Among the last companies to hop aboard the crunch critique train are indie publisher Devolver Digital, who recently reflected on what seems to be a pressing matter in the gaming industry at the moment - the dreaded crunch time culture.
Company founder Graeme Struthers said he has no doubts that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be a huge success, adding that he hopes Rockstar "use some of that success to address what seems to be a fairly deep-rooted issue."
"And I'm sure they will", he added, going on to say that it's in every studio's best interest to "keep that talent and nurture it". Struthers pointed out that independent studios are no strangers to crunch either and although the scale of game development may not be as large - nobody's exempts from this.
Being notable for working with studios around the world, Struthers claims it's important not to lose human touch in these cases. "I'm not joking, sometimes one of us or two of us have jumped on a plane to go to another country to effectively take people out to eat and have a night off", he said.
Struthers also reflected on what has to be the most universal thing in the world - studying procrastination manoeuvres. You know, the ones where you don't actually do anything until the last moment and then want to hang yourself. Yeah, those ones. Apparently, Struthers knows them well and while he doesn't have a fix or anything, he does stress that it's an important part of managing your troops.
The entire hoopla started when Rockstar's head honcho Dan Houser mentioned 100 hour weeks, which reopened an important discussion on treatment of workers. Admittedly, some have been taking it too far, even calling for boycotting of Red Dead Redemption 2.
We don't agree with the concept of running your workers into the ground - who in their right mind would? However, the issue just about assumes that the gaming industry is the last crunch-loving sector standing, which could not be further from the truth. In fact, it's more likely it's the other way around but that's a whole 'nother story.
You can find the full interview here.