Variety Report: NetherRealm Studios allegedly a sexist & toxic workplace

Cokomon

Member
Nov 11, 2017
921
Like SinkFla said earlier in this thread, I've always been a big fan of NRS's games (both MK and Injustice), so it's disheartening and disappointing to hear that the studio culture is so messed up. Especially, since they seem to be leading the fighting game space in making their games more progressive (a low bar, I know). To hear that they're internal culture betrays that image is really disappointing, and I hope that the recent exposés result in fixing the company culture and leading it in a positive direction.
 

Ceadeus

Member
Jan 11, 2018
506
User Banned (1 week): Excusing homophobia over a series of posts.
I have to agree here. I've done a ton of contract work so I've worked over a dozen companies in different industries. This strain of blatant sexism is odd. This is the sort of behavior I would see growing up in high school, strictly being serious.
exactly. Well from time to time I start wondering if some people just like to play the victim
 

Dorfdad

Member
Oct 27, 2017
560
Until a week or two ago, I tought they were genuine good guys. Fuck them. I hope more dev speak and show us the true face of the industry.
Pleas expand this to your local church, grocery store, barber shop, etc this isn’t a Games industry issue, though this is a game forum so it’s laser focused, but the reality is as a species we humans are petty, scared, judgemental, and ignorant to other humans and creatures.

What I hope happens is this is exposed in EVERY sector of humanity and than maybe than people will slowly expand their thoughts. It’s been happening for thousands of years so expecting it to change overnight with some law or other forced method isn’t the answer. Expose the darkness to the light and hopes that it begins to Writher in the exposure.
 

Aurongel

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,471
That’s not acceptable regardless of their weak ass excuses. I’ve managed QA devs in the past who’ve worked 70+ hour weeks during regression testing and I would fire their asses in a heartbeat if I heard of this happening under my watch.
 

NarohDethan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,249
That’s not acceptable regardless of their weak ass excuses. I’ve managed QA devs in the past who’ve worked 70+ hour weeks during regression testing and I would fire their asses in a heartbeat if I heard of this happening under my watch.
This is why Ed Boon doesnt get a pass from me. He is a straiaght white male, and a household name. He has the power to prevent this.
 

MatrixMan.exe

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,211
Until a week or two ago, I tought they were genuine good guys. Fuck them. I hope more dev speak and show us the true face of the industry.
Unfortunately this isn't a game industry specific issue though. This is a corporate issue in general. You'll find similar if not worse stories coming out of the film and music industry for example where sexual harassment and abuse are rampant. It's something that needs to be dealt of at a societal level on all fronts.
 

Musubi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,607
So, they literally did just go woke for good publicity, not because they thought it was the right thing to do? Because it seems like in private they don't care about that shit at all.
In going to say this is probably most companies. Whatever is better for their bottom dollar. Great time to remind everyone that companies aren't your friends and they dont care about you.
 

Cordy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,106
Jesus fucking Christ.... :(

Why is this shit making it so difficult for me to purchase MK11?
Still get it if you want. A dev around the RDR2 stuff answered a question in regards to the crunch and Rockstar stuff. Someone asked if they should get the game still. The dev said to get the game and push back and be vocal about the culture and toxic nature that's out because it makes the good people who did work not have their work thrown to the wayside. It also shows that the bad practices won't stand. That's how I view these things.

I found the Waypoint article on whether you should buy certain games or not still. They ask multiple devs.

https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/kzjvm9/game-developers-give-advice-on-how-to-make-their-industry-a-better-place

Anyway glad WB is stepping up early but idk. This stuff is straight horrific. Like, they literally gotta rebuild from the ground up. I couldn't even finish the article due to the content. We gotta be as vocal as possible.
 
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SilverX

Member
Jan 21, 2018
2,587
People used to get given free cigarettes at tabacco companies, and smoking in the office was commonplace. People were harmed by the culture back then. Of course, now that has been fixed due to laws regarding smoking in workplaces, and well-known effects of smoking. Get where I'm coming at here?

