Xseed has been heavily criticised for its policy of only crediting current members of staff.
The US company, which focuses on localising and publishing Japanese games, was slammed on social media after it emerged a former localisation producer was removed from the credits of the PlayStation 4 releases of the Cold Steel games.
Brittany Avery took to Twitter to express her understandable disappointment.
i'll be really bummed if the same thing happens with mysteria's physical version just because it launched after i left— Brittany Avery @ Baby Shark Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (@Hatsuu) June 7, 2019
Then, in response, Xseed tweeted to explain its stance, saying: "We have never credited staff for their individual roles, or if they have left the company."
We appreciate the hard work of everyone who contributes to our releases, but it is and always has been company policy that only current members of our staff are credited. We have never credited staff for their individual roles, or if they have left the company.— XSEED Games (@XSEEDGames) June 7, 2019
This tweet sparked a backlash from the video game development community, which has long criticised publishers who fail to credit staff who worked on games but left before they shipped. Here's a snippet of the response:
Workers need to be able to point to productions in which they're credited as proof of past work. Being so spiteful as to withhold or remove contributors' names from the credits robs them of that. This policy can go right in a dumpster fire where it belongs. pic.twitter.com/QF84O7eHb0— Cheesemeister ??? (@Cheesemeister3k) June 8, 2019
Change your policy.— Ste Pickford (@stepickford) June 8, 2019
(sorry social media person, this isn't your fault)— Benji Smith (@benjinsmith) June 7, 2019
Saying "it's policy" is a dodge. It was a choice to create that policy, and it's a choice to enforce it. It's an insult to the craft, and a signal to potential employees to stay away.
As you'd expect, there are strong calls for Xseed to change its policy and patch its Cold Steel PS4 games to ensure all staff who worked on them are credited. The incident also raises the ongoing debate around unionisation for video game developers. (This debate has so far revolved around the US, but there is a drive to unionise game development in the UK, too.)
Back in 2011 it emerged over 100 L.A. Noire staff members were not credited for their work on the game. Workers whose contracts were severed prior to the end of L.A. Noire's production discovered they were not listed in the game's end credits or manual.