18th 5月 2020

新型コロナウイルスの感染拡大に対するキーワーズの取り組みについて


世界各地における新型コロナウイルスの感染拡大を受け、弊社は人々とコミュニティを守るために必要なあらゆる措置を講じるよう務めております。同時に、弊社の業務を維持し、クライアントの皆さまへの影響を最小にとどめるため、考えられる限り可能な取り組みを続けてきました。例えば、弊社各スタジオが稼働を続けられるように、在宅勤務を実施するなどしています。

弊社のサービスとスタジオに関する最新情報を以下にまとめます。今後も定期的に情報を更新してまいります。


各チームからのお知らせ

2020年6月11日: テストサービスラインディレクターのMathieu Lachanceより、パートナー向け最新情報

関係各位

直近のスタジオの状況をお知らせいたします。今回は、主に、シアトルスタジオの近況についてお伝えいたします。

シアトルスタジオ

ご存知の方もいらっしゃると思いますが、ワシントン州は先週、セーフプランをフェーズ1.5に移行しました。その為、州内のスタジオは、限定的にではありますが、再開できるようになりました。それ以降、シアトルのスタジオ従業員の何人かから、仕事への復帰について問い合わせをいただきました。彼らは同じハードウェアQAチームに所属していますが、彼らの仕事には適切なインフラが必要な為、現在は、自宅待機状態にあります。

当初の予定では、シアトルも含めた全てのスタジオが、7月までは全ての作業を自宅で行う予定でした。しかし、政府からの援助は限定的であり、特にシアトルの物価なども考慮すると、自宅待機をお願いしているスタッフの中には、経済的な事情から早期での職場復帰を望んでいる方もいるかと思います。

私たちは、この2週間、衛生面や感染予防に関する準備を行ってまいりました。そして、無事に準備が整ったと判断し、シアトルスタジオの一部、特にスタジオ閉鎖以来稼働ができていないチームを中心に、再開することを決定いたしました。スタジオ自体は、400席以上の収容能力がありますが、出社する人数は40人以下とし、作業スペースに十分な間隔を確保しています。また、スタジオ内での作業はスタッフの同意に基づくものです。我々は、自宅待機中のスタッフに連絡を取り、スタジオで作業をする意思があり、また、安全に作業ができるかどうかを確認した上で、復帰の判断をしています。

従業員の皆さんには、会社が用意している支援基金があることも思い出していただきたいと思いますシアトルのマネージャーには、皆さんの状況を注意深く見てもらう様お願いしていますが、もし、必要があれば、自ら手を挙げて、我々にその旨を伝えてください。この支援基金は、このような状況のために特別に用意したものです。私たちは、皆さんが困難な状況であるなら、なんとしてでも助けたいと思っています。


QAサービスラインの今後の予定について

以下は、業務内容別のスタジオの内、外での対応予定と、各QAスタジオの再開時期の予想を暫定的にまとめた表となります。内容については、今後の各地域の状況や政策の変化に応じ、変更になる可能性があることをご理解ください。また、シアトルスタジオで再開されたハードウェアQAは、下記表では、スタジオ内で行う業務一覧の最初に記載されています。

Services affected
Keywords testing services


引き続き、状況を注視しながら、お伝えすべき変化や進捗があれば、ご案内していきたいと思います。何かご不明な点がございましたら、お気軽にご連絡いただければと存じます。Linkedlnもご確認ください。


2020年5月18日: テスティングサービスラインディレクターのMathieu Lachanceから、弊社テスティングサービスの最新情報

2020/05/18 ビデオメッセージ(ダイジェスト)

Mahieu:

テスティングサービスラインに関する、最新状況やスタジオでの業務再開の見込みについて、お伝えいたします。

まず、現在、全てのテスティングスタッフが在宅で業務を行っています。弊社対応にご理解をいただいているクライアントの皆様、状況に対し柔軟な対応を続けている全てのスタッフに感謝を申し上げます。

スタジオでの業務再開に関して、二つの大きな方針を決定いたしましので、ご説明させていただきます。

一つ目は、6月までは、在宅での業務を継続させていただくこと。二つ目は、スタジオでの業務が再開された場合も、限られた業務のみスタジオ内で業務にあたること、となります。スタジオ内で業務にあたるのは、ハードウェアQAや、PS5などの次世代機に関連するデバッグなどを想定しています。言語デバッグや、現在も自宅から行わさせていただいている機能デバッグなどは、引き続き、在宅での業務を継続させていただきます。(※詳細についてはビデオ内の表をご覧ください)

スタジオにおける業務再開のタイミングは、各スタジオ毎に異なってくるかと思いますので、状況についてアップデートがあり次第、逐次お伝えする様にいたします。また、今年の残りの期間については、多くのスタッフが在宅で勤務にあたるとが想定されますが、その状況に必要なツールやワークフローのアップデートについては日々行っております。