Change will come from top-down, we can hope. Seniors might not even be aware of this happening. Do you really think they walk the halls all day? From my experience of this kind of work, they only visit on candidate build days to do playtests with the rest of the team and grab feedback. Everyone was on their best behaviour, no usual joking around, just serious faces and work tabs only on the browsers.
But there are laws and policies in place to protect against things happening at the studio.... the change is there it is just not being properly enforced or taken seriously.

"Seniors might not even be aware of this happening."

I was waiting for you to get to this, but even so, it is a pretty poor excuse/explanation that shouldn't be said. You can't look at this as "something that just never reached the top so nothing was done", this is an issue that has specific departments dedicated to handling the issues in the work environment. This is an issue that many companies still have, I know, but Netherrealm has a greater responsibility as they were at the forefront of progressive changes in fighting games.

It really undoes the good intent they had and it SHOULD be more surprising to you guys given what they are representing with MK now.
 

MatrixMan.exe

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,211
What does being white have to do with it though? I've worked with some raunchy ass black and Latino coworkers as well.
I'm sure you have, but he lack of racial and gender diversity is a big contributing factor. Unless you're trying to suggest that the video game industry being over represented by white, straight middle class men isn't an issue?

Not saying it is THE problem, but it is A problem partly contributing to the issues highlighted in this thread.
 

Ceadeus

Member
Jan 11, 2018
506
Yeah same with me. I work in a different industry and it’s hard to imagine any of this stuff being tolerated. Gaming industry has a long ways to go.
Do you think this is because of the industry? I mean they are all grown people. If i were gay and one person or two would laugh at me, i would simply defend and say , yeah I'm gay i love boys anything wrong with that?

And where is the boss in all those scories, arnt there some sort of respect standard?

If i were to bully someone at my job, my boss would immediatly say you are suspended for 3 days straight.
 

Ceadeus

Member
Jan 11, 2018
506
So you admit you joke about his homosexuality and it’s all cool because he’s a grown man and that justifies it? Listen I had said my share of indecent statements so I’m not throwing rocks saying I’m better, but maybe just maybe these people accept the joke cause they have to. What if one day they up and quit than file a lawsuit saying they made jokes at my expense when you clearly thought they were ok and rolled with it. Your company would than be labeled as a horrible workplace rightly or wrongly.

What they said was depolorable and should be addressed. However acting like most of have never done anything remotely like this in any context is pure bologna. It’s not right and we need to fix this as a society.

Moral of the post while it’s sad this happens far to often don’t act like your shit don’t stink also. Learn from your mistakes and try to get better instead of openly bashing others from your ivory towers
No it's misunderstood my english is not always perfect. The joke we did is, we were for the rare time, 4 men working at the kitchen this day and my collegue said , dude take a picture of us for the rare time we are 4 guys and no women... Well 3 real guy and... We all laughed, we all know it's a dumb joke we respect everyone we're pretty much a famill at this point.

And most of my friends are gay, so I'm totally being poked from time to time because I'm straight.

Self mockery is a good thing.
 

60EffPeeEss

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,014
"Seniors might not even be aware of this happening."

I was waiting for you to get to this, but even so, it is a pretty poor excuse/explanation that shouldn't be said. You can't look at this as "something that just never reached the top so nothing was done", this is an issue that has specific departments dedicated to handling the issues in the work environment.
Like I said, managers aren't just hovering about waiting for things to happen, and no way in hell are HR doing the same.

These "specific departments" don't do overtime and don't sit in the office all hours like QA would do. I've worked QA before and done countless shifts until 1am, and HR would clock in at 9am and leave at 5pm. Nobody else would be in the whole building after 5 but QA, not even QA managers. That leaves plenty of time for a lot of shit to kick off, and I bet you that people being cunts will be acting the cunt more often after managers have left the building.

Your post reads like wishful thinking but you have to realise the reality of things. These behaviours are being performed in departments that aren't respected. Nobody is keeping an eye on them unless results begin to slip, and even then, they won't think of how staff might be disrespecting each other, they'll just assume they need to put more hours in and will schedule more crunch time. People will be afraid to report this kind of thing because it could put their job at risk.
 

Garlador

Member
Oct 30, 2017
4,940
I've been a fan of Mortal Kombat since... well, MK1. I was a moderator on mortalkombatonline for many years. I even learned game development and applied to work at NRS once before.

