Vigil responds to Darksiders II credits row

Denies accusations made by former user interface designer

Vigil has responded to accusations made by an ex-Darksiders II user interface designer that it had omitted him from the game's credits after he was laid off. The designer had claimed he was 99 per cent responsible for the game's UI.

"What was most disheartening about the statements was how misleading they were, and how they fly in the face of how Vigil, culturally, feels about and treats our teams," said Vigil Games GM, David Adams.

He said the employee in question had worked on Darksiders II for just 90 days of its 2.5 years in development, and hinted he left under less than happy circumstances.

" When we were forced to reduce staff due to the cancellation of a project, we worked hard to ensure everyone affected by the layoff received their credit in the game. We did not include individuals whose employment terminated for any other reason," he explained.

"We believe we treat both current and former contributors to our studio like family, and any statements otherwise are highly inaccurate and can be verified as same. We would ask any press who wish to report on this former employee's statements to check the accuracy of these erroneous claims, before printing them as factual."

The designer, Xander Davis, used Twitter to make his complaints.

"Oh delightful. Just found out I'm not even credited on Darksiders 2 when the UI is 99 per cent from my direction and hard work, done in record time," started the series of Tweets.

"Was whisked to Austin and tasked to fix it, with months to ship. And I did. My team worked as hard as we could. Then, we all lost our jobs."

He also made accusations regarding the game's delay, and accuses another developer of stealing his job. Last night, unsurprisingly, he dismissed Vigil's response.

"Vigil's response is totally expected. I didn't anticipate they'd be like- 'oh hey yknow what? He's right!' Of course not… I said my piece."

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Latest comments (15)

Greg Knight Freelance Developer 5 years ago
Bit stingey of them not including him in the credits whatever their reasoning. He still did three months on the project - and if it was right at the end then how would he be able to work on it for the full two and a half years? He obviously pissed them off no end!
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Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent5 years ago
If my name were struck off the magazine, it would make no difference to me. Those whose opinion I care about know my part in its making. As for everyone else, well, they don't care who I am or what I do. So I'm struggling to see how an appearance in the credits matters.

In the paucity of facts relating to what really took place inside Vigil, I can say only that Mr Davis's public contempt has failed to win me to his side.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dan Howdle on 16th August 2012 2:03pm

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Chris Wood Lead Game Designer, Waracle5 years ago
@Dan - that's your personal opinion though (in regards to having your name in your magazine) - some people feel (rightly or wrongly) it gives them validation - he is more than entitled to have his name in the credits of a game he worked on - which Vigil admit he did !

The facts relating to what else took place in Vigil should be a separate issue.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Chris Wood on 16th August 2012 2:39pm

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Show all comments (15)
David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers5 years ago
In the words of one designer I talked to on this subject "credit is cheap". If it's just a matter of putting a name on a roll of credits it shouldn't become as much of an issue as it often does.
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Luke Schneider Developer, Radiangames5 years ago
David Adams response implies that anyone who left the company who was not laid off was not put on the credits. So in other words, if someone worked on the game for 2 years and left the company on his own, they were not listed. If you find the original Destructoid article, you'll see that's exactly what happened to a designer (who wished to remain anonymous).

To me, that's spiteful on Mr. Adams' part and puts him far into the wrong side of this issue, regardless of what happened with Xander Davis.
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David Phan Producer, Relic Entertainment5 years ago
Credits are Game credits can be a very sensitive topic. From inclusion/exclusion to the position/title used to the order in which names appear, there's a fair amount of politics involved. Having handled putting together credits for numerous games, I've run across all of these issues in some shape or form. The proper thing to do would be to provide credits to all team members who worked on the project and who met a minimal amount of time or contribution that was set by the leadership group. There are always exceptions though that require some subjective judgement if let's say a team member didn't meet the minimal amount of time, but their contribution was significant. At the very least they should get a special thanks and mention of some kind within the credits.
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises5 years ago
Is Vigil Games a re-incarnation of Atari? 90 days of work on the project is still 90 days of work, give the guy his credit.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 5 years ago
An hour ago
Is Vigil Games a re-incarnation of Atari? 90 days of work on the project is still 90 days of work, give the guy his credit.
Sounded like he worked there long enough for them to gain the evidence they needed to fire him. In my opinion, having the sense to not include people who have played such a relatively small role in a project helps to increase the pride of being in there at all. I worked in an "acting" role on 3 different titles and never once got credited as anything other than a tester. My name is forever part of those games and the only thing that bothered me about it was that I couldn't put it on my CV without having to justify it later.
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Hugo Dubs Interactive Designer 5 years ago
Is Vigil Games a re-incarnation of Atari? 90 days of work on the project is still 90 days of work, give the guy his credit.
It costs so much to add a name in a list...
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 5 years ago
I'm in complete agreement with Luke here. Regardless of the reasons for someone leaving a company if they did a substantial amount of time on the project (and 90 days is on a 2-4 year project, IMO) then they should definitely be included in the credits.
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John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London5 years ago
If you worked on the game, you should be credited on it. Especially if your work appears in the final product in some form.

Sure, very few people read the credits, but one issue is the impact on future work. If you apply for a job and on your CV you say "I had role X on game Y" and the company you're applying to looks at the credits for game Y and doesn't see your name there, they might think you're lying or exaggerating your role in the game.

There's a reason why movie unions in the US are such sticklers over how everybody who works on a film is credited, from the director and screenwriters to the guy who makes the coffee in the morning.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 5 years ago
James, you're suggesting that this only be measured by time. What if he was technically assigned to the project for over a year and did basically now work on it (possibly on anything else either) would he still deserve to be on the credits?

And if it is defined by time (which Vigil do not claim they entirely define their criteria by) then how long is enough? Bearing in mind that you could have 150 people in the developer alone working on the project let alone the credited publisher (which includes marketing, testing etc) people and any 3rd party middleware manpower (which can frequently be uncredited) you have have a lot of people to put into the credits. Not everyone can go in that has ever touched the project.
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Liam Wong5 years ago
He should definitely have received a credit in the game, but perhaps just as 'Additional Artist' credit seeing as he didn't work on the game as long as others did.

I read that people are boycotting sales for Darksiders 2 based on this issue which is a real shame considering THQ have a bunch of hurdles they still need to overcome. On a related note, Metro Last Light is looking awesome!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Liam Wong on 17th August 2012 11:43am

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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 5 years ago
Really? People are boycotting the game because somebody who acted like a muppet and got fired from the studio? Wow, some people need to check their reality.
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Being listed on credits is nice, but not essential for employment. HR will confirm if they worked at a studio, and normally you just check if they worked on games by asking friends who you know were on the team. I can't ever remember looking at credits to check a CV. We all know the politics of producing these lists!
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