Crunch – the practice of 여자알바 developers working long hours at night in order to make deadlines – is a serious problem within the games industry. Crunch culture in the video game industry is when video game developers work impossibly long hours, sometimes up to 80-100 hours per week, with unpaid overtime being the norm. Unlike other workers in Silicon Valley, who are traditionally given stock options and other rewards for working all hours, video game developers are expected to endure unpaid overtime because of their love of video games.
Game industry workers often will say that they endure crunch hours because they love games, and love working on them. The only reason companies can get away with demanding crunch time from their employees is that us workers are putting up with it. We want to work in an industry that helps make games that we are passionate about, not profiteering off of one more late-night, unpaid shift.
For someone passionate about working in industry-leading games and technologies, a day-to-day work environments challenges may well be worth the effort. It is not just the studios working on triple-A games that are affected by a culture of crunch. Crunch culture is generally a given at any game studio working on triple-A, big-scale, or mainstream video games because of the sheer volume of work that is being put on the table.
Any video game studio may experience the culture of Crunch, regardless if they are a big studio or an indie, or whether they are first-party, second-party, or third-party video game developers. Technically, crunch time is any form of overtime work that is required (almost always unpaid) for a video game studio in order to finish the project in a timely manner. Crunch time is used as an intentional part of the game development cycle, exactly because it works from the standpoint of the people making the money on the top.
A new piece from Polygon suggests that technical staffers at TT Games are being exposed to a culture of crunch which leads to poor morale and burnout, though the studio is presumably trying to reverse course by restricting overtime. According to LinkedIn, game staffing rates are about 15.5%, higher than in any other technology industry, and burnout, burnout, and declining mental health are widely accepted as part and parcel of working at big gaming companies like Bungie and Rockstar. In addition to the lower salaries, lack of salary transparency, and the sporadic increases in salary, nearly 80 percent of video game workers are not receiving employer contributions into their retirement plans, meaning that their chances of retiring in comfort are dramatically reduced.
Allegedly, this is common across the industry, according to a recent survey of video game workers. The survey found that over 76% of professionals working in video games reported working weeks periodically exceeding 40 hours per year.
During times of crunch – or times when developers are trying to complete a game – 35 percent reported working 50 hours to 59 hours, while 28 percent reported working 60 hours to 69 hours per week, and 13 percent reported working over 70 hours in an office. Slightly more than half of respondents – 56 percent — worked 40 hours or fewer on average each week in the last twelve months, which, narrowly by hours, does not appear particularly burdensome. Meanwhile, another 32 percent of those not crunched said they were still required to work prolonged hours or overtime.
When working 80-hour weeks, the hourly compensation for many high-skill professionals could fall below a state minimum-wage requirement. Companies are not required to pay overtime wages to software programmers when they earn over $41 per hour and are engaged in high-level work that is creative or intellectual. While Naughty Dog may demand plenty of overtime (making a critically-acclaimed game is not for the faint-hearted), they are trying to compensate for that by offering employees generous benefits packages, including a chance to earn extra cash bonuses.
While some employees describe working for Naughty Dog as the worlds best first-party developer, and a dream come true, others suggest Naughty Dog is not the best place for those with families because of long hours and overtime. It seems only a small percentage of game developers reported working crazy hours, according to the latest version of the State of the Game Industry Report from GDC. Three in four game developers are still working at a frantic pace, or are working longer hours, according to new data from the latest edition of the International Game Developers Associations (IGDA) Developer Satisfaction Survey (DSS).
According to new research by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), 38% of game developers are working unpaid overtime during the so-called “dreadful” crunch–the insanely stressful final-deadline period prior to the video games release. It is not yet clear why the crunch happens, especially because it is been around 13 years since Erin Hoffman, writing under the handle EA_Spouse, rocked the industry with her story of unpaid overtime at Electronic Arts. Erin Hoffman lifted the lid on grim hours at EA back in the early noughties, and ever since, crunch has been endemic in the video games industry, despite the fact that there is evidence that excessive work has detrimental effects on both health and work quality.
With impossibly long hours, fewer days off, zero time off, and little mercy on employees who cannot keep up this frenetic pace, the health and well-being of the talented professionals who design video games has taken a back seat to the multibillion-dollar revenue streams generated by these games on-time releases. It is simply that making video games requires an enormous number of creative individuals, all working extremely hard to hit a Christmas-shopping-season deadline set far in advance.
It has been revealed that people who do video game development are generally paid much less than those who do similar skillsets and jobs in other industries, like IT, or film and TV writing. Ultimately, this means the games industry is self-selecting young, single white guys who are more interested in working on a large game than having a private life, while others are leaving the games industry for a place with fewer slogs.