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General Gaming Take-Two hires games veteran Michael Condrey to form new, diverse studio

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https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-02-04-take-two-hires-games-veteran-michael-condrey-to-form-new-diverse-studio

 

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Former EA and Activision development leader Michael Condrey has been signed by Take-Two's 2K label.

 

The creator, best known for his work on the Call of Duty and Dead Space franchises, will form a new studio based in Silicon Valley.

 

The exact location and scope of the studio is still to be determined, by Condrey tells GamesIndustry.biz that the new outfit will be proactive in building a diverse workforce.

 

"This is definitely a personal priority for me," he tells us. "One of the most exciting things about setting up a new studio is the opportunity, from a clean canvas, to shape the commitment to culture from the start. In fact, almost three years ago to the day, I spoke about the subject with GamesIndustry.biz.

 

"Diverse teams are more creative, more innovative, hit deadlines better and ultimately create experiences that are compelling to the broadest audience possible. It's hard to argue when you watch the critical and commercial success that films like Black Panther and Wonder Woman have achieved in Hollywood. Hiring people with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints is critical for our new studio to grow and flourish. It also shows for future hires that there are people in all levels of the organization who represent beliefs and experiences like their own."

 

Continued

 

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Sounds noble at least, and perhaps needed on some level in the industry to counterbalance the conduct at Riot, etc.

I don't think this will be a particular help to his team hitting their deadlines.  There's too many other factors at play, IMO.  Not the least being the higher ups calling the shots and making crunch demands.

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Eh his conclusion on how much better diverse teams are is pretty flimsy. There are far more examples of diversity that did absolutely nothing than there are movies that made $700million+ 

 

PR bullshit. “Look at us! Look at us! We’re so diverse.” 

 

Go make a successful game with your studio. Show us something. 

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So i'm gonna play devil's advocate here for a minute. What happens when every single "diverse" team member wants their culture/race/gender/orientation/whatever to get the spotlight? Surely every game story couldnt look like a Disney channel sitcom.

 

I mean lets be honest, how many groups of friends do you see hanging out at mcdonalds with one asian friend, one black friend, one gay white friend, one hispanic but not too hispanic friend, one nerdy guy, one "cool" guy, etc.

 

Life just doesnt work that way.

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55 minutes ago, XxEvil AshxX said:

So i'm gonna play devil's advocate here for a minute. What happens when every single "diverse" team member wants their culture/race/gender/orientation/whatever to get the spotlight? Surely every game story couldnt look like a Disney channel sitcom.

 

I mean lets be honest, how many groups of friends do you see hanging out at mcdonalds with one asian friend, one black friend, one gay white friend, one hispanic but not too hispanic friend, one nerdy guy, one "cool" guy, etc.

 

Life just doesnt work that way.

Totally...

 

So just have white dudes tell all the stories!

 

VISIBLE CONFUSION Mass Effect: Andromeda Dragon Age: Origins Dragon Age II face person eyebrow nose head forehead chin

 

 

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I don’t really care about the make up of a cast in a game. Not really anyways. 

 

Just make the the story good and the gameplay engaging. Mass Effect tries to check all the boxes, but (to me at least) it manages to make the game good above all else. 

 

But it to me when you go out of your way to have diversity in your talent pool you do so by excluding to prevent getting too much representation from a group. You start to exhibit sexism or racism. 

 

An all female staff of Korean decent in a California game studio is far outside of the norm, but not diverse. However, was it wrong to hire them if they were the most qualified and talented of the people that applied? 

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Captain Pickle said:

Totally...

 

So just have white dudes tell all the stories!

 

VISIBLE CONFUSION Mass Effect: Andromeda Dragon Age: Origins Dragon Age II face person eyebrow nose head forehead chin

 

 

 

Not really what I was getting at, but okay. You can exchange whites for blacks, asians, hispanics, etc. etc. etc. at least then you'd have a focused story.

 

Too many cooks in the kitchen will ruin the soup. Design by committee never works. Too many people with differing views/opinions will result in a jumbled muddy mess. You can't please everyone. That's why putting diversity first always sounds great on paper, but unless you already have a focused vision and hire the people that can help you see it through, you're just a collection of diverse people that can't do a job (see above gif).

 

Like I said, devil's advocate. If they put their team together and deliver a great product, then that's awesome.

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7 minutes ago, XxEvil AshxX said:

 

Not really what I was getting at, but okay. You can exchange whites for blacks, asians, hispanics, etc. etc. etc. at least then you'd have a focused story.

 

Too many cooks in the kitchen will ruin the soup. Design by committee never works. Too many people with differing views/opinions will result in a jumbled muddy mess. You can't please everyone. That's why putting diversity first always sounds great on paper, but unless you already have a focused vision and hire the people that can help you see it through, you're just a collection of diverse people that can't do a job (see above gif).

 

Like I said, devil's advocate. If they put their team together and deliver a great product, then that's awesome.

well secretly I understood you hence the ME:A gif

 

but you're likely not going to have a one group only for projects so whatever, having diversity isn't going to be a problem if they are professionals.  It's having a diverse group but forcing them to check off diversity boxes.  

