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Former Gameloft Auckland head studio programmer calls working conditions 'dangerous'

Jordan Mallory

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Encouraged by recent revelations regarding Team Bondi's working conditions during L.A. Noire's production, former Gameloft Auckland Head Studio Programmer Glenn Watson delivered his own testimonial during an interview with, claiming that the studio's work environment is "dangerous."

According to Watson, Gameloft's senior management manufactured a constant sense of urgency among the studio's employees by creating false deadlines, which required employees to work 12- to 14-hour days, amassing hundreds of hours of unneeded overtime. Watson says he realized he needed to resign after "four consecutive weeks of fourteen-hour days - including weekends."

The studio's employees are contractually required to work any "reasonable hours" requested of them, however the definition of "reasonable hours" can reportedly be changed by senior management at any time. Watson claims that these conditions constitute "fatigue working" under New Zealand's 2002 Health and Safety in Employment Act, and that Gameloft's employees are legally entitled to refuse the work, regardless of their contractual obligations. He also claims that the studio's poor performance has been the direct result of the staff's working conditions, and that the employees would be able to meet the same deadlines with fewer mistakes, if only given a chance to rest.

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