Reportedly, Striking Distance Studios is under fire excluding programmers from The Callisto Protocol credits. Now, IGN’s own reports confirm the accounts that key names were omitted from the game’s end credits, and IGN has heard that the credits issues in games directed by Glen Schofield go further than just The Callisto Protocol.
In a report from gamesindustry.biz earlier this week, sources told the publication that an estimated 20 developers were omitted from The Callisto Protocol credits. IGN spoke to two former Striking Distance Studios employees who worked at the company during the development of The Callisto Protocol and confirmed details from the report.
One of the employees we spoke to was included in the credits despite having been with the company for less than a year during the development of Callisto Protocol. However, they told IGN that “some key people weren’t added” to the end credits.
“I can tell that two people weren’t added to the credits,” the developer tells IGN. “One of them, I feel like it was because of the drama in the department itself and that’s why they weren’t added. But second, I’m shocked because they’ve been working on some key elements and have started coming up with design features that are in the game today but aren’t in the credits at all.”
The former employee suggested that the blame could fall on department heads rather than supervisors at Striking Distance Studios, such as CEO Glen Schofield. This source says that supervisors do not know everyone who has come and gone from Striking Distance Studios due to high turnover during Callisto Protocol development.
However, our second source places some of the blame on Schofield. This former employee says he worked at Striking Distance Studios for over a year and was omitted from The Callisto Protocol credits.
“It’s a really terrible feeling to be left out of the credits for these games. It’s hard to describe how bad it feels because it can’t be fixed. These drives are somewhere in the world and there is no server… a side fix that can be released that will magically make all the time and effort I’ve put in suddenly appreciated. It may be sheer carelessness or lack of follow-up, but I think it’s symbolic of their overall attitude towards their employees – just an afterthought.”
Callisto protocol review screens
This source also has experience working with Schofield at the director’s former studio, Sledgehammer Games. According to this developer, the credit issues date back to the last few Schofield-directed games before The Callisto Protocol. Namely, a trio of Call of Duty titles: Modern Warfare 3, Advanced Warfare and WWII.
“I used to work for Glen Schofield for [multiple] years at Sledgehammer Games and have heard similar rumors about people skipping the credits in Modern Warfare 3… From my own experience, I can verify that people definitely skipped the credits in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.”
According to this source, the producer of the narrative in Advanced Warfare “has received clear orders from Glen and [Sledgehammer’s] Michael Condrey on the content of the credits.”
This source says their biggest personal snub was Call of Duty: WWII.
“I worked almost two full years on Call of Duty: WWII and was omitted from the credits, simply because I left the studio before the game was released – even though I was working like hell for this company and this game.”
Striking Distance Studios previously addressed criticisms of Schofield’s comments about a possible crunch culture within the company. In tweet now deletedSchofield wrote: “We work 6-7 days a week, no one is forcing us. Exhausted, tired, Covid, but we’re working. Bugs, glitches, performance fixes. 1 last sound pass. 12-15 hours a day. it’s a game. Hard work. Lunch, dinner at work. You do it because you like it.
Shofield went further apologize for leading his team into a crisissaying, “I finally screwed up and we worked more than we should have. This one escaped us.”
A former employee with experience at both Striking Distance Studios and Sledgehammer told IGN that the games directed by Schofield date back to the Call of Duty era.
“People were 100% paid for simply working all day every day, including weekends, and they were warmly encouraged to do so. This problem was exacerbated by the discretionary bonuses we were all chasing. There was no way to tell how the bonuses would be determined… So people would just burn themselves to the bone to hopefully be seen as providing the services that studio bosses were looking for.”
IGN contacted Striking Distance Studios for comment, but has not received a response since publication.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video games and entertainment news. He has over six years of gaming experience with IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.