スタジオでの業務再開を非常に楽しみにしていますが、それと同時に、弊社スタッフの健康を守ることも非常に重要なことだと考えています。次回の情報のアップデートでは、スタジオでの業務再開について具体的なお話ができればと思っています。それまでの間、どうかお体に気を付けて、安全にお過ごしください。


2020年5月4日: オーディオサービスラインから、マドリードスタジオにおける収録再開のお知らせ

2020/05/04 ビデオメッセージ(ダイジェスト)

Alessandra: オーディオサービスラインの最新状況についてですが、マドリードのスタジオで収録が再開されることをご報告いたします。David Gonzalezから、スペインスタジオの今後の見通しをお伝えいたします。

Gonzalez:マドリードのスタジオで収録再開を予定しています。5月5日には、安全への対策を施したスタジオに、俳優の皆さんや関係する皆さんにお越しいただいて、収録ができる見込みです。私たちは、この状況を本当に喜んでいます。

Alessandra: これから数日の間、多くの準備で大変だと思いますが、よろしくお願いします。また、改めて、他国のレコーディングスタジオの情報もお届けしたいと考えていますので、楽しみにお待ちください。そして、何よりも、お体を大事にお過ごしください。


2020年5月1日: テストサービスラインディレクターのMathieu Lachanceより、パートナー向け最新情報

関係各位

弊社スタジオの最新状況について、簡単にご報告いたします。ここでは、主に以下の2点について、お知らせいたします。

1.QAスタジオの最新状況について
2.スタジオ内での業務再開スケジュールと対応項目について

1.QAスタジオの最新状況について

  • 全体の業務のうち94%を在宅勤務にて対応しています。残りの6%は、ポーランドの一部のメンバーが対応していますが、このメンバーについても積極的に在宅勤務へと移行しています。
  • 多くの自治体では、4月もしくは5月を想定していた規制解除の目途を、5月下旬から6月に延長しています。
Studio update

以下は、世界各国の情勢・弊社各QAスタジオの状況をまとめた表となります。


2.スタジオ内での業務再開スケジュールと対応項目について

現段階で入手可能な情報や各地の動向を踏まえ、弊社スタッフの安全の確保のため、2つの重要な決断をいたしました。

  1. 6月までは在宅ワークを継続させていただきます。それまで、もしくは、政府からの各種の制限が解除されるまでは、弊社がお引き受けする業務については、全て在宅にて対応させていただきます。また、各自治体における制限が解除されない場合、期間が延びる場合がございますので、あらかじめご了承ください。加えて、必要に応じて、スタッフに危険が及ばないないよう、各自治体の制限を超える決定をする場合がございます。

services update
  • 業務が再開したとしても、スタジオ内で作業が行われるのは一部の必要な業務のみとなります。スタジオ内外でのQAサービスの対応項目については、以下のリストをご覧ください。繰り返しとなりますが、スタッフの安全確保のため、追ってご連絡させていただくまでは、弊社では在宅勤務を基本的な業務体制とさせていただきます。

                           
6月末には、改めて弊社ならびに世界情勢を再検討した後、今後の方針についてご連絡させていただきたく存じます。その頃には、世界の状況がより良く、より安全になっていることを望んでおりますが、それにより、スタジオ内での作業量を増えた場合、自主的な制限について期間を延長させていただく場合がございます。

まだ、弊社の在宅勤務からの業務を活用されていない皆様に、再度、お伝えさせていただきます。プロジェクトにとって不必要な遅延が生じることを避けるためにも、業務遂行に必要なツールやインフラを迅速に整備できるよう、早めにご対応いただけますと幸いです。

状況に進展や変化がありましたら、今後も迅速にお伝えしてまいります。 If you haveまた、ご質問やご不明な点がございましたら、お気軽にお問い合わせください。詳しくは、こちらをご覧ください。


2020年4月29日: プレイヤーサポートラインマネージャーのPeter Gersonから、弊社プレイヤーサポートの最新情報


2020年4月24日: オーディオサービスラインから、ミラノの一部スタジオでの収録再開のお知らせ.


2020年4月20日: テストサービスラインディレクターのMathieu Lachanceより、パートナー向け最新情報 .


2020年4月3日: 翻訳サービスラインディレクターのFabio Minazziより、ミラノの最新情報 .


2020年4月2日: テストサービスラインディレクターのMathieu Lachanceより、パートナー向け最新情報 .

Dear friends,

The following message contains:

  1. Our updated production status,
  2. Our Work From Home (WFH) measure, and
  3. What to expect once we’re back operationally in-studio.

As always, please expect more news to come as the situation develops.

1. In-studio production status

Update:

  • Dublin: We closed our studio 4 days before government requirements. Government mandated reopening date is set to April 13th.
  • Mexico: The local government has now updated their mandated dates for reopening and lessened measures to April 19th and 30th.
  • India: We can now have our IT and Production Support technician have studio access.
  • As of yet, the majority of our global work is, or is being transitioned to, WFH.

Below is a recap of the global situation for each of our studio.

We’re working under the assumption that our remaining opened studios, Poland, Tokyo and Singapore, will also close imminently, and have been preparing accordingly for the last month. Luckily, we’ve been working with a lot of you to transfer already most of our global workload at our testers’ homes.

