As we talked about in the latest episode of Spectator Mode, Mortal Kombat/Injustice’s Netherrealm Studios was recently called out over the mistreatment of employees during crunch time. Crunch time is a period of time where employees are mandated to work between 90-100 hours per week in order to see a game through to its conclusion, typically due to business factors mandated by a publisher who has an investment in the game.
Netherrealm was only the most-recent game company to come under fire for this practice… a practice that has been around for decades. Epic Games and Rockstar Games came under fire after reports of crunch time were made public about their respective titles Fortnite and Red Dead Redemption 2.
However, Grinding Gear Games, the studio behind the highly popular Action RPG Path of Exile, has stated that it’s not a culture their company is willing to adopt. Grinding Gear Games’ CEO Chris Wilson issued the following statement when it comes to crunch time:
“A big topic in the gaming industry recently is development crunch. Some studios make their teams work 14 hour days to pack every patch full of the most fixes and improvements possible. I will not run this company that way.”
The answer was given during a Reddit Q&A where fans were concerned about the state of the game. Wilson goes on to talk about is how Synthesis was more work than they had expected it to be, how the made improvements after launch, and how they acknowledge that it’s not the best league that they’ve had. Wilson goes on to talk about Patch 3.7 and Patch 4.0 being in the works and despite the monumental task ahead of them, he would never mandate his team to stay for overtime. Optional paid overtime is there for those who wish to take it, though.