The highly praised Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart didn't rely on crunch

The highly praised Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart didn't rely on crunch

This story about work-life balance in game development, boiled down, in 1:51 minutes.

What's the fuss?

The developers behind the newly released AAA game Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart have taken to Twitter to praise the balanced working conditions while making the game. This is a welcome surprise, given that many games of similar scale have required unfair commitment from staff.

The situation

Since 2002, the Ratchet & Clank series has been, and continues to be, a massive franchise for PlayStation. 

The latest entry in the series, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, is an ambitious title

  • You would think that such an innovative game on the newest hardware around would require developers to work around the clock to meet certain milestones. 
  • Thankfully that wasn't the case as tweeted by a couple of the game's developers, who gleefully stated that the game was made relatively "crunch-free". 
  • The contrast between these claims and the common horror stories of poor work-life balance in the industry is quite alarming.

Boiling it down

Developing modern video games is a tall order, which is the main driver for what's commonly known as "crunch". 

  • "Crunch time" is the point where a team is thought to be failing to achieve milestones needed to release a game on time. 
  • Crunch tends to come from both corporate and peer pressure, resulting in poor quality of life being the norm rather than an exception.

It's fortunate that the team behind Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart worked 40 hours a week, compared to 100+ hours a week in some reported cases

  • To add insult to injury, game developers and artists are salaried employees, meaning that they aren't subject to mandatory overtime. 
  • Such poor conditions have been openly and publicly criticized, which will hopefully lead to a solution such as unionization

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