The devs behind Steam’s favorite list mark the day before the defense against the use of unpaid volunteers.

The devs behind Steam’s favorite list mark the day before the defense against the use of unpaid volunteers.

Fntastic, the studio that promotes Steam’s best-listed game days ago, released a statement to RPS explaining its policy of using paid and unpaid volunteers to build their team. The metaphorical alarm bells started earlier this week when it was revealed that Fntastic was made up entirely of “volunteers” – although full-time volunteers, kindly named “employees” in the statement. , Receive salaries.

You and I may immediately question the company’s performance if they say they use bidding to create products that people pay for. Fntastic founders Edward and Eisen Gototsev, however, have a broad view:

“Volunteering at Fntastic means someone works voluntarily for a common cause. We consider all team members, including employees, volunteers,” they said in a statement provided to RPS. “The idea comes from our experience and hopes. We, the founders of Fntastic, Eduard and Aisen, consider ourselves volunteers not only for Fntastic but in every area of ​​life.

The founders of Fntastic, Eduard and Aisen Gotovtsev, describe the volunteer mentality of their company.

The Gototsev brothers acknowledged that Fntastic is a “business organization” that aims to “create the best conditions” for team members, and that “as our organization grows in capacity, we intend to “People have become more involved in improving lives.” You think a good place to start might be to pay all their employees. The statement then went on to describe Fntastic’s team structure, including the differences between their paid employees and unpaid supporters:

“Anyone who is open to life can volunteer with Fntastic, and there are two types of volunteers. Today we have over 100 full-time internal volunteers (staff) from Singapore, Russia, the Netherlands, Thailand, Ukraine, Finland, Kazakhstan and Belarus. ) We work as engineers, artists, human rights specialists, etc. We also have 40 foreign Americans. Volunteers (supporters) from all over the world who help test and review the first phase of our products. .

Importantly, the Gottssev brothers provided more information about the work that unpaid supporters contribute to the day before and other fantasy games, such as the online survival horror propaganda. “In addition to testing, foreign volunteers (supporters) help locate products in different languages,” they said. However, they did note:

“Last year, we ordered a placement for Propanite from a well-known large studio that specializes in translation. As practice has shown, the result of their work was not so perfect. With the help of volunteers (supporters) it can be done again. At Propinet, together with these supporters, we found the cages, dealt with the drivers, and even organized our Discord community.

Surely when supporters move to replace paid work they should also be paid? Nor in the “beautiful prizes, subscription certificates, and free codes”, as described on their website. I asked Fntastic for more details on this. The statement also said Fntastic plans to hire their “most active foreign volunteers (supporters)” for full-time work, adding that a supporter based in the Netherlands recently joined as a full-time employee. That’s a good sign, but you’d expect to see a paycheck for every supporter who goes to cover for contractors.

The day before is scheduled for release on March 1st 2023, the June 21st of this year has been pushed back from its previous launch date due to the expansion to Unreal Engine 5. It is still the best listed game on Steam.


Update: Fntastic responded to my question about the work of their supporters at Propanet with a follow-up statement:

When our players encountered that the translation was not enough, they contacted us with some of their translations that they had already prepared. They wanted to happily help because they really liked the game. In addition, there are no large dialogues or texts in the game, the general amount of text is small. It is important to note that the latter fact does not diminish what they have done for us in any way. It was a big help for which they got special roles in the game Discard Server. We are always open to suggestions from our loved ones, and never take advantage of people’s work, or help anyone.

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