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Bloomberg insight article into studio transition from Star Theory to Intercept Games


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3 minutes ago, MechBFP said:

What consequences were those? Are you saying that ST was under paying its employees, or are you saying that ST was barely soluble and the employees knew they would be out of a job soon anyway?

I'm saying that it must have been clear to the employees the moment their sole project was pulled from the studio that this was not going to end well. The "come up with new ideas" thing was a last-ditch effort, nothing more. Also note that the employees would likely be forsaking all royalties from the eventually released game after pouring two years of work into it.

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1 hour ago, Selective Genius said:

"But-but the corporations are evil!" Man if we really boycott every 'evil' company in existence, then perhaps we might have to walk naked and give up electronics. Fast food chains underpay their workers, electronics and clothing companies employ children at their sweatshops in China and Africa and we munch on our McDonalds happily, wearing that fancy Nike shirt.

This is pretty much the problem with society today. There is no way to survive without participating. I can’t boycott every grocer or I will starve. Best I can do is refuse to buy from Albertsons/Safeway/WalMart/King Soopers and hope that ARC is a better institution. I can’t walk around naked but I can purchase all of my clothes from independent sellers on Etsy instead of Sears/L.L.Bean/JCPenny. I can’t avoid all electronics, but I can wait to upgrade until my previous device is no longer functional and I can buy them from the manufacturer instead of using Amazon or any other online retailers. I can’t avoid the incredibly toxic health care system or I will literally die within a few weeks. In this case, I CAN do without video games and if I finally have an opportunity to stand up for my beliefs, I plan to take it.

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39 minutes ago, VITAS said:

i wish they'd make KSP(1) open source.

To get a whole asylum of former programmers who tried to unravel that spaghetti of hacks and patches?

1 hour ago, KerikBalm said:

.12 out of 30 got jobs... 18 out of 30 lost their job.

How many would loose if KSP2 successfully cancels KSP1 and takes their job? 

When they agreed to start a competing clone, wasn't it an obvious warning that in this forest the deals can go such way?
Today you take another one's, tomorrow somebody routinely takes yours.
So, they willingly accepted the game rules when they were on top, but disagree with them when in trouble?

(I'm not accusing somebody, it's their business, but such position just looks inconsistent.)

Edited by kerbiloid
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10 hours ago, Meecrob said:

No, it means you are biased against two companies. And again, its not an insult. I'm on your side...or I should say I would like at least more information to see what happened and make my own conclusions, but this will be like an air crash investigation. We will only know what actually happened until much later.

When you have two parties, and you favor neither of  them, that is the definition of impartiality, and the opposite of bias. I agree that we need more information, though we're unlikely to get it from Take-Two.

As with the Nord situation.... if you're hiding it from your customers, it's probably bad.

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On 6/3/2020 at 12:18 PM, kerbiloid said:

Also presuming that HarvesteR exited willingly.

Dude, I know of many ways to convince someone he wants to quit. Few of them are good for the quitting guy. :huh:

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3 hours ago, razark said:

Personally, I avoid all of Shakespeare's plays, because he wore a ugly color shirt while writing Julius Caesar.

 

Well, I don't know what color it was, but I'm going to assume it was just horrible.

I see what you did there.

The issue in question is far heavier, than your trivial comparison. You paint people who don't want to support a company that does things they find morally repugnant, as irrational, and petty. At the end of the day, it is our money, to spend as we see fit, and if we decide we do not want to reward this kind of behavior, that is our prerogative.

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2 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

Poaching another company's core staff is usually considered a mega [self-redacted] move. 

I can sort of understand negotiations falling through and consequently the publisher calling everything off and taking the IP + source code to somebody else, that kind of thing sometimes happens without anyone actually doing anything outrageously nasty. But the other part is low. 

Not really. They started with the people who were the most qualified and knowledgeable about the project. They just happen to be the people from Star Theory.

