More on Manhunt 2 and Rockstar Vienna

Gareth White, a programmer who worked on Manhunt 2 at Rockstar Vienna, also has something to say on the situation. Among other things, he points out that some files on the disk contain the names of people from Rockstar Vienna.

I haven’t played the released version myself, but it sounds like it’s virtually identical to the PS2 & Xbox version we finished back in summer 2006, apart from the edits needed to comply with the ESRB, obviously.

From what I hear the people at Rockstar London worked very hard, and I know that they did more than just censor the game. I am sure they deserve their credits. My point is: so did we.

Comments 2

  1. Mark wrote:

    There’s an old adage about giving credit where credit is due. Unfortunately, the phrase ‘is due’ turns out to be fairly subjective, as well as routinely preverted by human vanity and pettiness.

    So let’s not pretend that decisions like leaving the Vienna studio out of the credits for Manhunt 2 was anything other than a punitive act. Maybe the decision was made to give the credited personnel more importance than they deserve. Maybe the decision was made to punish former members of the Vienna studio. Maybe the decision was made after ingesting large amounts of illegal substances.

    The bottom line is that nobody’s ever going to know why the decision was made — and that includes any situation where someone supposedly ‘in the know’ steps forward and explains it all. Nobody’s ever going to really know why the decision was made.

    But it was made. And decisions like this are made all the time, in all industries. (People take credit for other people’s ideas all the time.)

    For example, credits used to be given out like scout badges in Hollywood, until the Writers Guild took ownership of the credits process. Except….

    Even today you can still get screwed out of a credit if you work on a film but don’t materially shape the final outcome sufficiently to warrant credit — based on a complex and ultimately subjective formula determined by the Writers Guild. The food service people will all get credited in the film, as will the Key Grip and the Best Boy and all the personal assistants and the Cockroach Wrangler, but if you only wrote one or two key scenes in a movie you’re not going to show up ANYWHERE in the credits, no matter how valuable your contribution.

    Why? Because the Writers Guild has a vested interest in perpetrating the mythology of the lone author — or lone co-authors — or multiple teams of lone co-authors, not to be more than blah blah blah — and they need to protect that mythical status. Writers aren’t a dime a dozen, like, say, Cockroach Wranglers, they’re special, uniquie, visionary talents. Like directors.

    My guess is the same attitude informed the decision by RockStar. They can’t have people playing a game that was made by people they fired, because that wouldn’t make sense. Rockstar’s games are made by great people that they employ, not people they fire. Cool people make Rockstar’s games, not unemployed people.

    So Vienna disappears off the map, and once again history is written by the victors. Or, at least, by the people with the money and power on that day.

    Blog Post By: Mark Barrett

    Posted 05 Nov 2007 at 18:34
  2. Video Game Chat wrote:

    Mark: Surely, when development parties reach the dozens, or even the hundreds, the “lone author” idea gets thrown out the window just a bit. I’ve seen many titles that split up the credits between the numerous development groups. They could at least have put the credits at the end, instead of wiping them out completely.

    It might be “how it is.” Doesn’t mean it’s how it *should* be. Though we both seem to agree it’s wrong, even if there’s little we can do about it.

    Here’s hope the debates being raised by all the attention this is stirring can see some much needed progress occuring.

    Posted 06 Nov 2007 at 5:13

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