Also, please bear in mind that we expect most mandated reopening dates to be postponed further than what is officially mentioned by local governments, and that some safety measures, like distancing, will continue well past reopening. While we are already looking into expanding some of our studios and global footprint to accommodate some of these expected measures, it does mean that WFH requirements may go on for months, possibly for most of 2020. Considering this, I encourage those that may not have engaged with us yet in a WFH possibility, to have this discussion and to reconsider.

In regards to taking consoles home for work, Microsoft and Nintendo agrees under their listed conditions. Sony only agrees on WFH on a case-by-case basis for vendors like Keywords, and needs to be raised by our clients directly with Sony via DevNet tickets.

2. Work From Home measures

Please note that, should you have received it, this message has the same WFH clarifications as previously.

Those of you that requested projects to be transferred to a WFH model should have received a contract side-letter to read and sign. The basis of it is that you and your organization understand and accept the risks that this type of work brings. I want to be very transparent with you here – this way of working is risky. We cannot offer the same level of security if the work is done at the home of our employees. We don’t control that environment, we don’t control who our employees live with and what those other people may or may not do. We will, of course, do our best to educate our team and put in measures to limit the risks, but it is still a lot riskier than having the work done in our own studios. Up to a point that I need to advise you that, if you can’t accept the fact that there’s a higher likeliness that a leak or other type of security breach happens on your title under a WFH model, you should not consider WFH.

My recommendation is that, going forward into this situation, either:

  • You keep the work inside our studios, with a high level of security, but with the risk that if governments continue to slow or shut down our studios, work slows or shuts down as well, and work will be picked up again once our studios open back up at full capacity again,
  • Or, you move work to a WFH model, but accept the higher possibility that you will have leaks or other security breaches on your games.

Please understand, we are not trying to reduce our responsibilities under the MSAs and NDAs we have with you, but merely being clear that there are increased risks in WFH arrangements, and it’s the additional security risks which we need your team to acknowledge and accept with a view to sharing some of these risks between us.

We have a duty of confidentiality, our employees have a duty of confidentiality, but our employees should not take the burden of responsibility for a choice that is yours to take. We’ll take all the reasonable mitigating steps we need to but, the additional risk needs to be shared and shouldered together here. You need to understand that it is a risk you are taking. My team and I have a responsibility to protect our employees, our employees’ livelihood, and our company. We are not going to take a decision that puts any of them at risk.

Also, because government measures are taken rapidly and without notice around the world, please note that there may be a moment where we won’t be able to provide a WFH project transfer anymore. Where we could potentially be unable to even have an IT technician in our studio preparing these necessary connections and encryptions. If you want WFH, you need to advise your main Keywords points of contact now. Because of the fast-paced government measures being put in place, most of our studios are now working under the assumption that they will all shut down soon if not already. I strongly suggest you work under the same assumption so that you are as prepared as possible for what may come.

And again, even more so considering that this transfer can be time-consuming in some cases. We do have to dedicate large portions of our IT and Security teams to go through the process of securing and encrypting devices, as well as making sure that the right connections and tunnels are built.

View post on Linkedin

3. Coming back online

As stated above, we expect the studio closures to extend well past what has been officially mentioned by most governments. Also, we will need to plan for a reality where some of these measures will stay in place even once we reopen the studios. As examples, we should expect that social distancing and travel bans might stay as is for a while, both of which will have an impact on how we do our work and how we engage with you.

We have already started to plan how we will approach this, and what the new Keywords Studios will look like. We will do our best to communicate with you these requirements and their impacts, if any, either from government requirements, or what we decide ourselves is the best for our teams and employees.

As always, we will keep you updated as the situation develops. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us and we’ll happily get back to you.


2020年4月2日: アートサービスラインディレクターのAshley Liuより、中国の最新情報(Linkedinにて)

Relaxing Restrictions – at the end of last week, for the first time, during one of our daily government office inspections, the official said we could slowly let our WFH staff back into the office. He still cautioned us against a massive influx and asked us to trickle in the team gradually. The inspections will continue and we are not out of the woods yet. Two-thirds of the provinces have start dates for schools. Although Beijing is not on the list, we know we will hear about it soon. To our friends all over the world who are at the beginning or in the middle of this pandemic, please know that we are here for you and there will be an end. As China turns outwards to assist others in need, Keywords China is also playing its part. We are proud to have sent 41000 masks, 832 bottles of sanitizers, and 1104 bags of disinfectant wipes to other studios worldwide and we hope to do more.

Supplies shipped from Keywords China

2020年3月31日: ラクシャ・デジタルCEOのManvendra Shukulからのメッセージ


2020年3月27日: ロサンゼルススタジオ長Tom Slatteryより

Our Burbank studio is closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but Keywords Studios remains fully operational for English voiceover recording projects, large and small. Our secure and flexible infrastructure has allowed us to continue recording via remote sessions with a network of hundreds of actors, directors, and engineers working safely from their homes from the very first day of the California stay-at-home order. We are happy to be able to continue supporting our clients and the LA voice acting community during these difficult times.


