advocacy games industry recruiting

Team Bondi: apparently, working weekends is “inevitable”

In yet another Team-Bondi-is-great-and-I-<3-the-Crunch letter, Dave Hieronymous manages to come across as a corporate apologist, or simply delusional. Heard of the 5-days-a-week working week? Well ... reading Dave’s open letter … I guess everyone else on the planet is just … a slacker? … not trying hard enough?

“Recognising that working on the weekend was inevitable”

Your project took 7 years.


For a project that most industry professionals I’ve spoken to agree could/should have been done in 2-3 years.

And working weekends was “inevitable”?


“I never (and in my experience, neither did any of the other managers) expected anything from my team that I didn’t expect of myself. The management team at Team Bondi was not ensconced in an Ivory Tower working normal hours while everyone else crunched. Brendan himself worked very long hours and few of us here in the studio are aware of how grueling the DA and motion capture shoot in LA was.”

So … do you believ that if you’re a sado-masochistic idiot who has no personal or social life and hates every living thing on the planet, including yourself … it’s no longer “abuse” if you force other people to live the same way?

I’ve already called Brendan out on this. So, for Dave, let’s recap: for the managers to work extra hours, when they’re sitting on vast amounts of equity and/or typically much larger salary packages (a 2x multiple – or more – is common), is one thing.

For them to tell everyone else – who is being rewarded very little by comparison – is another thing entirely.

Also, Brendan chooses what hours to work. His employees get told. “Agency” is a pretty huge thing in human psychology, and is a big part of that thing we call “Freedom”. You cannot simply ignore it.

Team Bondi: even their staunchest defenders keep damning it. If they offer you a job, I advise you: Run, don’t walk, in the opposite direction.

advocacy games industry

Team Bondi: A child takes …2? … weeks

This letter to the IGDA, apparently defending Team Bondi’s alleged abuse of their game-developers, seems to me to be damning with faint praise – or just showing that the author is shockingly naive. e.g.:

“I had two kids during the project, Team Bondi offered me each time one extra week off ( on top of the required week )”

According to online resources on AU paternity leave, the legal minimum is “Up to 1 week unpaid taken at time of birth … Employer has right to refuse.”.

OK, so Australia has/had a barbaric paternity leave system (which, incidentally, is being massively overhauled in 2011). But it’s really nothing to be proud of that your employer gave a new father 2 weeks of leave instead of 1. I wouldn’t want a new father back in the office for at least a month – even if we were desperate for staff in those weeks, the guy’s going to be massively sleep-deprived, charged with a whole new set of emotions, etc. Not good for him, not good for his colleagues.

And, really … do you feel it’s OK to take someone’s child away from them for 13 hours at a time, after just one week?