Why Don't Remakes And Remasters Always Credit the Original Developers?


A few minutes into starting last week’s Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner remaster, Mars, there’s an image that shows off some of the people who helped usher the celebrated 2003 action game into the age of 4K resolution and virtual reality. There’s also this small mention:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/wjyqy5/why-dont-remakes-and-remasters-always-credit-the-original-developers


And that was 2014. I’m at least 50% sure that I know of at least a few projects (almost certainly with IGDA members attached) which only credited developers still on staff on gold date after 2014. I’m 100% sure I know of many occurrences of “be working on gold date or you have to get a guarantee of credits inclusion written into your employment contract” as the norm before 2014 (the earlier cases mentioned in the article are less outliers and just the times people actually pushed back).

From that perspective, these remakes only vaguely crediting the original team is the norm - none of those people worked at the studio during the time when this version went gold so it’s not assumed that they’d be on the credits. What’s more, these remasters are from before crediting everyone was considered expected so those old credits are often going to ignore contractors or even permanent staff who left before the game shipped originally - better than nothing but not actually showing every hand involved in crafting that final product.

As an aside: It might be worth explaining what a “professional association” is rather than implying the IGDA is a pretend-union when they’re pretty clear about who they are and what they’re modelled on. Many if not most of the coder side of the industry grew up with the ACM or other CompSci associations. Inside the industry it is already understood the differences, why working towards recognition as engineers is a different kind of struggle requiring a different kind of membership organisation; how it ties into education and certifying qualifications, ensuring research circulates and other tasks (eg holding members to a standard that protects the field as a whole) that aren’t what a union does.

When the government says “you can’t build this bridge unless the design and construction is overseen by a qualified engineer” or “you can’t sell these cars for road use unless the software autopilot has been verified by a qualified engineer” these are a cooperation between professional bodies and the state, not the work of unions. That sort of education pipeline and governmental job restriction stuff is extremely important in fields which can cause serious harm but confusing it with unionisation will only restrict readers’ ability to discern motivations.

The professional duty to others in your field does have some overlap. For example, I must “seek to improve professional standards through participation in their development, use and enforcement”, “act with integrity and respect in [my] professional relationships”, and “encourage & support fellow members in their professional development”. That could easily be read as requiring me to use any seniority on a project to ensure all my fellow workers receive appropriate credit for their work. But not as part of collective demands on management but a requirement for me to uphold the standards of my profession. Your boss’s boss probably shouldn’t be in your union, but they absolutely should be in your professional body (or an equivalent one in their field).