The developers behind Steam's wish list The Day Before defend the use of unpaid volunteers

The developers behind Steam’s wish list The Day Before defend the use of unpaid volunteers

Fntastic, the studio that develops Steam’s games on the wish list The day before, has issued a statement to RPS explaining their policy of using paid and unpaid volunteers to form its development team. Metaphorical warning bells began to ring earlier this week when it emerged that Fntastic consists entirely of “volunteers” – even if full-time volunteers, kindly called “employees” in the statement, receive salaries.

You and I may immediately question a company’s practice if they say they use volunteer work to get products that people pay for. However, Fntastic founders Eduard and Aisen Gotovtsev have a broader view:

“Volunteering at Fntastic means that a person works willingly for a common cause. We take into account all team members, including employees, volunteers “, they said in the statement to RPS. “This idea comes from our own experience and ambition. We, the founders of Fntastic, Eduard and Aisen, consider ourselves volunteers not only for Fntastic but in all areas of life.”

Fntastic’s founders, Eduard and Aisen Gotovtsev, explain their company’s volunteer thinking.

The Gotovtsev brothers acknowledged that Fntastic is a “commercial organization” that aims to “create the best conditions” for team members, and that “as our organization grows in capacity, we intend to be more involved in improving the lives of people around us. about the world “. One would think that a good place to start might be to pay all staff. The statement then went on to explain the structure of Fntastic’s team, including distinguishing between their paid staff and unpaid supporters:

“Anyone who is open to life can become a volunteer with Fntastic, and there are two types of volunteers. Today we have over 100 full-time internal volunteers (employees) from Singapore, Russia, the Netherlands, Thailand, Ukraine, Finland, Kazakhstan and Belarus who work as engineers, artists, HR professionals, etc. We also have 40 external US and worldwide volunteers ( supporters) who help to test and review our products at a very early stage. ”

Crucially, the Gotovtsev brothers provided more information about the work that unpaid supporters contribute to The Day Before and Fntastic’s other games, such as the horror of survival online Propnight. “In addition to testing, external volunteers (supporters) help locate products in different languages,” they said. But then they mentioned this:

“Last year we ordered a location for Propnight from a well-known large studio that specializes in translations. As practice has shown, the results of their work were not so perfect. Most had to be redone with the help of our enthusiastic volunteers (supporters). In Propnight, Together with these supporters, we found bugs, handled cheaters, and even organized our Discord communities. ”

Surely, when supporters step in to replace paid work, they should get paid too? And not in “cool rewards, certificates of participation and free codes”, as described in their website. I’ve asked Fntastic for more information on that. The statement also went on to say that Fntastic plans to recruit its “most active external volunteers (supporters) for full-time work”, saying that a supporter based in the Netherlands has recently joined as a full-time employee. That’s a good sign, but you should also hope for compensation for all the supporters who go in to cover entrepreneurs.

The Day Before is scheduled to be released on March 1, 2023, after being postponed from its previous launch date on June 21 this year due to development switches to Unreal Engine 5. It’s still the game on the wish list Steam.

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