2020年3月26日: テストサービスラインディレクターのMathieu Lachanceより、パートナー向け最新情報

Dear friends,

The following message contains:

  1. Our updated production status,
  2. Our Work From Home (WFH) measure, and
  3. What to expect once we’re back operationally in-studio.

As always, please expect more news to come as the situation develops.

1. In-studio production status

Update:

  • Mexico: We closed our studio per government requirements. As of yet, the government has not advised on when they will soften their measures.
  • Dublin: While Ireland has not forced non-essential businesses to close, they’ve requested companies to look into WFH as much as possible. It is our belief that they will enforce that legally very soon so, for the sake of compliance, being ready, and doing the right thing for our staff, we will be closing work done inside our studio by the end of the week, tomorrow. We are in the process of moving all that we can to a WFH model.
  • Poland, Tokyo and Singapore: We’ve distanced staff from one another and have started moving projects to WFH. It is our belief that government measures will be applied soon for these locations as well.

Below is a recap of the global situation for each of our studio.

As mentioned before, please bear in mind that we expect most mandated reopening dates to be postponed further than what is officially mentioned by local governments.

In regards to bringing consoles home for work, Microsoft and Nintendo agrees under their listed conditions. Sony only agrees on WFH on a case-by-case basis for vendors like Keywords, and needs to be raised by our clients directly with Sony via DevNet tickets.

Again, my expectations are that we will be progressively forced to have most, if not all, of our staff at home. We’ve been at least operating under that assumption for the last 3 weeks and are preparing as such.

As of today, because of either direct or indirect government measures, or decisions and preparations we’ve taken on our own, our global in-studio capacity in FQA has been reduced to 20% of what we’d normally be able to deliver, and 40% in LQA – soon to be 20% in LQA once our Dublin studio closes. Measures being put in place will likely continue to decrease that capacity as time advances. Luckily, we’ve been working with a lot of you to transfer a lot of that work at our testers’ homes already.

2. Work From Home measures

Please note that, should you have received it, this message has the same WFH clarifications as previously.

Those of you that requested projects to be transferred to a WFH model should have received a contract side-letter to read and sign. The basis of it is that you and your organization understand and accept the risks that this type of work brings. I want to be very transparent with you here – this way of working is risky. We cannot offer the same level of security if the work is done at the home of our employees. We don’t control that environment, we don’t control who our employees live with and what those other people may or may not do. We will, of course, do our best to educate our team and put in measures to limit the risks, but it is still a lot riskier than having the work done in our own studios. Up to a point that I need to advise you that, if you can’t accept the fact that there’s a higher likeliness that a leak or other type of security breach happens on your title under a WFH model, you should not consider WFH.

My recommendation is that, going forward into this situation, either:

  • You keep the work inside our studios, with a high level of security, but with the risk that if governments continue to slow or shut down our studios, work slows or shuts down as well, and work will be picked up again once our studios open back up at full capacity again,
  • Or, you move work to a WFH model, but accept the higher possibility that you will have leaks or other security breaches on your games.

Please understand, we are not trying to reduce our responsibilities under the MSAs and NDAs we have with you, but merely being clear that there are increased risks in WFH arrangements, and it’s the additional security risks which we need your team to acknowledge and accept with a view to sharing some of these risks between us.

We have a duty of confidentiality, our employees have a duty of confidentiality, but our employees should not take the burden of responsibility for a choice that is yours to take. We’ll take all the reasonable mitigating steps we need to but, the additional risk needs to be shared and shouldered together here. You need to understand that it is a risk you are taking. My team and I have a responsibility to protect our employees, our employees’ livelihood, and our company. We are not going to take a decision that puts any of them at risk.

Also, because government measures are taken rapidly and without notice around the world, please note that there may be a moment where we won’t be able to provide a WFH project transfer anymore. Where we could potentially be unable to even have an IT technician in our studio preparing these necessary connections and encryptions. If you want WFH, you need to advise your main Keywords points of contact now. Because of the fast-paced government measures being put in place, most of our studios are now working under the assumption that they will all shut down soon if not already. I strongly suggest you work under the same assumption so that you are as prepared as possible for what may come.

And again, even more so considering that this transfer can be time-consuming in some cases. We do have to dedicate large portions of our IT and Security teams to go through the process of securing and encrypting devices, as well as making sure that the right connections and tunnels are built.

3. Coming back online

As stated previously, we expect the studio closures to extend past what has been officially mentioned by most governments. Also, we will need to plan for a reality where some of these measures will stay in place even once we reopen the studios. As examples, we should expect that social distancing and travel bans might stay as is for a while, both of which will have an impact on how we do our work and how we engage with you.

We have already started to plan how we will approach this, and what the new Keywords Studios will look like. We will do our best to communicate with you these requirements and their impacts, if any, either from government requirements, or what we decide ourselves is the best for our teams and employees.