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2 hours ago, XxEvil AshxX said:

So they're gonna pass up true talent so they can check another box. Got it.

 

Yep. Gotta appease the diversity police for the sake of....reasons.

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9 minutes ago, Captain Pickle said:

well secretly I understood you hence the ME:A gif

 

but you're likely not going to have a one group only for projects so whatever, having diversity isn't going to be a problem if they are professionals.  It's having a diverse group but forcing them to check off diversity boxes.  

 

Ah. Gotcha. And true, they will likely be on different projects, eventually. 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, elbobo said:

why would you open a new studio in the most expensive place in the country? 

Likely because the studio is still run largely by some rich ass whites! 

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1 hour ago, elbobo said:

why would you open a new studio in the most expensive place in the country? 

I'd imagine it's for the concentrated talent pool. Same reason why "entertainment" people always move to L.A. They don't want to convince half their staff to move to Nebraska.

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2 minutes ago, Xbob42 said:

I'd imagine it's for the concentrated talent pool. Same reason why "entertainment" people always move to L.A. They don't want to convince half their staff to move to Nebraska.

Though Texas has both a lower cost of living and cost of running a business, and has talent pools in the Dallas and Austin areas. 

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10 minutes ago, Xbob42 said:

I'd imagine it's for the concentrated talent pool. Same reason why "entertainment" people always move to L.A. They don't want to convince half their staff to move to Nebraska.

 

yeah but you have to pay them double what you would anywhere else just so they can afford rent 

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1 hour ago, Bloodporne said:

New Dead Space confirmed, fuck yeah. 

Where you will be an A-sexual transgendered indidvidual of African, Asian, and Hispanic decent, who is the adopted child of same sex parents. Caught in a station of zombified monsters that seemingly have devolved where they were trying to build a space barrier to keep out an “alien invasion”. 

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This is just virtue signalling. Any human no matter their skin color or gender can be just as creative as the next, it just takes talent and passion. 

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Now I do agree with the idea that if you want to make a game/movie to appeal to a particular audience above all others, then you should hire people with the outlook and experience to do that. Meaning if you wan to appeal to African Americans, hire very talented African American writers and Director. Don’t have over privelaged straight white guys writing for gay ethnically minority characters. 

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8 hours ago, Spawn_of_Apathy said:

Eh his conclusion on how much better diverse teams are is pretty flimsy. There are far more examples of diversity that did absolutely nothing than there are movies that made $700million+ 

What a vague and impossible to measure claim!

 

7 hours ago, XxEvil AshxX said:

So i'm gonna play devil's advocate here for a minute. What happens when every single "diverse" team member wants their culture/race/gender/orientation/whatever to get the spotlight? Surely every game story couldnt look like a Disney channel sitcom.

 

I mean lets be honest, how many groups of friends do you see hanging out at mcdonalds with one asian friend, one black friend, one gay white friend, one hispanic but not too hispanic friend, one nerdy guy, one "cool" guy, etc.

 

Life just doesnt work that way.

That's not devil's advocate, it's just making stuff up. Games aren't made in some democratic, now, what does everyone want in this game. You will all get what you want in it. 

 

6 hours ago, Spawn_of_Apathy said:

But it to me when you go out of your way to have diversity in your talent pool you do so by excluding to prevent getting too much representation from a group. You start to exhibit sexism or racism. 

The ol' reverse racism argument, eh? 

 

It's not exclusionary to value diversity on your team. There's talented people from all types of backgrounds who are capable of doing the jobs. It benefits society to have a variety of perspectives working on a project. 

 

16 minutes ago, ALIEN-gunner said:

This is just virtue signalling. Any human no matter their skin color or gender can be just as creative as the next, it just takes talent and passion. 

Ah yes, shooting down arguments that were never made, and using an alt-right boogieman term. 

 

We're all just here for some discourse! 

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4 hours ago, Spawn_of_Apathy said:

Though Texas has both a lower cost of living and cost of running a business, and has talent pools in the Dallas and Austin areas. 

Yeah but you're kidding yourself if you think the talent pool is comparable. Texas is pretty good, but the Bay is fucking packed with very high end talent desperate for work.

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3 hours ago, elbobo said:

 

yeah but you have to pay them double what you would anywhere else just so they can afford rent 

lol. You silly fuck. Blizzard employees are supposedly living in communes together to make ends meet.

 

No one is ever paid what they're worth anymore, unless you're totally irreplaceable, and even that won't stop the hammer sometimes.

 

There's no money left for lowly employees once the execs get their bonuses and golden parachutes and whatever the fuck else. That would be communism. 

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1 hour ago, Paperclyp said:

 

The ol' reverse racism argument, eh? 

 

It's not exclusionary to value diversity on your team. There's talented people from all types of backgrounds who are capable of doing the jobs. It benefits society to have a variety of perspectives working on a project. 

 

Not reverse racism, that’s not a real thing. It’s just racism. Affirmative action hiring is needed when you have people passing over qualified ethnic or female candidates to hire the good ol’ White boy. 