I made so many friends through this community from all walks of life, so many great members of the LGBTQ+ community. My wife and I had dates where she kicked my butt as Kitana (I knew I found the one...) and how happy the series made her to have other women so passionate about the lore, story, and characters.

So... it does suck to hear stories about how the product we got isn't reflective of the behavior or staff that made it. Whether it was "catering" or not, it's been appreciated to see the series grow more progressive and respectful of its playerbase and how it presents itself to the masses.

I hope they can pull it together. The games themselves are great!... but it's not impossible to have them remain so without the stigma of toxic and harmful development dragging it down. MK is going to be fine, but the people who are hurting to make it may not be.

Do them right. Everything else will work itself out.
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,270
Do you think this is because of the industry? I mean they are all grown people. If i were gay and one person or two would laugh at me, i would simply defend and say , yeah I'm gay i love boys anything wrong with that?

And where is the boss in all those scories, arnt there some sort of respect standard?

If i were to bully someone at my job, my boss would immediatly say you are suspended for 3 days straight.
Yes, it is probably in part due to the industry. Gaming has grown in part out of the tech sector. The tech sector has historically been anti-corporate - in terms of self-image, anyhow. One of the ways they've commonly expressed that is trying to aim for less stuffy, restrictive workplace environments. That can lead to environments where abuse is tolerated or encouraged because it's presented as humorous or jocular, and so welcome in a deliberately unprofessional environment.

Following up on that:

What does being white have to do with it though? I've worked with some raunchy ass black and Latino coworkers as well.
It isn't specifically a white issue, but part of what allows it is that it's the sort of environment that's most attractive to people with privilege. The people in the majority are free to target people who aren't, which can be seen as liberating and unrestrictive if you're not the one being targeted.

Consider Michael from The Office.
 

scitek

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,357
HR doesn't care about employees, generally.
I've never worked in the gaming industry, but I feel like the HR departments at the companies I have worked for would've taken similar complaints seriously.

I HAVE worked for bad managers, though, and it's incredibly frustrating and draining to have to work harder to overcome their ineptitude.
 

Ceadeus

Member
Jan 11, 2018
506
Yes, it is probably in part due to the industry. Gaming has grown in part out of the tech sector. The tech sector has historically been anti-corporate - in terms of self-image, anyhow. One of the ways they've commonly expressed that is trying to aim for less stuffy, restrictive workplace environments. That can lead to environments where abuse is tolerated or encouraged because it's presented as humorous or jocular, and so welcome in a deliberately unprofessional environment.

Following up on that:



It isn't specifically a white issue, but part of what allows it is that it's the sort of environment that's most attractive to people with privilege. The people in the majority are free to target people who aren't, which can be seen as liberating and unrestrictive if you're not the one being targeted.

Consider Michael from The Office.
Ok that's well explained.
 

NarohDethan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,249
I've never worked in the gaming industry, but I feel like the HR departments at the companies I have worked for would've taken similar complaints seriously.

I HAVE worked for bad managers, though, and it's incredibly frustrating and draining to have to work harder to overcome their ineptitude.
I've seen more people fired for complaining about abuse than abusers themselves.
 

Dorfdad

Member
Oct 27, 2017
560
No it's misunderstood my english is not always perfect. The joke we did is, we were for the rare time, 4 men working at the kitchen this day and my collegue said , dude take a picture of us for the rare time we are 4 guys and no women... Well 3 real guy and... We all laughed, we all know it's a dumb joke we respect everyone we're pretty much a famill at this point.

And most of my friends are gay, so I'm totally being poked from time to time because I'm straight.

Self mockery is a good thing.
All good than I’m just pointing out that we all say things that are improper myself included way to often but not as a means for being rude instead for a stupid laugh usually at the expense of someone else’s feeling. I have to be a better person than I have been.
 

Cokomon

Member
Nov 11, 2017
921
I wonder how many angry YouTubers are going to be up in arms about this? I guess it doesn't impact their wallet or their #BonerKulture, so they probably won't care. I'm betting Jim Sterling will be the only one to say anything.
 

Cordy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,106
Like I said, managers aren't just hovering about waiting for things to happen, and no way in hell are HR doing the same.