I've heard of little dev houses poaching the top talent from large companies. Everyone is fine with that. People actually celebrate when that happens. When a large company poaches from small companies. Everyone is up in arms about it. Remove the size differences, it's the same thing. Each company is trying to increase their pool of talent. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Numberyellow said:

I see what you did there.

Based on what followed that statement, no, you didn't.

 

21 minutes ago, Numberyellow said:

You paint people who don't want to support a company that does things they find morally repugnant, as irrational, and petty.

No, I paint people who scream about moral and ethical outrage without sufficient evidence as irrational.

 

22 minutes ago, Numberyellow said:

At the end of the day, it is our money, to spend as we see fit, and if we decide we do not want to reward this kind of behavior, that is our prerogative.

Absolutely.  But it's a little dishonest to be crying foul at a situation when you don't have any evidence of what actually happened in the first place.

 

Two companies were in negotiations.  They could not come to an agreement that both approved of.  One company then took action to protect its IP and secure future development of it.

This is what is known.  This is all that is known.  Attributing motives to either company without any actual knowledge of what happened is not a valid method of determining who is right or wrong.  There is no possible way, short of knowing what did happen, to assign morality to either side.

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This is sad. KSP2 was the only game I was looking forward to. I had an unusual amount of confidience that it wouldn't be ruined, but if T2 is cannibalizing the dev studio, i'm sure they'll cannibalize the game as well.

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2 minutes ago, shdwlrd said:

Not really. They started with the people who were the most qualified and knowledgeable about the project. They just happen to be the people from Star Theory.

I've heard of little dev houses poaching the top talent from large companies. Everyone is fine with that. People actually celebrate when that happens. When a large company poaches from small companies. Everyone is up in arms about it. Remove the size differences, it's the same thing. Each company is trying to increase their pool of talent.

Sure poaching takes place.  It's usually not quite so wholesale and focused.  Which begs the questions: Why?  Was this the only way to resolve things?  Why didn't Take Two Interactive put out a statement when they were no longer constrained in doing so? 

And you're assuming the paradigm is a footrace between near-equal competitors.  Star Theory and Take Two Interactive, near-equal competitors....  Really?

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2 minutes ago, shdwlrd said:

I've heard of little dev houses poaching the top talent from large companies. Everyone is fine with that. People actually celebrate when that happens. When a large company poaches from small companies. Everyone is up in arms about it. Remove the size differences, it's the same thing. Each company is trying to increase their pool of talent. 

Can someone working in the software development market explain to me why "Poaching" would be a bad thing for the person being "poached"?

I can understand why it can be bad for small studios and used as a way to go around acquisitions (but I've seen also the contrary, famous devs selling their studio to a big publisher and then leaving it to found a new one), but I can't see how receiving a better offer from another employer could be bad.

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1 minute ago, Duhya said:

This is sad. KSP2 was the only game I was looking forward to. I had an unusual amount of confidience that it wouldn't be ruined, but if T2 is cannibalizing the dev studio, i'm sure they'll cannibalize the game as well.

It is sad.  Negative impact on KSP 2 is certainly possible.  We will have to watch carefully.

Just now, Master39 said:

Can someone working in the software development market explain to me why "Poaching" would be a bad thing for the person being "poached"?

I can understand why it can be bad for small studios and used as a way to go around acquisitions (but I've seen also the contrary, famous devs selling their studio to a big publisher and then leaving it to found a new one), but I can't see how receiving a better offer from another employer could be bad.

Accepting being poached is a form of disloyalty to the employer.  Even though a lot of employers aren't very loyal to their staff.  If a person did it once....

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2 minutes ago, Master39 said:

Can someone working in the software development market explain to me why "Poaching" would be a bad thing for the person being "poached"?

I can understand why it can be bad for small studios and used as a way to go around acquisitions (but I've seen also the contrary, famous devs selling their studio to a big publisher and then leaving it to found a new one), but I can't see how receiving a better offer from another employer could be bad.

