TDU Solar Crown: Developer Kylotonn Goes on Strike!

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A day before the big streamed event supposed to reveal more about Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown, the workers from the developing studio for the game, Kylotonn, published an official letter declaring a strike.

Image credit: Nacon/KT Racing

The statement has been posted on the STJV's website (Syndicat des Travailleurs et Travailleuses du Jeu Vidéo - translated to English: Union of Video Game Workers), which as its name states, is a french union dedicated to employees from the video game industry.

Communication Issues with Management Team​

The strike seems to have been prompted due to relationship issues between Nacon and Kylotonn (KT Racing) management and the developp
ers team. The main griefs cited are difficulties to communicate and set up negotiations with higher-ups regarding working conditions.

With the TDU Connect show originally planned for July 12th at 7:00 PM CEST, one can wonder if this strike will impact the show. Seeing that it is scheduled as a premiere on Youtube, it should not be postponed as it indicates the video is prerecorded.

You can read the full letter below:
We relay this press release from workers on strike at the Kylotonn studio, on Tuesday, July 11, 2023.
In the majority of studios acquired by Nacon, the group :
  • is the studio’s sole shareholder
  • owns the entire intellectual property of any produced games
  • funds the studios on a project-by-project month-by-month basis, giving Nacon real life or death power over the studios.
In practice, this means that the studios act as subcontractors, producing games on behalf of the group, as Nacon subsidiaries.
This structure enables studio and Nacon management to pass the buck whenever workers demand accountability, pay rises and social measures. Workers are preventing from finding intermediaries for discussion, thus cancelling any attempt at negotiation.
On Tuesday July 11, 2023, Nacon Group’s number 2, Laurent Honoret, has presented Nacon’s 2022-2023 balance sheet to Kylotonn workers. This annual event is the only direct point of contact between the studio’s workers and the Nacon Group.
The studio workers took advantage of this moment to ask Nacon if the group would commit to providing more resources for Kylotonn and the group’s studios in general. The aim is to give the studio employee representatives more room to breathe in their negotiations with the studio heads, and to prevent studio management from using Nacon as an excuse to avoid mandatory negotiations.
Laurent Honoret replied: « No ». He added that it was the studio management’s prerogative to negotiate more budget with Nacon. This statement shattered the excuses of Kylotonn’s management, who has always blamed Nacon for the lack of negotiation.
In reaction to this unsatisfactory response, which crowned a series of problems and sufferings long denounced by staff representatives, workers went on strike and left the room after presenting the following demands:
  • Negotiation of a remote work policy with the trade unions
  • Negotiation of minimum wages and compensation with trade unions, in place of unilateral management decisions that penalize a significant proportion of workers
  • Immediate implementation by management of concrete measures to put an end to the pathogenic and authoritarian management style that threatens workers’ mental health and cohesion
  • Negotiation of working conditions adjustment processes, which currently have to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis with great difficulties
  • Opening of compulsory annual negotiations and systematic negotiation with trade unions for all matters falling within their prerogatives
  • Systematic information and consultation of the CSE on matters falling within its purview
  • Full transparency on the negotiations between Nacon and Kylotonn to find out where the deadlock lies, by including employee representatives in these negotiations
  • Same level of transparency for the group’s other studios
  • Immediate wage increases throughout the Nacon group at least equal to those at Kylotonn after renegotiation.

Your Thoughts​

What do you make of the surprising strike? Let us know in the comments below!
About author
GT-Alex
Global motorsports enjoyer, long time simracer, Gran Turismo veteran, I've been driving alongside top drivers since the dawn of online pro leagues on Gran Turismo, and qualified for the only cancelled FIA GTC World Tour. I've left aside competitive driving in 2020 to dedicate myself to IGTL, a simracing organisation hosting high quality events for pro racers and customers, to create with friends the kind of events we wished we could have had. We strive to provide the best events for drivers and the best content for viewers, and want to help the simracing scene grow and shine further in the global esports scene.

Comments

Premium
Believe it or not I've been playing TDU2 on PS3 lately (first time on PS3 for me) and wow is it ever good. Coming from Forza Horizon I was so surprised a lot of the same features were in a game from 2011.

Modders have been doing amazing things with TDU2 on PC judging by YouTube videos.