As always, we will keep you updated as the situation develops. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us and we’ll happily get back to you.


2020年3月25日: CEOのAndrew Dayより、クライアント向けメッセージ

世界各地での新型コロナウイルス感染症(COVID-19)の感染拡大に対し、キーワーズスタジオグループ全体で実施してきた対策についてご報告いたします。

感染の状況が世界各地で急速に変化していく中、私たちは人々と地域社会を守るために必要なあらゆる行動を迅速に取り、政府や保健当局からの指示や勧告に可能な限りの対応を行っています。

多くの地域において、スタッフの健康を維持しつつ、クライアントの皆様のプロジェクトを遂行するための最善の解決策は、業務を「在宅勤務」(以下WFH)の体制に移行することです。

我々は、皆様の同意の下、関係するスタッフの献身的な努力もあり、すでに4,500名以上のスタッフがWFHへの移行を完了しています。今後も皆様の同意を得られれば、可能な限り多くのスタッフをWFHへと移行するプロセスを推進してまいります。

また、感染が確認された地域にある弊社オフィスにて業務を継続する場合も、スタッフに安全な労働環境を提供するために、対人との距離感や衛生面については、地方自治体や保健当局のガイドラインに厳密に従っています。また、これも皆様のご理解の下となりますが、業務シフトを柔軟に変更させていただいたり、バックオフィスなどの機能についても可能な限りWFHに移行することで、オフィスに十分なスペースを作っています。

加えて、オフィスでの業務や通勤に不安を感じるスタッフに対し、出勤を強要したり、ましてや出勤することに対して何らかの優遇措置を講じていないことを、ご報告させていただきます。結果として、いくつかのオフィスでは出勤率の低下も見られますが、これにより、より多くのスタッフをWFHへ移行することが重要であることを改めて認識しております。

我々がこれまでに行った対策に対する皆様のご支援とご理解に感謝するとともに、今後もより多くのプロジェクトをWFHに移行するため、引き続きご協力を賜りますよう、お願い申し上げます。

しかしながら、突然の都市の封鎖など、ウイルスの拡散を遅らせるための対策には、時期的に予想しにくいものがあることを十分にご理解いただけると思います。これまで、中国、フィリピン、イタリア、カナダで実施された都市封鎖において最善の策を講じて参りましたが、一刻も早く各プロジェクトをWFHに移行することで、都市封鎖によってWFHの手配自体ができなくなる事態は避けたいと考えております。そのため、皆様には、より一層のご理解とご協力を賜れますと幸いです。

世界中の皆様にとって、ビジネスにおいても個人的にも大変な時期ですが、この場をお借りして、皆様のご健康とご健闘を心よりお祈り申し上げます。この困難を乗り越え、今後の業界イベントで、直接お会いできることを楽しみにしています。


2020年3月25日: ラクシャ・デジタルCEOのManvendra Shukulからのメッセージ


2020年3月24日: テストサービスラインディレクターのMathieu Lachanceより、パートナー向け最新情報

Dear friends,

Please note that, should you have received it, this message has the same WFH clarifications as yesterday’s message, but contains new updates regarding our current production capacity. Please expect more news to come as the situation develops.

Updated status:

  • Our Montreal and St-Jerome studios are closing down today temporarily per government measures. Current official reopening date is set to April 13th.
  • Our Seattle studio is closing down temporarily from tomorrow per government measures. Current official reopening date is set to April 13th.
  • Our India studio closed last Sunday per government measures. Current official reopening date is set to April 14th.
  • Our Milan studio closed weeks ago. No news on when the studio will reopen.

Also, please bear in mind that I expect some, if not all, of these government-mandated reopening dates to be postponed further than what is officially mentioned by each government.

Console-wise:

  • Microsoft agrees for WFH under conditions.
  • Nintendo now also agrees for WFH under conditions.
  • Sony only agrees on WFH on a case-by-case basis for vendors like Keywords, and needs to be raised by our clients directly with Sony via DevNet tickets.

My expectations are that we will be progressively forced to have most, if not all, of our staff at home. We’ve been at least operating under that assumption for the last 2 weeks and are preparing as such.

As of today, because of either direct or indirect government measures, our global in-studio capacity in FQA has been reduced to 25% of what we’d normally be able to deliver, and 50% in LQA. Measures being put in place will likely continue to decrease that capacity as time advances. Luckily, we’ve been working with a lot of you to transfer a lot of that work at our testers’ homes already.

Which brings me to the next subject, clarifying our position on WFH measures.

Those of you that requested projects to be transferred to a WFH model should have received a contract side-letter to read and sign. The basis of it is that you and your organization understand and accept the risks that this type of work brings. I want to be very transparent with you here – this way of working is risky. We cannot offer the same level of security if the work is done at the home of our employees. We don’t control that environment, we don’t control who our employees live with and what those other people may or may not do. We will, of course, do our best to educate our team and put in measures to limit the risks, but it is still a lot riskier than having the work done in our own studios. Up to a point that I need to advise you that, if you can’t accept the fact that there’s a higher likeliness that a leak or other type of security breach happens on your title under a WFH model, you should not consider WFH.