These "specific departments" don't do overtime and don't sit in the office all hours like QA would do. I've worked QA before and done countless shifts until 1am, and HR would clock in at 9am and leave at 5pm. Nobody else would be in the whole building after 5 but QA, not even QA managers. That leaves plenty of time for a lot of shit to kick off, and I bet you that people being cunts will be acting the cunt more often after managers have left the building.
Yeah. After the main office hours hit it's free roam. I had a corporate job that operated like this. As soon as 4 hit, the salary people dashed so the issues you had you'd have to wait until the morning.
 

Mr. X

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,545
What feels that way?
The plethora of crypt glitches, the way loot works making hard or impossible to collect everything (when you get a dupe, it's treated like a new unlock), the towers had super unfair modifiers and prereqs for char towers.

The "tourney" variants for many characters are surprisingly bad and IMO not played with by or against knowledgeable players. Hitstun on D1 that makes opp crouch and your follow up miss.

The gameplay is ace, the training mode is ace, the tutorials when they worked were ace.

Foh with the "hyperbole" at me. You said added "really" buggy, not I. All I do is sink 1000 hours into fgs offline and online vs people at home or locals.

Edit: No comment on the online issues that others have had with the game like rewards or dc'ing.
 

Sou Da

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,395
I wonder how many angry YouTubers are going to be up in arms about this? I guess it doesn't impact their wallet or their #BonerKulture, so they probably won't care. I'm betting Jim Sterling will be the only one to say anything.
Gonna bet ol Quarterpounder is going to use it as some sort of dumb "see, all she's are faking it for attention" video.
 

60EffPeeEss

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,014
Yeah. After the main office hours hit it's free roam. I had a corporate job that operated like this. As soon as 4 hit, the salary people dashed so the issues you had you'd have to wait until the morning.
Yeah, I've worked plenty places where every rule goes out the window after the managers leave. People still get shit done but there's music blaring, people chucking stuff around the room, shoes off with feet on tables, takeaways ordered in by the truckload, people setting up games consoles or laptops to play games in downtime, etc.

Its not hard to understand that most of the bad behaviour noted in these articles will be getting performed out of hours. Its still not an excuse but a tired and worn down workforce won't keep to morals and ethics as often as a workplace where people are respected.
 

Lopez

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
5,477
A dumpster
The plethora of crypt glitches, the way loot works making hard or impossible to collect everything (when you get a dupe, it's treated like a new unlock), the towers had super unfair modifiers and prereqs for char towers.

The "tourney" variants for many characters are surprisingly bad and IMO not played with by or against knowledgeable players. Hitstun on D1 that makes opp crouch and your follow up miss.

The gameplay is ace, the training mode is ace, the tutorials when they worked were ace.

Foh with the "hyperbole" at me. All I do is sink 1000 hours into fgs offline and online vs people at home or locals.

Edit: No comment on the online issues that others have had with the game like rewards or dc'ing.
I don’t really care for the Krypt and Towers so I guess that’s why I haven’t ran into any issues.
 

Cordy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,106
Yeah, I've worked plenty places where every rule goes out the window after the managers leave. People still get shit done but there's music blaring, people chucking stuff around the room, shoes off with feet on tables, takeaways ordered in by the truckload, people setting up games consoles or laptops to play games in downtime, etc.

Its not hard to understand that most of the bad behaviour noted in these articles will be getting performed out of hours. Its still not an excuse but a tired and worn down workforce won't keep to morals and ethics as often as a workplace where people are respected.
That's exactly how it is. Even when I worked my first job at Target this happened. Dudes turned the TVs to music videos, had music blasting, just stuff like that. It's crazy how common it is at jobs. Most establishments I've seen as like this.
 

RiggityRice

Member
Oct 28, 2017
194
Ahhh fuck...this is disappointing. I never knew about all of this. I almost picked up a Netherealm Studios hoodie last month too..
 

Young Liar

Member
Nov 30, 2017
581
Jesus christ NRS. Ed Boon and everyone in management, it's just not enough that you overwork your employees, you also have to perpetuate a culture that degrades women and lgbtq+ folks that make your games too, huh? Y'all should be fucking ashamed. Zero surprise now about casting Ronda Rousey, too.

