren't getting much sympathy around the blogs, clearly the disappointment of TDU2 stretches much further than the hardcores here. Then there was Alone in the Dark, but let's not make things worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah but what people are wondering - and it's not just with Eden, think Simbin and RACE Pro also (oh man the stuff I heard from the Community Liaison) - is who is the one making and forcing the dodgy decisions. I was always wondering why a fair amount of Eden team were interns at some point also and let's not forget the whole incident they had back in 2007 I think it was mentioned in that [interns] report.

 

One thing I would like to know is who is testing the controls and handling of Edens' games and saying "yes this works fine".

 

I'm surprised also that Atari haven't got Starbreeze making a new Riddick game or even some sort of FPS title as Riddick was unbelievably good. Some good fortune should be coming their way with The Witcher 2 mind you but they can't just stick with this whole breaking even and moving on series of events and hope something good happens. The same people must be at or as close to the top as possible as for a long time they keep seeming to make the same mistakes constantly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i support Eden and its employees. having been on the bad side of "overstaffing and redundancy" myself, i know the fear it brings with it and the effect it has on a person physically and mentally.

 

however, as there is ALWAYS two sides to a story, i cant make Atari out as a villain in this without knowing the whole story and how it got to this point. cant trust the press for things like this, they always have a slant toward one side or the other. neutrality in the press corps does not exist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am very sad to hear about what is happening. :(

I know how the redundant Eden employees must feel (happened to me 3 times so far).

Hopefully the talks between Eden and Atari will be successful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope Eden's actions pay off for them (and us).

 

It wouldn't be so bad if their QA department was made up of 51 people :cheeky:

 

 

Wouldn't a fair few amount of developers be hired as 'contractors' in the sense that both parties knew that their jobs would end after the game was released? Usually redundancies are for permanent staff though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its never nice to lose your job, but lets be honest here. Eden have created a pretty sub-standard product here and it makes good business sense to get rid of staff who are responsible for that or not capable of improving it.

Its a shame though that Atari are too blind to know that and are most likely cutting the team because of their own poor management.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Impossible to say though, isn't it? Atari would get just as much flak if they kept with a (hypothetical) dev team that kept under delivering on their promises and producing games gamers didn't like, even after being given additional time. So on one hand you could see it as them being hard on developers, while on the other they could be acting to address the problems people have been complaining about. *shrugs*

 

Redundancies are never nice, but they are entirely normal in this business especially after a major project has finished (you normally pare back to a more core team to tick over until the next big project when you begin hiring again).

 

What appears to me to be the issue here is simply the terms of redundancy - they feel they are doing less well than redundancy agreements other people had in 2009. That may or may not be a valid point for a strike, it's certainly the typical cause for them in most countries, however I think it's quite deplorable to bring the TDU2 community into the strike, especially in a way that doesn't make the issue clear. I don't mind the effect on Atari, but it's not fair on game players, especially if they are mislead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...