What if that offer is only better because your current job is dissapearing. What if that job is only dissapearing because of the offer. Shady af.

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3 minutes ago, Jacke said:

Accepting being poached is a form of disloyalty to the employer.  Even though a lot of employers aren't very loyal to their staff.  If a person did it once....

So one should continue to work at the worse conditions and refuse a better job out of loyalty for the people paying you less? Most of VALVe devs are hired this way (including part of Squad right before T2 acquisition) and then VALVe keeps them by offering some of the greatest working condition in the industry (for people who can survive having a flat organization).

 

5 minutes ago, Duhya said:

What if that offer is only better because your current job is dissapearing. What if that job is only dissapearing because of the offer. Shady af.

I can perfectly see why it's shady in this specific case, I was generally talking about the idea of "poaching".

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Master39 said:

So one should continue to work at the worse conditions and refuse a better job out of loyalty for the people paying you less? Most of VALVe devs are hired this way (including part of Squad right before T2 acquisition) and then VALVe keeps them by offering some of the greatest working condition in the industry (for people who can survive having a flat organization).

 

I can perfectly see why it's shady in this specific case, I was generally talking about the idea of "poaching".

 

You are reframing the problem. T2 had a dev studio for ksp2, T2 held that dev studio by the balls in negotiations, and the dev studio didn't give in to every demand. T2 creates a new dev studio with a new name, with the intent of cannibalizing the old studio into the new one. They aren't getting a better deal, they are being forced to take the deal, or be without a job.

You are reframing the problem.

T2 had a dev studio for ksp2, T2 held that dev studio by the balls in negotiations, and the dev studio didn't give in to every demand. T2 creates a new dev studio with a new name, with the intent of cannibalizing the old studio into the new one. They aren't getting a better deal, they are being forced to take the deal, or be without a job.

Disgusting.

This isn't poaching it's corporate domination.

Edited by Duhya
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4 minutes ago, Duhya said:

T2 held that dev studio by the balls in negotiations, and the dev studio didn't give in to every demand.

What did T2 offer?

What was ST's counteroffer?

At what point did the negotiations break down?

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I've read the through the thread entirely in the past hour (maybe that was not a good idea my part), and my mind is a little in chaos right now. I was going to ask clarification on a few topics I didn't fully understand, but then I realised I didn't understand enough about any of it to come to a proper conclusion.

We are using this thread to react to the news, and also to discuss the ins and outs of it, and what that means. I am not complaining about the people in the thread, but we are discussing with a mix of ideas of what we are discussing towards.

So lets take the time to get our barings and compile what we know vs what we are still discussing. Im not saying we should choose one perspective and see that as truth, but lets take all peoples perspectives and write down a good summary of the sense and the nonsense of them.

Below I've got a rundown of the topics we discussed and might still discuss. The unbold text is commentary; I haven't written down the answers everywhere, because a) I have to learn for an exam, and b) we aren't at a point in the discussion where we can fill everything in yet. Lets aim for a resource that some-one new to the discussion could use to get ahead on the ins and outs that we already discussed. This can then be our starting point to continue the discussion.

______

So here are the three main lines of discussion, in order of what needs to be established/discussed first. Fill in and adjust as needed.

1) Truth: What is the situation, exactly?

Spoiler

1a) What are the matters of fact? What has objectively happend? What do we know FOR SURE?

There were a few posts trying to summarize this somewhere in the past few pages, lets get a few good quotes or summaries or explanations on the timeline as we know it, and the basic things that happened.

1b) Why would I not belive my gut reaction on the info in the article, and how should I take this into account when interpreting the story for myself.

I am willing to accept that the article isn't the entire story, and yet there are people who are reacting from it with their own experiences. We shouldn't say that that is wrong, but we should have the caveats of the story figured out so people can decide how they deal with it.

This too was discussed somewhere. Im not sure if there we came close to finishing this discussion.

