Thursday, 20, January, 2022

Thunder FIC's | Where is the writer's credit?

Crediting those who do is more than an obligation, it is a respect for those who create.

The gaming market is one, if not the, most profitable in the entertainment industry. Year after year, several titles launched generate millions in revenue for companies. Among these are Square Enix, EA, Microsoft, among many others, as well as names like Hideo Kojima, Ed Boon, Katsuhiro Harada and… yes, and? Who are the other names that work on famous games from the most loved and even hated franchises by gamers?

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When we look at movies, comics and books, it's easy to look at the credits. In the comics we see the name of the screenwriter, illustrator, colors and so on. In books you will have the name of the author, editor and even translator! In movie theaters, there is a huge list where even the cleaning staff can be found. It's not just the director and actors who are more remembered than some important names like the script, sound, programming etc.

But when we look at games, where are these names? It used to be even worse. Take the first Street Fighter games and you'll see people's names play around. In fact, none of them were credited! The one who started fighting for the names to appear was Katsuhiro Harada from Tekken. But why is having your name credited so important? Just for ego?

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No way! The credited name, wherever it may be, is of paramount importance, as it is something that was created or the professional was part of the entire process. Imagine that you are part of the creation of a game like Mortal Kombat, where you ended up being responsible for the birth of an important character for the franchise. He is idolized by fans, but no one speaks his name, only Ed Boon. And as his name was not credited, it is useless in the future to say that he did something, if there is no way to prove it.

There are several names that should appear there at the end, but if you pay attention instead of clicking any button to cancel, you would see how unfair the gaming industry is to its pros. And remember that we are talking about a huge industry with thousands of workers who spend hours and more hours, sticking to dawn so that a game is ready. And often, away from his family, friends, stuck in an office or home office due to COVID.

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Of course there are companies, mainly national ones, that think about their professionals. If you enter the game's website tetragon gives Outback Studio, you will see the team name on the site. But even so, not all companies have this respect for their professionals. A recent case, published by the website Kotaku, it's from deathloop.

According to the website in its publication regarding the gaming industry, "Video game people are strangely shit about who gets credits and who doesn't." He goes on to say that several developers who have worked on the game have revealed that they are not in the credits or have been grouped into a “special thanks” category with no mention made of their specific role in creating Deathloop.

What happens, unfortunately, is that the studios' policy is to only give credit to the developers, and that's when they are their employees. If not anymore, not even that will happen. It doesn't matter that you left when the title was about to be saved and participated 99% in the creation. Out, it's out of credits. One of the complaints came from ex-employees who worked on Red Dead Redemption 2 who didn't take a thank-you for not being in the studio anymore.

According to the Kotaku who spoke with Rockstar, it "uses the game's credits that way because it wants employees to work hard and 'get to the finish line', essentially punishing those who abandon the studio's crisis culture."

This is absurd, as it ends up building a toxic industry. Many games end up being created not for reasons of creativity, but for numbers generated by a computer that says that this title and genre is currently the most played, so this is what needs to be done. Thus, it also happens with internal disputes as happened with Kojima and Konami.

This is a market that is still new and earning millions annually, but it needs to improve on just about everything, especially the way it treats its employees. Giving credit to those who work goes beyond an identity with the company, it is respect. And if the company wants to be respected, it must also do the same with its team. It's easy to say you want hardworking employees. The tricky part is to answer: why did they leave?

And do you want to know more about the screenplay market? We have several related matters in the Thunder FIC´s. Keep an eye, especially on the article we did about how the screenplay classes held by the Cinematic Ideas Factory – FIC's work, from the screenwriters Newton Cannito and Mark Takeda.

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