Crunch culture is a big topic of controversy and debate in the video game industry. No companies are safe from being questioned about it. This includes big names likeRockstar Games and Bioware. Destiny 2 recently took part in the debate. This was when Bungie delayed a Destiny 2 patch to avoid causing a crunch within its workers.
Crunch culture refers to putting in overtime work to get something done. This is usually to meet a deadline that’s very close to being passed. Destiny 2 has therefore pushed ahead of the deadline for their patch. Their reasoning was to preserve the worker-life balance of their employees.
Bungie recounted their history of worker ethics by bringing up their work on older titles. Head of engineering Luke Timmins recounted that the most he’d seen his people work was on Halo 2. Halo 2 was decades ago and that was the last time Bungie ever crunched to make a deadline.
Besides being damaging to employees, crunch culture isn’t good for video games either. Bioware is the best example of this.
Bioware became self-aware of its ability to crunch video games. They would start off not knowing what direction to head in. By the end, however, the crunch stretch would transform their game.
They did this with Mass Effect and Dragon Age apparently. Most recently, they tried to do so with Anthem. We all know how that turned out.
Point is that it’s better to allow companies to take their time. Nothing good has come out from rushing to a release date.
This is another reason Cyberpunk 2077 has as much faith behind it as it does. The game has been handcrafted in development since 2012. This was before even the Witcher 3 came out.
Besides the quality of the game itself, worker ethics are more important. You have to remember that there are real people working behind these games. People with lives and families.
If consumers pressure these corporations too much, it’s a way of life we’re sacrificing for our entertainment. Hence why crunch culture should be avoided at all costs.