Crunch Culture is a problem that Bungie has taken a stance against in the past. Now, it has proved that it cares about its team by taking steps “to keep our teams healthier”. It has also admitted that the current pace of Destiny 2 content release can’t be maintained.
Since most of the last year was Destiny 2 content development that “was starting to wear people down.” Ever since Bungie split from Activision, there has been additional pressure to make sure its IPs continue churning out more content. But Bungie knows that its devs shouldn’t be overworked.
Bungie Creative Director Luke Smith, talked about this in a “Director’s Cut” community update this week. Smith was certainly proud of the team at Bungie for continuing to release post-launch content regularly and for doing “a great job of providing stuff to do, items to chase, growing fat with strength, et cetera.”
Smith admitted that the Bungie’s Annual Pass system “was harder on the team than we anticipated”:
The scope of what we delivered, the pace that we delivered it, and the overall throughput for Annual Pass takes a toll on the Bungie team. I—and many others—had conversations throughout the year with team members—who had jumped from release to release—about the grind of working on Destiny. Working on the game was starting to wear people down. Here’s an example:
During the annual pass, we invented new, bespoke ways to earn rewards each season. Black Armory had its bounties, Season of the Drifter had the “Reckoning Machine,” Season of Opulence had its Chalice. Each of these mechanics—each with their own lessons—were valuable, but also put the team into an unsustainable development cycle. We needed to develop a more systemic, standardized set of mechanics for progression to keep our teams healthier.
We’re going to take this problem on in [the next year of Destiny 2].
The post didn’t exactly specify what steps Bungie would be taking but we can guess. Most probably, this will entail fewer updates from next year.
But if this means that there’s an overall reduction of the Crunch Culture in the gaming industry, we are all for it!