4A Games have kept silent for a long while during Metro Exodus' controversy regarding the switch from Steam to Epic Store, but an anonymous employee has recently spoken about the studio being in the dark, as well as the working conditions.
Metro Exodus' storm started brewing the moment Deep Silver switched to Epic Store, but it reaching the boiling point recently when a 4A Games employee threatened the existence of PC version of Metro games. 4A Games officially refuted that claim a little while later, but some questions were still left unanswered.
Fans were already suspecting that the switch was Deep Silver's doing and that 4A Games didn't have any say in it. As it turns out, that guess was correct. Spiel Times recently interviewed an anonymous 4A Games employee, who was at first hesitant to answer several questions posed to them, all of which essentially asked about when 4A Games got informed about the switch.
When the employee finally budged, they simply said that Deep Silver informed 4A "well after E3 " meaning that the plans for the switch to Epic Store were not immediately made. Steam pre-orders kicked off right after E3, so it's clear that Deep Silver had intended to sell the game on Steam, and Epic Games' poaching came to the table at a much later point down the line.
Spiel Times' source also confirmed that the change came as a surprise to everyone in the studio and that the developers had a mixed reception of the news, as most people there care about reputation while the business side of things is Deep Silver's jurisdiction.
Speaking of 4A Games' developers, the source spoke a bit about the crunch hours. While you might expect another horror story akin to Rockstar where wives are desperately trying to claw their husbands out of a company's grasp, 4A Games apparently suffer from no such problems.
While it's true that crunch hours exist in the studio, they are accompanied by beer and pizza, allowing the developers to ease into the work as much as possible. On top of that, those who work crunch hours get compensated with extra vacation days and work hours are flexible - as in, the management doesn't make a fuss over people needing a day off.