I'll be looking forward to this new game if it lives up to the old one.
 
Kyloton : No gsync, 60fps or 120fps, stutter...how they can release a game like this to challenge the FORZA HORIZON KING ? even the crew is struggling
 
Good on them, worker unity and going on strike are the only ways to bring bad or abusive mgmt to the table, improve your working conditions and compensation, and increase your control over the means of your production. We know without a doubt that working conditions in this industry are often toxic and abusive. Fight for your right to party, Kylotonn workers! Don't worry, nobody is going to miss Test Drive Solar Crown, this is not a big loss :p
 
It's bad for consumers as strikes can leave people without necessities, but this type of thing just doesn't happen enough...

And when it does happen regularly enough to get the pay and conditions to a decent level, you'll get fools who blame the unions for forcing the work to go where the conditions are worse and labour is cheaper... Rather than blame the greed of the CEO's who make the decision to move the company to a cheaper labour location...

If it happened more and in more industries on a global scale the shear volume of numbers would break that cycle... But we aren't anywhere near that type of parity thanks to this weird pissing contest that is the global economy...
 
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Premium
Damn how many dev teams has Nacon pissed off at this point, they honestly seem like a terrible publisher to be under at this point, I dont think ive ever seen a positive word said about them
 
Something like this was to be expected. If you look at what has been released under the Nacon brand recently in the Racing games genre (excluding WRC and TT:IoM) none of these games have achieved any success. Overpass, Monster Trucks Champ., etc. - games with a lot of potential turned out to be unnecessary, also because of Nacon's "make it-sell it-forget it" policy. Players who bought these games write about bugs, ask to fix something, apparently not realizing that "The bus is gone", and no one is going to fix or add anything.
At the same time, this approach hits not only the finances of the studios that developed these games, but also the reputation: "Oh, this is studio XXX, which made a lame game YYY? Piece of s@#t".
But these are small studios and small projects. No game from Nacon can compare to TDU in terms of scope, not even WRC, which was essentially in development for about 10 years. TDU is a greenfield project, requiring significantly more labor and correspondingly more funding.
 
With how notoriously horrible the game development industry is in regards to working conditions, this is a very welcome move from Kylotonn. Would love seeing it more often.
 
French workers on a strike? how original
Indeed, working conditions there have been decreasing a lot for 20 years, since the implementztion of the Euro, as salaries has been increasing much slower than the prices and then, logically, than the companies results. Currently around 25% of the people have to skip a meal each day. In a 'modern" and rIch country, where everyone has a minimum income. So, you should understand why going on strike may be a good idea. Maybe you don't remembered the huge movement in the country, during months, by people who just asked to be able to live decently by working, violently repressed and stopped thanks to / because of (chose your point of view) the xovid crisis. And with this crisis the same people are even poorer than before. Rememebr that this movement had started to contaminate other countries? Maybe we should not harshly judge those who started the fight for their rights and gave hope to others.

I don't know the situation of Kylotonn, but obviously something is wrong. I saw few weeks ago they were trying to hire many people (AI programmers, cars designers...). There's obviously a turnover issue. And the strike is against Nacon and also against Kylotonn's management. From what I read, the CSE (which represents the company's employees) is, as in many companies, misused, as the requests from the workers are natural prerogatives of the CSE. This one should have act before this situation happened. It is able to ask and obtain economical information, with its own expert. It obviously hasn't been done there unfortunately. That's what happen when employees are represented by incompetents. Let's hope the situation will change. 1nd currently people there are not willing to be treated like that anymore. Companies should learn...
 
OverTake
Premium
Quite apart from salaries, simply being funded on a month to month basis seems both bizarre (self-defeating!) and disgraceful. And yeah I imagine many of the workers already voted with their feet...
 
The French do enjoy striking, as long as I can remember. Sounds like they're not having a fun time making this game though :-(
You realise your are speaking about people who generally already struggle to have a decent life and who decide to stop getting their salary to defend their rights and ask for respect? I'm not in that situation by chance but I think at least I can show some respect (and their are other reasons to go on a strike, like saving a company managed by incompetent greedy people who put this same company in danger, and the jobs too ; something I mentionned in my previous post that unfortunately isn't understand by French workers as they are often badly represented). You should show some respect too ; no one, especially the workers, enjoy going on a strike.
 

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