It seems that wherever you look in the industry, you'll find someone crunching their workers and the latest round of investigations stopped at NetherRealm, whose development of Mortal Kombat 11 has had more than just a bit of crunch.
Multiple sources from the company told Variety that this is a result of a long-term of ambitious management and poor communication, which often translates to more crunch for the poor sods below the deck and cultivation of "loud, obnoxious, super toxic" coworkers.
One employee says he's been working for 60-70 hours, seven days a week, since January 2019, and his story suggests the 'poor communication' is a direct result of not really caring for what happens to them.
He gave the example of a Mortal Kombat 11 event in January, claiming it's set development back significantly. NetherRealm's management was quite optimistic however, claiming it won't affect development one bit.
"Little did our creative director, our publishing team and marketing know that we were already about three months behind", the employee said.
Once the optimism subsided though, "they had to pull everybody off, set everybody back another month and a half so we could we could make ourselves look good for MK Day".
Apparently, the catching up lasts to this day, as NetherRealm had a lot of patching to do for Mortal Kombat 11, most notably those meant to ease up the grind.
Asked whether overtime is mandatory, another employee replied, "So it’s a lot of implying, not up-front. They don't tell us, 'You have to work these hours.' They also don't tell that to any of the temporary/contract employees."
However, there always comes the question of whether you're prepared to put in those hours, because as he says, "we’ve been doing this since time immemorial, [on] every project."
NetherRealm said that they're looking into these allegations, as they take them very seriously.
"As an equal opportunity employer, we encourage diversity and constantly take steps to reduce crunch time for our employees. We are actively looking into all allegations, as we take these matters very seriously and are always working to improve our company environment. There are confidential ways for employees to raise any concerns or issues", they wrote.
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