Insomniac CEO Ted Price has revealed that the final battle in Spider-Man was changed in order to avoid crunch at the studio. In the original plan, Spider-Man and Doc Ock were supposed to fight all over New York. The plan was changed when the studio realized that the scope of the original plan would not be possible without having developers crunch, something that goes against Insomniac’s goal of increasing employee wellbeing.
The decision to scale back the final battle wasn’t a detriment to the game. In fact, Ted Price said that the developers taking a step back and looking at how to change the battle helped them to realize what the fight was really about. The devs realized that the battle was really about the emotional relationship that Octavius and Peter shared. Price said, “They rethought the fight and realized they didn’t need to destroy half of New York to pay off the relationship”
Price said that the game was much better off for having rethought the final battle. “In fact, it would have worked against what we were going for. As a result, the final battle is much more up close and personal, and has a far bigger emotional impact than planned — and it fit within the time we had.”
Crunch has been a constant theme of game development in recent years. Dan Houser was rightly criticized when he claimed that the devs of Red Dead Redemption 2 were “working 100 hour weeks” towards the end of development. The criticism was so intense that Rockstar felt the need to clarify his statement. Crunch has become a hugely controversial issue in the video game industry. Insomniac’s CEO detailed how the company avoided having a crunch period and that making Spider-Man better is a great lead for the studio to take.