My recommendation is that, going forward into this situation, either:

  • You keep the work inside our studios, with a high level of security, but with the risk that if governments continue to slow or shut down our studios, work slows or shuts down as well, and work will be picked up again once our studios open back up at full capacity again,
  • Or, you move work to a WFH model, but accept the higher possibility that you will have leaks or other security breaches on your games.

Please understand, we are not trying to reduce our responsibilities under the MSAs and NDAs we have with you, but merely being clear that there are increased risks in WFH arrangements, and it’s the additional security risks which we need your team to acknowledge and accept with a view to sharing some of these risks between us.

We have a duty of confidentiality, our employees have a duty of confidentiality, but our employees should not take the burden of responsibility for a choice that is yours to take. We’ll take all the reasonable mitigating steps we need to but, the additional risk needs to be shared and shouldered together here. You need to understand that it is a risk you are taking. My team and I have a responsibility to protect our employees, our employees’ livelihood, and our company. We are not going to take a decision that puts any of them at risk.

Also, because government measures are taken rapidly and without notice around the world, please note that there may be a moment where we won’t be able to provide a WFH project transfer anymore. Where we could potentially be unable to even have an IT technician in our studio preparing these necessary connections and encryptions. If you want WFH, you need to advise your main Keywords points of contact now. Because of the fast-paced government measures being put in place, most of our studios are now working under the assumption that they will be shut down by the end of the week. I strongly suggest you work under the same assumption so that you are as prepared as possible for what may come.

And again, even more so considering that this transfer can be time-consuming in some cases. We do have to dedicate large portions of our IT and Security teams to go through the process of securing and encrypting devices, as well as making sure that the right connections and tunnels are built.

We will do our best to keep you all updated as the situation develops. As always, if you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us and we’ll happily get back to you.


2020年3月23日: テストサービスラインディレクターのMathieu Lachanceより、パートナー向け最新情報

Dear friends,

I’m contacting you again today to both update you on our current production capacity, and to clarify our position on “Work From Home” (WFH) measures. As always, please expect more news to come as the situation develops.

Updated status:

  • As of Sunday night, the India government has put up measures that requires us to close our Delhi studio. We are in the process of transferring employees to a work from home for the clients that requested as such.
  • The Quebec (Canada) government is increasing the suggested distance from one employee to another, from the originally requested 1 meters, to now 2 meters. We are adapting our operations again, but please understand that this will limit our capacity and work we can deliver daily within our Montreal and St-Jerome studios.
  • The Quebec (Canada) government has extended the original timeline of measures from an original 2 weeks, to now 6 weeks – to early May.
  • In regards to hardware being sent home,
    • Microsoft had agreed for WFH under conditions for Xbox 2 weeks ago.
    • While Nintendo is providing information on how to do WFH for Switch, they have not provided a clear approval for it.
    • We’re still waiting on any official news from Sony. We are chasing our contacts.

My expectations are that we will be progressively forced to have most, if not all, of our staff at home. We’ve been at least operating under that assumption for the last 2 weeks and are preparing as such.

As of today, because of either direct or indirect government measures, our global in-studio capacity in FQA has been reduced to 60% of what we’d normally be able to deliver, and 70% in LQA. Measures being put in place will likely continue to decrease that capacity as time advances. Luckily, we’ve been working with a lot of you to transfer a lot of that work at our testers’ homes already.

Which brings me to the next subject, clarifying our position on WFH measures.

Those of you that requested projects to be transferred to a WFH model should have received a contract side-letter to read and sign. The basis of it is that you and your organization understand and accept the risks that this type of work brings. I want to be very transparent with you here – this way of working is risky. We cannot offer the same level of security if the work is done at the home of our employees. We don’t control that environment, we don’t control who our employees live with and what those other people may or may not do. We will, of course, do our best to educate our team and put in measures to limit the risks, but it is still a lot riskier than having the work done in our own studios. Up to a point that I need to advise you that, if you can’t accept the fact that there’s a higher likeliness that a leak or other type of security breach happens on your title under a WFH model, you should not consider WFH.

My recommendation is that, going forward into this situation, either:

  • You keep the work inside our studios, with a high level of security, but with the risk that if governments continue to slow or shut down our studios, work slows or shuts down as well, and work will be picked up again once our studios open back up at full capacity again,
  • Or, you move work to a WFH model, but accept the higher possibility that you will have leaks or other security breaches on your games.

Please understand, we are not trying to reduce our responsibilities under the MSAs and NDAs we have with you, but merely being clear that there are increased risks in WFH arrangements, and it’s the additional security risks which we need your team to acknowledge and accept with a view to sharing some of these risks between us.

We have a duty of confidentiality, our employees have a duty of confidentiality, but our employees should not take the burden of responsibility for a choice that is yours to take. We’ll take all the reasonable mitigating steps we need to but, the additional risk needs to be shared and shouldered together here. You need to understand that it is a risk you are taking. My team and I have a responsibility to protect our employees, our employees’ livelihood, and our company. We are not going to take a decision that puts any of them at risk.