1c) What do the track records of relevant actors -- like Take2, Start theory, the industry as a whole -- look like, and how could you reasonably see this influencing how you interpret this happening.

I don't know anything about this, but people are complaining that peoples first interpretation of the story -- the [bleep] move -- is all to common in the industry. Stuff like this changes how we see the chances of [insert explanation] happening. Are parties trustworty, do they deserve the benefit of the doubt, what have they -- or the industry -- done in the past, and what does this mean for what we can expect from the.

Of course people will have perspectives on this, but lets try to find examples and formulate the cases from those perspectives so we can weigh them.

1d) Who was "in the right" in this takeover, according to various perspectives you might have.

Was this a "poaching" of employees? who was in the wrong here exactly? Was this really a [bleep] move.

I gather that Take 2 has the rights to KSP, and that they are just contracting this out to another studio. However, I'd expect that there might have been some clause in the contract forcing some responsibility for star Theory's fate, given they are dependent on the job.

I don't know how this generally goes, and knowing this matters. Was it the initaitive of take two or star theory to negotiate about the selling? Where there legitmate reasons for why the solution to the nogotiation stalemate could even by so onesided.

You could see this from multiple perspectives as well. You could argue "how business generally behaves", or "what is legally the case", or "we can expect T2 to treat their studios with respect and this is a [bleep] move." None of this is wrong, but what is there to say about these perspectives.

2) Issues: What are the problems, grievances and worries surfaced by what happened.

Spoiler

This is a bit harder to argue about, because the details of 1) matter here. But there is a lot of of anger, emotion, grievance that may or may not apply. There is worry withn the community. What problems does this episode reveal, what are peoples worries, and which of our worries survive sctutiny.

In short: What can we legitimately take issue of based on this.

2a) Worries over the issue at hand; the transition over the new studio.

For this, part 1 is imporatant. We can try to talk about how big of a problem it is, but it is easy to miss a detail here or there. That is why I think it is important that we compile the facts and interpretations.

2b) Worries over the knowledge on the issue at hand.

We might not have all the information to properly judge what is going on, and you can argue whether we should want to know what happen enough to make it an issue.

2c) Worries over T2's stewardship over the development process of Kerbal Space Program 1 & 2

Regardless of the whole studio shift issue, people have been anxious about Take Two's stewardship (for the lack of a better word) of KSP, and this adds to those worries. We only know how big of an issue we have to think this is if we know just how bad or dud the studio shift issue is and is handled. But the community is anxious and we need to talk about this, and how legitimate this is, when we are at the appropriate point in the discussion.

2d) Worries over the way developers are treated.

This is another one of these undercurrents exposed by the studioshift incident. We don't just care about the quality of the game, but also about how fairly the devs are treated in terms of work conditions. Ther are probably tons of nuances here as well, and we will get to them when we get to tem, but they deserve a place in the list given that this is where the negotiations broke down.

2e) General worries given the behaviour of the industry, whatever we establish this to be in point 1.

Considering the above points, do we have a problem with how things currently are. Not just when it comes to specific worries, but also a general "is this goin into the right direction". We can talk about this when all the things of point 1 and point 2 are discussed and established.

3) Action: What can we, as a player base, do about all of this.

Spoiler

So at this point we have discussed what the facts are and all the ways you can reasonably interpret them. We also discussed what issues we have, and on which isues we'd like to act. We can be angry about it, say that we as an individual are not going to buy the game, or shrug that this is just business being business, but none of that will actually get anything done. So lets get practical.

What can we do, as a player base, about the issues we see. Do we demand better answers, or excuses, or improvement in the future, or nothing, or something else. What are we goin to do? Petitions, individual "you decide wether you buy" boycotts, mass boycotts, creating a gamers association? What should that look like and is that worth it?

 We aren't here yet -- lets first fill in part 1 and 2 --, but this is where we want to end up in our discussion eventually.

Did this cover everything?

