If you’ve ever worked at a company that uses a work-from-home policy, then you’ve probably seen something like the following: If any game developer wants to make a game using Amazon Game Studios, it has to use the same Amazon Game Studios development environment. So if you say you’re making a game and you actually work from home, you have to use the same Amazon Game Studios development environment that everybody else is using. And we don’t want to support you using your home PC to make a game. So you have to make a game that we can control.
Amazon rolled out a policy last week that would allow Amazon employees to make games after hours to sell on Amazon’s marketplace if their games had been publicly released.
After a lot of backlash from workers and their supporters, Amazon Game Studios has retracted their policy that would have allowed Amazon employees to take credit for making a game during work time, even if they weren’t able to work on it during normal working hours.
Nobody can accuse Amazon Game Studios of being a think tank, given that the company has previously been exposed as a place where trends are followed and games are scrapped when they become unpopular. Last month, a Google software engineer shared a portion of a contract AGS employees must sign that requires workers making games in their spare time to use Amazon products and services, distribute their personal game on Amazon-owned platforms, and automatically grant Amazon a royalty-free, fully paid-up license to all of their intellectual property rights to a Google software engineer.
As one would imagine, the disclosure of this portion of the job contract sparked outrage among certain industry game developers, who dubbed the conditions “draconian” and shared other studios’ problematic employment contract provisions, while others said Amazon’s requirements were perfectly typical. However, the publicity was enough for AGS to notice, and the studio has now removed such conditions from employee contracts.
“These rules were initially put in place over a decade ago when we had a lot less knowledge and experience than we have today, and as a consequence, the policies were written very broadly,” studio head Frank Frazzini writes in an internal email to AGS employees.
Amazon Game Studios is an Amazon subsidiary that was formed in 2014 to create original video games. The company held some apparently unfair policies that claimed intellectual property rights for games created by workers in their offices after hours.. Read more about amazon draconian policy games after work and let us know what you think.
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