Also, because government measures are taken rapidly and without notice around the world, please note that there may be a moment where we won’t be able to provide a WFH project transfer anymore. Where we could potentially be unable to even have an IT technician in our studio preparing these necessary connections and encryptions. If you want WFH, you need to advise your main Keywords points of contact now. Because of the fast-paced government measures being put in place, most of our studios are now working under the assumption that they will be shut down by the end of the week. I strongly suggest you work under the same assumption so that you are as prepared as possible for what may come.

And again, even more so considering that this transfer can be time-consuming in some cases. We do have to dedicate large portions of our IT and Security teams to go through the process of securing and encrypting devices, as well as making sure that the right connections and tunnels are built.

We will do our best to keep you all updated as the situation develops. As always, if you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us and we’ll happily get back to you.


2020年3月19日: テストサービスラインディレクターのMathieu Lachanceより、パートナー向け最新情報

Dear friends,

I didn’t think I’d write you this soon to give you an update, but it does seem that the situation is indeed evolving quite rapidly. If not the disease itself, at least the governmental measures around them, how people act and react, and how it’s affecting us and the gaming industry. Please expect more news to come as the situation develops.

As you may already know, Asian, European and North American travel bans and quarantine measures are expanding across the world. Currently, because of either direct or indirect government measures, our global capacity in FQA has been reduced to 80% of what we’d normally be able to deliver, and 90% in LQA. As such, we’ve taken the temporary decision to limit the amount of new business coming in, so we can protect the current work that we do for you as much as possible.

As advised through my previous message, we’ve taken measures internally to both increase the safety of our staff, but also to increase the solidity of our business continuity plan. This include shift time management, and increased global studio space and capacities. These measures, apart from helping us bring back our work capabilities to more normal levels on the short-term, could allow us to grow further and faster than usual once the global measures soften on the mid-term, should you need us to.

One of these current measures is allowing a portion of our staff to work from home. We’ve already started with most of you that requested it specifically. Please take in consideration that this is an option that may not be possible, or not recommended, in some cases. But if it is something you want us to review with you, please engage with us directly about it. Projects that would be prioritized for this type of work would include:

  1. Low security risk titles, like live work on already released games.
  2. Low security risk platforms, like on PC or mobile.
  3. Projects for which you can provide us with support for WFH setup.

Including software, hardware, infrastructure, VPN tunneling and security/encryption support.

Please also do take in consideration that this process can be time-consuming in some cases. We do have to dedicate portions of our IT and Security teams to go through the process of securing and encrypting devices, as well as making sure that the right connections and tunnels are built.

We will do our best to keep you all updated as the situation develops. As always, if you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us and we’ll happily get back to you.


2020年3月18日: アートサービスラインディレクターのAshley Liuより、中国の最新情報(Linkedinにて )


2020年3月13日: テストサービスラインディレクターのMathieu Lachanceより、パートナー向け最新情報

Dear friends,

As our partner, we want to make you aware of how we’re handling the coronavirus situation within Keywords’ QA studios, in order to minimize business interruption and to safeguard our employees. Please bear in mind that both the situations and the measures taken are evolving rapidly per new context and new government guidelines. We will try our best to keep you aware of what’s happening.

Below, are:

  1. What we ask of you, to help us help you,
  2. What measures we have or are likely to take that may affect the work we do for you,
  3. And what other internal measures we’re applying to manage the current situation.

1. Help us help you

Because of the current global business context, many of our clients are already requesting more work than previously communicated and committed to. We may have options across our studios to take on more work and are delighted to do so but, as usual, the earlier you can commit to these plans, the easier it for us to plan and secure that capacity for you.  We are very willing to place our resources at your disposal as part of your business continuity plans so please do involve us in those discussions at your earliest convenience.

Bear in mind though that we will be prioritizing projects per the following order:

  1. Our staff. We will look into anything that allows the long-term protection of our employees.
  2. Our existing clients. We are prioritizing current project security before adding anything new.
  3. New clients. We will do our best to help you out if the current business context doesn’t allow you or your chosen vendors to produce work. Please do understand though, that we have committed ourselves to current and long-term partners already. Also, per the above points, should we take any new work, we will highly prioritize long-term projects, to allow the long-term protection of our employees

To both meet this need from you but also to minimize business continuity risks, we are already growing our Ottawa, Poland, India and Mexico studios further this year. We are also exploring opening up additional locations and looking into new business models. These will add further capacity to our secure testing facilities in Montreal, St-Jerome, Seattle, Ottawa, Mexico City, Dublin, Milan, Katowice, New Delhi, Singapore and Tokyo. These facilities and approaches provide us with a unique network which we can use to provide multiple back-ups for our functional and localization testing projects conducted on your behalf. We would encourage you to engage with us in establishing small testing cells in a number of our studios such that projects would be easier to transfer across locations when and if needed.

