Metro dev responds to substandard working condition claims

"We don't want to be all dramatic about that"

A developer at Metro: Last Light studio 4A Games has responded to claims of substandard working conditions at the Ukraine-based company.


In a post on GamesIndustry International earlier today, former THQ president Jason Rubin criticised his former - and now bankrupt - employer for issuing 4A a development budget that was a tenth the size of its biggest competitors.

Dev kits needed to be smuggled into the Ukraine for fear of corrupt officials, he claimed, and electricity was unreliable.

Similarly, the team was forced to use "folding wedding chairs" and to sit "literally elbow to elbow at card tables" in a work environment that resembled a "packed grade school cafeteria," he said.

Following up Rubin's post, creative director Andrew Prokhorov acknowledged that 4A's working conditions were worse than those of other developers outside of Ukraine, but insisted the studio "don't want to be all dramatic that."

"It is a fact that our work conditions are worse than those of other developers outside Ukraine," Prokhorov wrote.

"I don't think anyone can doubt that - yes, it's true that American and most of European developers operate in a country far more comfortable than Ukraine. And yes, the publishers pay them more.

"This is clear: the more "reasonable" the country the less the risks. And we don't want to be all dramatic about that - after all, better conditions are earned, and we strive to do this as soon as possible."

The creative director said 4A is "thankful" to Jason for his article and went on to reveal the former THQ employee was the first president to visit the studio during his short tenure.

"We've worked with THQ for 10 years (as we are the guys who made Stalker, too), and Jason is the only THQ President who visited us in Ukraine.

"And he did this on his second week in THQ. Keep in mind that he only had few months to somehow fix the situation. Alas, that didn't work out."

Deep Silver parent Koch Media purchased 4A Games earlier this year for $5.8 million USD following the collapse of THQ.

Prokhorov insisted 4A's new parent company shouldn't be blamed for its working conditions, stating: "Just like us, they ended up in a harsh situation and had to do a lot of things in two months, which was definitely a very hard task."