Crunch is a term that no one likes to hear in the video game industry. It’s a term used that implies that a development studio is working to bring out a new video game title at launch by any means. This oftentimes means long hours at work with little concern to the health and well being of the employees. As a result, there has been a push to prevent crunch in video game development studios. Despite this, there have been reports of Naughty Dog still requiring crunch on their projects.
In a new report from Kotaku, sources claim that Naughty Dog developers are pushing crunch on The Last of Us Part 2 despite the game being delayed. All this caused was a longer time period for developers to be stuck in crunch. In fact, according to the report, some of the game developers were working past 9 PM when a large metal pipe burst through the ceiling and landed right next to their work area. Apparently, there was construction being down on the building where the workers didn’t realize that there were still employees at the building so late.
While the building has attempted to fix these issues to ensure the safety of their employees, another measure of concern is still not fixed. Naughty Dog is apparently forcing crunch to ensure that their upcoming release, The Last of Us Part 2 is not only ready when the game does launch into the market but is still kept in the level of detail that fans expect from a Naughty Dog release.
Crunch culture is one that most are hoping to get rid of but it seems almost like a hopeless battle. Perhaps we’ll see something changed in the future that helps protect and unionize the employees developing video game titles, but at the moment, it’s an issue that several studios may be guilty of.
One unnamed employee told Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, that while the game is really good, it did come at a huge cost to the people working on it. This is not the first time we have heard reports of employees enduring crunch, but its one attribute from the gaming industry that we hope is able to be resolved soon.