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"Rockstar Spouse" accuses dev of pushing its employees "to the brink"

San Diego studio accused of fostering poor work practises at expense of employee health

An open letter allegedly written on the behalf of wives of Rockstar San Diego employees has claimed working conditions within the studio have become increasingly intolerable.

According to a poorly worded letter published by Gamasutra, employees are expected to work 12 hour days, including Saturdays, or face disciplinary action. Conditions, said the letter, have steadily deteriorated since March of 2009, causing employees to suffer from stress and associated health problems.

Managers are alleged to be dishonest about deadlines in order to push workers "to the brink". Periods of deceleration are not being practised, it adds - "A sentiment grows that they have lost not only the sense of being valued but turned into machines as they are slowly robbed of their humanity."

Furthermore, bonuses are significantly reduced based on "anything" management comes up with, the letter claimed, while for four consecutive years salary rises haven't covered the cost of inflation.

"The last Grand Theft Auto game made over a billion dollars of revenue," the writer states. "So where is the recognition and appreciation to those whom, without them, such success would not have been made?"

The letter, signed "determined devoted wives of Rockstar San Diego employees" calls for the studio, currently working on Red Dead Redemption, to change working practices or face legal action.

A series of comments from readers of the post claiming to be associated with Rockstar San Diego follow it, which largely back up the accusations made against the studio.

The letter echoes accusations made several years back of poor working conditions at EA - the most famous of which was EA Spouse, a blog post accusing the company of inhumane treatment of employees, which was widely reported by the media.

Rockstar has been contacted for comment on the claims.

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