Department of Labour response could set new precedent on overtime rights

Crunch allegations reach New Zealand government

Allegations of brutal crunch work at mobile developer Gameloft, where it is said some staff have worked 120-hour weeks, has led to an official complaint made to a government division in New Zealand.

Glenn Watson, who no longer works at Gameloft’s Auckland-based studio, has lodged his complaint at New Zealand’s Department of Labour.

He believes that the alleged assignment demands are in breach of worker’s rights.

Gameloft, which is cooperating with the New Zealand government, declined to comment when approached by Develop.

The Department of Labour has said it is still reviewing Watson’s complaint, particularly the accusation that unpaid overtime pushed working hours above 120 per week.

The department’s decision, if it falls in favour of Watson, could set a new precedent on game development working conditions in New Zealand.

That in turn could put pressure on overtime laws enacted in other countries.

Gameloft, which has studios dotted across the globe, reported revenues of €141 million in 2010.

Watson’s allegations have yet to be substantiated with evidence.

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