The games industry is having a bit of a rethink about crunch, at least in certain sectors. For those of you that are unaware of the term, crunch is when a game is nearing completion, or needs an urgent fix, and developers are expected to work very long hours and sacrifice any life they had outside of the office. This has been standard industry practise for many years but developers are now starting to change.
Bungie’s creative director has explained how a fix to the Lord of Wolves weapon will take a little longer as they want to preserve the “work-life balance” of the team.
“We could take the patch off the… off the ‘patch factory’, more or less, and ask people to work super long [hours] and add this thing in,” he said. “We’re having the conversation about, is it worth doing that? Or is it worth preserving work-life balance and ship it later, in July?
“That’s the 100%, god’s honest truth. It’s always a cost-benefit analysis for people who are working super hard.”
In related news, Epic have announced that the developers working on Fortnite, a game that has been reported as having a huge crunch problem due to the need for constant updates and fixes, will all be taking a two week holiday. From June 24th to July 8th Epic’s offices will be closed.
Epic say they do have “measures in place to ensure we can react to major issues (should they arise)”, and the game will still be updated during the two weeks, but they are planning on letting everyone have a good long break. Companies in the U.S. are notoriously stingy when it comes to annual leave allowances, and the two weeks, along with another two weeks in the winter, will not be taken out of employee’s annual leave .
Here’s what Bungie had to save about the weapon.
The most recent changes to Lord of Wolves created a monster. There’s been a lot of discussion online about it. Once honorable, the Lord of Wolves has become a hard-to-stop Werewolf in Lord Saladin’s contest. It’s super rigged (a small silver lining: it seems like roaming Supers get melted by it. FYI: We’re looking at reducing the damage resistance of roaming Supers this fall).Whether you’ve been tamed by it, or are running around as a pack in Iron Banner, we’re going to bring the Wolf to heel later this Summer.Sometimes, Destiny is going to have goofy outliers, or periods of time where something is OP (like the Wolves howling right now in IB on PC). We don’t want these periods to last too long (post-Forsaken launch Voidlocks), but they can be memorable moments.Internally, we had a bunch of spirited debate this week around whether or not we should just prevent players from equipping Lord of Wolves throughout the game. This is a blunt tool, and basically banning an item from being equipped isn’t something we take lightly.In this instance, Lord of Wolves dominance (and its really showing out on PC) didn’t rise up to meet the bar of “this is broken enough to turn it off in all activities.” If the Wolf Pack continues to grow, we can revisit turning it off. From our perspective, this feels like a week where the Wolves run wild and supers trample their way through Iron Banner a little less.Ultimately, video games are incredible places for memories to form and we do want Destiny to be a game world that remembers. We’re going to create a special Triumph for this moment in time, and anyone who finishes an Iron Banner match will be awarded a Triumph and an associated sweet nameplate. Our gifted artists and designers will come up with something cool to capture the week when the Wolves ran wild.Awoooooooooooooooo