Edited by nikokespprfan
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8 minutes ago, Master39 said:

So one should continue to work at the worse conditions and refuse a better job out of loyalty for the people paying you less? Most of VALVe devs are hired this way (including part of Squad right before T2 acquisition) and then VALVe keeps them by offering some of the greatest working condition in the industry (for people who can survive having a flat organization).

Loyalty isn't going to be absolute and frozen.  But if there's no loyalty, no company will survive difficult times.

And I've gotten a lot more out of my life from loyalty than I have from taking momentary offers.

And I'm also glad I've never been in the position of the staff of Star Theory.  If I'd been there, I don't know what I would have done.

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3 minutes ago, Master39 said:

So one should continue to work at the worse conditions and refuse a better job out of loyalty for the people paying you less?

 

 

 

Unfortunately, in this connected corporate world, absolutely yes. Because what if you want to get another job after the one you were offered? You can leave the previous employer off of your references, or you can let future employers contact your previous employer who will tell them that you are “not committed to the company” or some other diplomatic version of traitor.

Granted, this is a hyperbolic statement and I’m sure there are other companies like valve that aren’t that toxic. But many companies value loyalty much more than competence. That is why there are so many internal promotions of incompetent employees just because they’ve been there the longest. While leaving a position on anything less than excellent terms is not complete corporate suicide, it is shooting yourself in the foot and limiting your options in the future.

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10 minutes ago, razark said:

What did T2 offer?

What was ST's counteroffer?

At what point did the negotiations break down?

All we know is there were negotiations, and they were at a standstill, and T2 decided it would be better to basically reform the studio under a different name than to come to a solution with their employees.

I've said my piece. KSP2s goodness seems MUCH less certain. Our fears of T2 based on it's history might come true, we'll see.

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I hope you all guys know about recently events with KSP 2 and it's studio

 

What it means for us?

Sad to say this but KSP 2 is dead now.

Release delayed for more than a year. Team was split and loose their team spirit.

I'm barely sure that they can finish anything after it.

 

Ofc T2 wouldnt tell us that KSP 2 is cancel. But delaying almost ready game (i remind that initial release which was announced at GC 2019 should have been in march) for more than a year literally mean this.

 

RIP KSP 2  08.2019 - 06.2020 :(:(:(

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46 minutes ago, shdwlrd said:

Not really. They started with the people who were the most qualified and knowledgeable about the project. They just happen to be the people from Star Theory.

I've heard of little dev houses poaching the top talent from large companies. Everyone is fine with that. People actually celebrate when that happens. When a large company poaches from small companies. Everyone is up in arms about it. Remove the size differences, it's the same thing. Each company is trying to increase their pool of talent. 

 

A small indie house managing to attract talent from a large corporation doesn't put the large corporation out of business. It's an inconvenience, rather than a (pardon the pun) game-ender.

What people have a problem with is the way in which Take-Two conducted itself during this affair. "Don't want to sell to us on our terms? We'll just go around you, and TAKE everything we want, and leave you with nothing".

If you don't see a problem with that kind of behavior, i don't think anyone here can help you.

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49 minutes ago, razark said:

Based on what followed that statement, no, you didn't.

 

No, I paint people who scream about moral and ethical outrage without sufficient evidence as irrational.

 

Absolutely.  But it's a little dishonest to be crying foul at a situation when you don't have any evidence of what actually happened in the first place.

 

Two companies were in negotiations.  They could not come to an agreement that both approved of.  One company then took action to protect its IP and secure future development of it.

This is what is known.  This is all that is known.  Attributing motives to either company without any actual knowledge of what happened is not a valid method of determining who is right or wrong.  There is no possible way, short of knowing what did happen, to assign morality to either side.

"without sufficient evidence" That is laughable..

"One company then took action to protect its IP and secure future development of it." You can be as sterile and clinical as you want.... it doesn't change the fact that what they did wasn't right. They couldn't get what they wanted on their terms, so they just took it, and destroyed the other company in the process.

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