Insomniac Games faces criticism from former staff members for not crediting them on Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
During this year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC), Insomniac Games did a talk on Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Specifically, the design process for new protagonist Rivet and how the team came up with her name and worked to make her a strong female lead for the game.
Said talk was transcribed and shared by IGN and soon picked up traction, although not for the right reasons. It turns out Insomniac failed to credit someone who was instrumental to Rivet’s design. That someone was the lead writer herself, Sam Maggs.
Maggs, who currently works as a narrative lead at Wizards of the Coast, shared the IGN article on Twitter, saying ‘It’s pretty upsetting and frankly offensive that they never once mention me, given I was the lead writer and responsible for a ton of this development.’
That said, she also stresses in a separate Twitter thread that Rivet’s development was a team effort and she can’t take sole credit, later naming developer David Kim as the one to initially suggest the name Rivet.
She later provides a number of details that Stuart didn’t share during the talk, namely that she had to fight tooth and nail to not give Rivet stereotypical features like breasts and make-up, and to prevent Rivet from being cut out of the game altogether.
She specifically calls out Stuart for trying to take credit for her work and alleges that he constantly tried to undermine her during her time at the studio. What’s more, in the game’s credits, her name is only listed in the ‘Special Thanks’ section.
‘This speaks to a broader issue of game devs being entirely erased from the narrative of their own work once they leave a studio. I’m not even credited as a writer on this game despite dedicating a year and a half of my life to it and creating Rivet’s personality from scratch,’ says Maggs.
This is a very prominent issue within the industry. Only last year, a number of Metroid Dread developers criticised MercurySteam for omitting them from the credits, simply because they hadn’t contributed enough to warrant it.
Maggs’ comments were corroborated by another former Insomniac employee, Xavier Coelho-Kostolny, who worked as the lead character artist for a year and was also not properly credited.
He also reveals that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart’s development was troubled, calling it ‘one of the most deeply frustrating experiences of my career.’
Despite Insomniac trying to cultivate a reputation for a positive working environment this is not the first time they’ve been accused of discrimination at the workplace.
Back in 2020, the studio was hit with multiple sexual harassment allegations and swore in a Twitter statement that it had taken steps to address them, although it didn’t provide any specifics.
It added: ‘We are a workplace family that has actively promoted diversity, inclusion, representation and equality for our entire existence. We will continue to do so every single day.’
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