Crunch Isn’t Taboo Anymore

With an increased spotlight on the number of hours worked in the game development industry during periods of crunch, which refers to periods of extended and usually unpaid overtime, more developers are talking about the issue. Once thought to be exclusive to the window of time near the end of the development cycle, it’s become clear that it can happen at any point during a project.

Red Dead Redemption 2

“There’s a mistake somewhere in the concept of ‘passion’ equalling time spent in the office,” said Matt Webster, the GM of Criterion, which is known for games like Need for Speed and Burnout. “You can come into work and put in eight ‘passionate’ hours or 12 ‘unpassionate’ hours. Time does not equal passion.”

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“I can tell you hand on heart that [Assassin’s Creed Odyssey] hasn’t required a massive crunch, like maybe some of the triple-As from five or ten years ago,” said, Patrick Klaus, managing director of Ubisoft’s Quebec studio. “We can still always do better, but we have managed pretty well to succeed in delivering a game of huge magnitude which is hitting a good quality [level], while making sure that our teams are not burnt out and disgusted with working in games.”

It seems like the subject is becoming easier to talk about and acknowledged by the industry.

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