I have a lot of love for Movies especially science fiction however nothing beats the fun of sitting behind a screen and playing some hard core FPS games. Apart from them i am a major lover of Assassins Creed titles especially Brotherhood, The Witcher and God Of War. Huge fan of animation director Hayo Mayazaki.
“Crunch” can generally be referred to as a period in which a company creates such a kind of environment, where the employees have to put in long hours working to meet a deadline. Often times unpaid and stretching for months if not weeks, leading to the completion of a specific project. There are some of the major game development companies that actually seems to have a knack for such an approach. However, in light of recent events, CD Projekt Red has assured its fans that when it comes to the development of Cyberpunk 2077, crunch culture shall not prevail.
If we could date back to when the church culture in the gaming industry got highlighted, we could refer to many incidents, however, one of the major attention this issue got, was when a spouse of EA wrote a letter. Also known as the “EA Spouse Letter” resulting in multiple lawsuits filed against Electronic Arts. In fact, they had to pay tens of millions for settlements.
The letter wrote, and I quote,
The love of my life comes home late at night complaining of a headache that will not go away and a chronically upset stomach, and my happy supportive smile is running out.
However, that is just a tip of the iceberg, a great many complaints similar to these have surfaced over the past few years. The release of Red Dead Redemption by Rockstar also reeks of this same crunch culture smell as EA does and Epic Games is not far off.
Putting that into context, CD Projekt Red does not have plans to adopt this methodology, where the employee has to give in extra time, which is unnecessary and uncalled for, in the first place. Very recently the studio manager, Marcin Iwinski of Cyberpunk 2077 spoke about the crunch culture in relation to the development of the game and assured the fans that putting in extra hours at work is not mandatory. He said,
“We’ve been working toward it for some time already. We’ve been communicating clearly to people that of course there are certain moments where we need to work harder—like I think the E3 demo is a pretty good example—but we want to be more humane and treat people with respect. If they need to take time off, they can take time off. Nobody will be frowned upon if this will be requested.”
Be that as it may, it might seem like a really appreciatable move by the company, assuring the fans but when it comes to development, we all are aware that creating a game is no simple task. In fact, it took Projekt Red roughly three and a half years to complete The Witcher 3, which was a complex task. So with this newer title Cyberpunk 2077 in development, which is an even more complex project, our reservations about the crunch culture may not be satisfied.
Let us hope that CD Projekt keeps its word as we really need this approach in our industry.