More gaming outlets need to echo this and shine the light even brighter on NRS' shitty workplace conditions. Fucking grill their ass on the heat. Game journos, critics, and personalities who are fans of the games shouldn't let "game is gud tho" keep them from mentioning this important issue every single time they cover MK11 from here on out. I don't think I can stand to hear praise for that game anymore without the HUGE CAVEAT that it was made in disgusting work conditions.
 

MrCibb

Member
Dec 12, 2018
528
UK
It's almost surreal to hear about this happening because everywhere I've ever worked, and particularly where I am now, if this went on it'd be grounds for immediate dismissal for everybody involved.

Very disappointing to hear and they need to sort that shit out. I don't want to support a studio knowing that this is going on.
 

HK-47

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,361
This flies in the face of all the current designs for the female characters in the game.

Wonder why they didn't just go MK9 levels of fanservice if this is how thing were behind the scenes? Shit was bound to come to light and undo any goodwill garnered by the good outfits for the women.
Probably different individuals were in charge of the design that presumably don’t have these views.
 

MatrixMan.exe

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,211
Yea its not white male dominated environments. Shoudldve just stopped at your first statement
Are you serious? Male dominated environments in general is a problem, look at Japan for instance. However, in Europe and the USA white male dominated environments is also a huge contributing issue.

Why should I have stopped? This is literally an big topic of discussion within the game development right now.
 

Thizzles

Banned
Feb 9, 2019
315
Are you serious? Male dominated environments in general is a problem, look at Japan for instance. However, in Europe and the USA white male dominated environments is also a huge contributing issue.

Why should I have stopped? This is literally an big topic of discussion within the game development scene right now.
Which is why i said you shouldve stopped after saying male dominated enviroments are an issue. To single it to white males is just stupid
 

Lord Azrael

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,698
I don't understand. I had many job in my life and never, ever encounter thèse kind of issues.

It kind of shows they might have too much free time if some of them can start having thèse precise type of discussion. There's hundreds of subject you can talk about but some of them chose this. What a trash bin really.

Right now where I work there is a couple of homosexual collègue, and the farter we go is joking about it but everyone know it's a joke and the dude just laugh at it, he's a grown man hé knows himself well enough. So hé just laugh with us and mirror the joke to the hetero. It's 2019. Thèse subject should be in the very past , it's ridiculous by now.
lmao What is this post

I could have thousands of hours of free time at my workplace and not devolve to these kinds of conversations. Maybe your workplace is the kind that would, if your excuse makes sense to you and you think it's okay to joke about homosexuality just because they laugh along?
 

2n2

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,184
Well now I don't believe Rousey was a stupid, ignorant decision.
It seems more likely that some of the arseholes who work there actually support her.
Totally makes sense now, it seems.

What's this, the 3rd or 4th exposé on them? And Ed Boon still hasn't said anything?
I wouldn't expect any comments on this coming from Boon himself. HR would typically want to handle this and damage control for the company if needed, and try to get everyone else to be mum.
 

jett

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,988
The studio says it’s now investigating those issues, following Variety’s inquiries.
You mean the dipshits that promoted and cultivated this behavior are in charge of investigating the dipshittery?
 

MatrixMan.exe

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,211
Which is why i said you shouldve stopped after saying male dominated enviroments are an issue. To single it to white males is just stupid
Why is it stupid? I'll repeat what I said earlier. It is not THE problem, but it is A problem. A big one, which is contributing heavily to a lot of the toxicity you see within this industry. Look at the nonsense that happened at Riot with people freely using the N word for example.

Feel free to tell me I'm wrong though.
 

Thizzles

Banned
Feb 9, 2019
315
Why is it stupid? I'll repeat what I said earlier. It is not THE problem, but it is A problem. A big one, which is contributing heavily to a lot of the toxicity you see within this industry. Look at the nonsense that happened at Riot with people freely using the N word for example.

Feel free to tell me I'm wrong though.
Im not saying you're wrong about male dominated enviroments. Im saying singling out one race as a bigger problem ia dumb. I can easily tell you that working in a male dominated enviroment the people ive met that have been the most transphobic, homophobic and sexist people were never white. Racist? Yea id agree that white males would take that.