 

If your hiring manager is fair minded and looking for the best talent and brightest minds regardless of lineage, then you will often find yourself with a diverse group anyways. 

 

But sometimes you not only do not need diversity, you need to be a bit racist. If you’re working on a project meant to tell the story of a struggling immigrant from South America who rises to not only become a leader of an ethnically similar community that his family moved to and became a part of, but also save them from a larger threat that could otherwise destroy the entire community. You want people leading the areas of the project and doing a lot of the creative work to tell this story properly. Who know the culture, can contribute with authenticity. You do not want a 4th generation Anglo American writing the character portrayals and dialog. 

 

If much of the crew is Hispanic that’s not diverse, but it could be what is need for the project. 

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2 minutes ago, Spawn_of_Apathy said:

But sometimes you not only do not need diversity, you need to be a bit racist. If you’re working on a project meant to tell the story of a struggling immigrant from South America who rises to not only become a leader of an ethnically similar community that his family moved to and became a part of, but also save them from a larger threat that could otherwise destroy the entire community. You want people leading the areas of the project and doing a lot of the creative work to tell this story properly. Who know the culture, can contribute with authenticity. You do not want a 4th generation Anglo American writing the character portrayals and dialog. 

 

If much of the crew is Hispanic that’s not diverse, but it could be what is need for the project. 

...that's not racism. 

 

Nor is the goal of hiring a diverse group of people. 

 

And you're kind of dancing around, throwing hypotheticals that don't really exist. I haven't heard of many all hispanic dev teams lol. What you can find is exactly what you said you wouldn't want (a bunch of white guys writing dialogue and characters for cultures they...aren't). 

 

But you're in here saying you don't care about the makeup of a team, but they should just make a good game, but if a game has a specific need maybe it does need to have a certain flavor of diversity, but we have no idea what type of game they're gonna make. 

 

Just...maybe the gut reaction shouldn't be "diversity is bullshit." 

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15 minutes ago, Paperclyp said:

...that's not racism. 

Not hiring a white guy software engineer because you want to hire a black software engineer for no other reason than to not hire one more white guy is what then? 

 

If you only have ten positions, and the top ten most qualified candidates with the best portfolios for graphical artists are white guys, but you hire 3 blacks, an Asian, 2 Hispanics, and an Iraqi, 2 women of ransom decent, and 1 of the white guys just be diverse, what is that? 

 

I don’t think diversity is bullshit. I think this PR is bullshit. They make it seem like they went out of their way to hire diversely. That means somebody got turned away or hired due to gender or the their lineage. 

 

It’s like walking around constantly having to remind yourself in your head not refer to black people as the n-word, then saying you’re not racist because you don’t call them the n-word in conversation. You may not look blatantly racist, but you are. 

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8 minutes ago, Spawn_of_Apathy said:

Not hiring a white guy software engineer because you want to hire a black software engineer for no other reason than to not hire one more white guy is what then? 

 

If you only have ten positions, and the top ten most qualified candidates with the best portfolios for graphical artists are white guys, but you hire 3 blacks, an Asian, 2 Hispanics, and an Iraqi, 2 women of ransom decent, and 1 of the white guys just be diverse, what is that? 

 

I don’t think diversity is bullshit. I think this PR is bullshit. They make it seem like they went out of their way to hire diversely. That means somebody got turned away or hired due to gender or the their lineage. 

 

It’s like walking around constantly having to remind yourself in your head not refer to black people as the n-word, then saying you’re not racist because you don’t call them the n-word in conversation. You may not look blatantly racist, but you are. 

As I said I think twice, you’ve constructed this hierarchy of candidates that simply does not exist. There is no ranking of portfolios that tells you oh this black guy has the 6th best portfolio and the goal of any company should only be to hire the best candidate on paper. 

 

They’re not hiring unqualified people. 

 

You’re inventing false problems. 

 

You know what a real problem is? Lack of diversity in entertainment.   

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40 minutes ago, Paperclyp said:

As I said I think twice, you’ve constructed this hierarchy of candidates that simply does not exist. There is no ranking of portfolios that tells you oh this black guy has the 6th best portfolio and the goal of any company should only be to hire the best candidate on paper. 

 

They’re not hiring unqualified people. 

 

You’re inventing false problems. 

 

You know what a real problem is? Lack of diversity in entertainment.   

Just continue to live in your own little closed of bigoted world. The rest of us will work towards a fair, cultured, more accepting society. 

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As one of the few here who use to work in gaming and now works in app development.

:facepalm:

 

Part of striving for a diverse workforce is doing outreach, having an accommodating work environment and making sure to foster growth. We never hire anybody just for numbers or diversity sake. Yet to act like there isn't strong, smart and talented people from different backgrounds or sexes is fucking ignorant. Software engineering is also in a state where there is far more work out there then talent, so this hypothetical scenario of where a company can only pick one just rarely exist ATM (in most cases the company would hire both).

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9 hours ago, Spawn_of_Apathy said:

Just continue to live in your own little closed of bigoted world. The rest of us will work towards a fair, cultured, more accepting society. 

Yeah you keep doing that good work. 

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