And sometimes I should let other people’s words do the talking: ( http://www.igda.org/newsroom/newsletter_0908.txt)
If there is any linkage issues, I’ve added the full text at the bottom of this post.  We had hoped to talk about this weeks ago but frankly, other things (like the launch of WAR) took precedence.  As Jen’s letter made clear, Mythic had made this decision to amend this policy before Jen and I had a chance to talk, I’m sorry that that we couldn’t talk about it publicly before now.

There are a few lessons to be learned from this situation. Sometimes people are rather quick to rush to judgment on things. Along the same lines, I wish that some people had given me the benefit of the doubt before things got ugly or at least talked to me about things before getting out the tar and feathers. Jen, being the person she is, stood up and apologized not because she was totally off-base in what she said but rather, because she didn’t pick up and phone and call me before she sent out the call to action. If she had, I would have told her about N’Gai’s suggestion and that since that day, Mythic was determining whether and then how to move forward with it. The situation post-newsletter could have been avoided and I would not have had to go through some of the stuff I had to go through.  We see this sort of situation play itself out again and again in our industry and others. In some cases, people’s lives are derailed and sometimes ruined by this type of stuff. Words can be very powerful weapons, especially in the wrong hands and I know that this situation has again reemphasized the importance of my long-standing policies not to call out other developers or to engage in some of the character attacks (assassination is way to strong of a word) that I went through. I am far from a perfect human being but I know I am a good human being who is always trying to become better at this game of life.

For the strength of character to apologize for the mistake and for the even greater display of honor she showed by doing so publicly, Jen has my thanks and my respect.

For the great suggestion at a time when I needed it, my thanks go out to N’Gai.

FYI, I’m not denying that our policy was as it was, I explained the reasons behind it in various interviews and we are still reserving in-game credits for the launch team as an extra way of saying thank you to them.  However, we’ve also expanded the policy because it is a nice thing to do.  I’ll leave other people to argue over whether it is right, necessary, just, etc. since nice works well enough in this case.

———

Originally Posted by IGDA Newsletter
Dear Members and friends,

In the August newsletter ( http://www.igda.org/newsroom/newsletter_0808.txt ), I criticized Mythic’s credits policy specifically, and the industry in general, for not adopting inclusive credit standards. I’d like to set the record straight on a number of things that have happened over the past month.

When the credits story first appeared, Mark Jacobs, the GM of Mythic, was in the middle of a series of interviews in New York. After an interview with N’Gai Croal of Newsweek and Level Up blog, Mark asked N’Gai for his thoughts on the subject. N’Gai suggested simply putting the full credits online. Mark is in the process of implementing N’Gai’s suggestion, and in doing so, Mythic will move towards a greater level of credits inclusiveness.

I’ve known Mark for more than 10 years now, and he’s always been a strong proponent of the online games industry and an ethical businessman. Mark was honest about a difficult subject and immediately after the interviews ended, he began a process of formulating new credit policies. Unfortunately, when the previous newsletter was sent out, Mark, unbeknownst to the me, was quietly continuing to work on a new credit policy for the studio. Mark, I regret that my comments caused you personal and professional distress.

The Mythic team is also taking the following steps to address credit policies:
- In-game and manual credits will be reserved for the launch team.
- Mythic will create an online database listing the name and title of everyone who contributed to a project, regardless of current employment status. Additionally, the studio will make best efforts to provide this information for its previous online games.
- Mythic has committed to working with the IGDA, leading game industry history and credit sites and other interested parties to establish a credits feed, listing all contributors, to promote fair and accurate credit reporting across the industry.
- Mark Jacobs will consult with the IGDA Credits Standard Committee to offer guidance on the issues and challenges posed specifically by MMOs.

Fair and accurate credits and transparent standards for crediting remain a pervasive problem in the industry, and I applaud Mythic for taking steps to address this issue. I’m personally looking forward to Mark’s involvement with the Credit Standards Committee, not only because of his depth of experience in online games, but because, more importantly, his personal commitment to fair and accurate credits sets an outstanding example for industry leadership.

My newsletter intros usually end with a call to action, and this one is no exception. We must continue the dialogue on credits, and on other topics like quality of life, that have a direct impact on the lives of game developers. Get involved, discuss these issues with your peers, and please join me in recognizing Mythic’s new crediting efforts.

Once again, the IGDA’s credit standards info is at:

http://www.igda.org/credit/

- Jen MacLean
Chairperson, IGDA
VP Business Development, 38 Studios

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