- Crunch is an unfortunate games industry staple.
- Some gamers defend the practice, claiming it’s the only way for envelope-pushing titles.
- Nintendo has gotten by without crunch. Why must this remain the norm?
Crunch and the games industry, unfortunately, go hand in hand. Big projects require a consistent effort, but some companies struggle with time management, like Rockstar.
Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 have allegedly resulted in hundreds of hours of overwork, burnout, divorce, and much more.
However, it appears that some gamers don’t mind development crunch, assuming they get a better game out of it.
Defending Crunch is a Strange Hill to Die On
One Twitter user claims crunch is the only way we’ll make better games.
The user states that Naughty Dog’s upcoming The Last of Us 2 can only be made with excessive overtime and overworked employees. He compares the “excellence” of that title to Nintendo’s upcoming Animal Crossing. The latter company is famous for not allowing crunch.
This is an odd hill to die on. The user essentially claims that Animal Crossing is a weaker game due to a lack of crunch. Because Nintendo doesn’t abuse its employees, it somehow can’t make a better game.
Even stranger is comparing these two titles. Animal Crossing and The Last of Us 2 couldn’t be more different. The former is a life simulator, while the latter is a dramatic action game.
The Result of Bad Management
It’s no secret that, despite how one may feel about crunch, the practice is almost always the result of bad management. Fifty percent of game developers claim their experienced crunch was at “unhealthy levels,” according to GamesIndustry.biz.
That claim goes against what many gamers believe, that crunch is entirely necessary to push the envelope. Crunch defenders were also seen in a recent tweet regarding Cyberpunk 2077 and its delay.
One user claims that because other industries overwork their employees, the games industry should too.
Mandatory overtime for brief periods, like, say, the last week of a game’s release isn’t such a bad thing. But that’s not the case.
Story upon story has stated that crunch can last weeks or months. It’s often synonymous with a big release, but that needs to change. Nintendo released Breath of the Wild without the crunch. Why can’t Naughty Dog adjust their deadlines, instead of forcing workers to hit an unrealistic one?
Gamers defending crunch show a complete lack of understanding regarding the games industry. There are absolutely no reason workers should sit for weeks without sleep and sometimes even pay. This needs to become the exception and not the norm.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.