We also do suggest that to minimize in-studio staff needs and risks on your projects, to look into some of our less internal staff-reliant options like QA automation, as well as our Global Beta Test Network which includes 20,000+ at-home participants. Our teams will be happy to answer any questions you may have about these 2 services we offer.

Please take into consideration that hiring and training staff takes time, so does building out new spaces and infrastructure, or going through the process of establishing new studios. The sooner you advise us of your needs, the more definitive we can be in answering those needs.

2. Measures that may affect you  

We’re taking a number of measures in our QA studios across the world. We understand that some of the below may affect you. Please do understand that in QA, as in all of our services, our main priority is our staff and their wellbeing affects the services we provide to you. By working to keep our staff safe and well we are taking the right steps to ensure business continuity for your projects. Here are some of the measures we are taking.

  • Moving to set shift times to minimize the risks of contact our staff has through:
    • Off-peak times transit travel
    • Increasing the amount of space between testers
    • Minimizing the amount of staff in our studios simultaneously
  • Unless exceptional, all non-essential business travel is restricted, including:
    • Keywords QA staff travel from one studio to another.
    • Keywords QA staff travel to client studios.

Should you wish to visit us in any of our QA studios, please discuss arrangements with us well ahead of the intended visit date.

3. Other Internal measures

Here are other measure we are taking internally. Please note that they can differ slightly from one studio to another based on environmental context and local laws, and that some of these will change as the situation evolves and as local governments pass new guidelines and regulations.

  • Multiple teams that can work from home efficiently will do so as much as possible. This includes, but is not limited to, functions in Finance, HR, Recruitment, and others.
  • All staff that travelled internationally to higher risk areas are being requested to work exclusively from home for at least 2 weeks.
  • allocated throughout our studios, at each entry point, each QA room, and each meeting room.
  • We have implemented a “No handshake” policy.
  • Work station cleaning and sanitation policies both before and after each work shift have been introduced.
  • Any employees showing symptoms are strictly forbidden access to our premises and are requested to seek medical advice, testing and treatment.

We trust that you appreciate what we are doing, and understand that these measures are designed to support you and your projects as well as our staff. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us and, as always, we’ll happily get back to you.


2020年3月12日: CEOのAndrew Dayより、クライアント向けメッセージ

How Keywords Studios is responding to the threat of COVID-19

At Keywords, we have been managing the impacts of coronavirus outbreaks in China and Italy in our studios located in 5 cities across China and in our studios in Milan and Rome. We have also taken measures to mitigate the effects of the virus throughout our operations in over 50 studios worldwide. Throughout this process, our first priority has been the wellbeing of our employees, our partners’ employees and our communities, and we have been working to help our people stay safe and keep them available to work on your projects.

Our extensive network of wholly owned secure facilities around the world provides a unique opportunity for us to work with you to establish business continuity operations for the services we provide to you across the whole game lifecycle, be that game development, marketing, art outsourcing, QA services, localisation, audio or customer support. I would encourage you to engage with our senior management in each discipline to explore ways in which we can set up teams for you in multiple locations such that if work is interrupted in a location, work can continue elsewhere minimising disruption to your schedules. Given our global footprint I would also encourage you to build Keywords into your internal contingency planning. Many of our clients maintain internal teams as well as using external services, and with some forward thinking and planning, we can support you in the event that your own facilities need to close as part of your own proactive or government mandated efforts to contain the virus.

Many of the measures we have implemented will be invisible to you but, learning from our experiences in China and Italy, and in order to protect our people, our studios and our clients, we will be taking further proactive measures and are seeking your support and understanding as we do so.

It has become accepted wisdom that increasing the space between co-workers in the workplace to more than one metre helps prevent the spread of the virus. To achieve this, some of our studios will be implementing time shifted working patterns. In addition to reducing the occupancy density within the studios themselves, this measure will mean that many of our employees will be travelling to and from work outside of the normal peak times and therefore will be less exposed to crowded mass transit and even elevators in the buildings. Chosen shift patterns will vary by location but in general two shifts between 7am and 3pm and 3pm and 11pm will allow us to significantly reduce our occupational density.

Home working is another measure which is being encouraged by authorities. At Keywords we have many years’ experience of successfully operating remote working models in fields such as localisation, customer support and art with an excellent record of managing security and productivity within these activities. Where possible, we may seek your support to introduce limited remote working operations as a further business continuity planning effort.

Like most organisations we are actively reducing our travel at this time. This might, unfortunately, lead to some rescheduling of meetings we have planned with you. We will of course redouble our efforts to keep you apprised of project progress and also keep you informed of COVID-19 measures as they are being implemented. We will also be exploring with you how else we could support you across all disciplines and around the world as we work our way through these difficult times together.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your partnership and look forward to supporting your needs moving forward. View post


2020年2月28日: アートサービスラインディレクターのAshley Liuより、中国の最新情報(Linkedinにて)


2020年2月25日: アートサービスラインディレクターのAshley Liuより、中国の最新情報(Linkedinにて)

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