translated from Spanish: A report reveals poor working conditions in the study of Fortnite

Another week, another story of labor exploitation in the gaming industry. This time they were employed and ex-empleados of Epic Games, the Studio behind the Fortnite phenomenon, which committed themselves to the Polygon portal their stories of hostility, cruelty, sadness and indignation that the company, in its own way, confirmed. More than one dozen workers spoke with the portal during the past months and confirmed that the 70-hour work weeks are regular, that in some cases arrived 100 hours. The study says that overtime is voluntary, but employees who fail to comply with the demands (in particular those who are under contract) are replaced, according to the testimonies.» One of the senior employees said ‘I just got more bodies’. So say you to the contracted: bodies. And when we have finished with them, we were just rid of them. They can be replaced with fresh people who have no toxicity of disgust.» A representative of Epic Games confirmed that employees are dealing with working conditions less than ideal for the success of the game and the company working to fix this – in particular the «extreme situations» as the weeks of 100 hours of work, defined as «incredibly rare»-. Regarding the contract, the spokesman said that contracts last between six and twelve months renewed «based on the quality of the work and the will to work when necessary to meet critical launch dates.» The statements of employees match those outputs of Rockstar Games or Telltale Games who say that pressure comes not only by part of the Corporation, but also of the same pairs and themselves. «In the rest of the studies the extra hours are also considered optional, but workers who are not left to meet their quota know is not only at risk his job but also that their tasks will end up in the hands of one of his companions.» The company gives us unlimited free time, but it is almost impossible to take it. If I take some spare time, the burden of work is elsewhere, and nobody wants to be that person,»said one of the sources. «The biggest problem is that we are developing patches all the time. Executives are focused on keeping popular Fortnite by many as soon as possible, especially with the new competition coming constantly.» What surprised most workers is that changes in the culture of the study occurred overnight in the morning. Fortnite success came as a surprise to themselves and others and the company generated a rate of updates and developments completed becoming unsustainable. «We did extra hours when needed, but we always had enough time to prepare for the crunch.» It a conventional development cycle the crunch (the period during which works more than 50 hours a week) extends for a couple of weeks. But with the advent of the games as a service that demand constant new content to keep players trapped, the crunch never ends. «We are always in cruch,» an employee said. «The crunch never ends in a game as a service like this. Always you are creating new content and more things.» With Fortnite, Epic Games not only changed the conventional cycles of development and updating, but that game has created unrealistic expectations in the public, which demands new or consistent solutions. This syndrome has suffered it Apex Legends, the great battle royale of Respawn Entertainment launched in February, that have a more conventional update structure could not hold the attention of your player base and it has disappeared from the platforms of streaming. It is that new content implies new things to explore for those who transmit games live. And those who are to air six or ten hours per day not can afford to lose relevance. «It is killing people. Something has to change,»said one of the interviewees. «I can’t see how this will continue for another year. At the beginning it was well, because Fortnite was a great success and felt well. We were solving problems that were new for Epic: how to manage a huge and global online service. But now the workload is endless.» Fortnite grew, the company tried to deal with this by hiring more employees. Team went from 50 employees to almost triple, incorporating workers specialized in the Unreal graphics engine to ensure the best performance on all platforms, but it was not enough and, according to the spokesman, continue hiring but «the problem is not financial, but the speed you can find highly qualified employees.» However not all are negative. Some employees, although aware of the exploitation, stand out good salaries, the bonus system and the professional evolution. «Everyone understands it. They are paying you more than what most people earn their careers elsewhere.»» They buy your time and that it rewards. Cayate, low head and do the work.» Of course this level of resignation is not shared by others, that define have a free weekend as an «enormous achievement».» I’ve had friends who come and say ‘I can do it more’. I’ve had friends break into tears. The crunch is consistent.» In this note:

Original source in Spanish

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