For once in what seems like eons, we have a rather positive story to share about game development. Following the lift on embargoes this morning for reviews of Sony’s upcoming PS5 exclusive Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, two employees from developer Insomniac Games stated that the team didn’t once face crunch while working on the new sequel. Both Grant Parker (Game Designer) and Lindsay Thompson (Animator) have slightly different wording, but they both speak highly of the studio and how it treated its employees during production.
“I can’t speak for anyone on the team but myself, but I didn’t crunch once,” Parker said. “It is possible to work on a great game w/o suffering.” This was corroborated by Thompson, who added, “I didn’t crunch once, entire production. A couple late nights here and there finishing something up, but COMPLETELY CRUNCH FREE.“
This is refreshing to hear, especially since other studios under Sony’s control have horror stories about development. Naughty Dog, for instance, has a tremendous history of working its employees to the bone and even Santa Monica Studio admitted a few years back that it had catching up to do with improving its work culture. While it’s hard to exclaim that Insomniac has never had crunch, the studio has done a better job at letting employees maintain a healthy work/life balance.
The more cynical among you may believe these developers are blowing smoke, but I do genuinely believe their words. It falls in line with reports I can find on the studio’s past, not to mention both employees seem to be acting of their own volition.
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