One fearful word that’s used often within the game industry is “crunch.” This talks about how developers are pressured into long, tiring nights of development without a hint of rest, which we’ve heard about with games like Red Dead Redemption II and Cyberpunk 2077. However, not all studios use this process – and among those that look to lead by example is Insomniac Games.
On the eve of the company’s release of Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart on PlayStation 5, a pair of its employees talked about its development process. Despite its many technical features and astounding performance (which we’ll see in a matter of hours), they explained that they were never subjected to “crunch” development – a welcome relief compared to what other studios had seen.
One employee, Grant Parker, explained that he didn’t see any hint of “crunch.” “I can’t speak for anyone on the team but myself, but I didn’t crunch once. 40h weeks the whole time.”
He also noted how he was “very encouraged by how my managers actively pushed for me to avoid burn out.” That’s a process not everyone in other studios follow.
Animator Lindsay Thompson added to the conversation. “I didn’t crunch once, entire production,” she said. “A couple late nights here and there finishing something up, but COMPLETELY CRUNCH FREE. It is possible. Team wellness lets the creativity flow free.” She also explained how “management certainly encouraged that.”
That’s not to say every studio is going to follow Insomniac’s example, but the healthier employees remain, the more likely those studios are going to thrive. No doubt CD Projekt Red is still going through all sorts of turmoil recovering from the Cyberpunk 2077 mess. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart arrives tomorrow for PlayStation 5. Check out the launch trailer below!
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