Epic Games have announced on Friday that their Fortnite studio in Cary, North Carolina, will be closed from 24 June to 08 July 2018, and its employees are getting two weeks off. Not that it fixes the crunch allegations but it's a start.
In Epic's defence, the company does enforce a strict rule where employees get two weeks off in the winter, but this is the first time they did something similar in the summer. We're talking about a studio that's 1,000 strong, by the way.
"Following this week, the Epic office will be closed between June 24 - July 8. During that time, we will not have any official Fortnite Competitive Tournaments running. When we come back, our next prized tournament will be a Trios tournament on July 13th & 14th", they wrote.
Let's skip to the chase - the move in no way clears Epic from accountability in the allegations of Fortnite's success having been built on constant crunch.
In fact, if we were to analyse it as Epic's reaction to the reports, it's not a particularly sophisticated one. People are not bottles to be filled with and emptied of fatigue, in spite of what some of the free-floating new age psychoanalysis may suggest.
That said, Epic's move can be considered a good start and most certainly a good industry example. The expendability of the gaming industry workforce has already reached alarming levels, so it doesn't hurt to have major players pulling the opposite direction a bit.
Epic's lead animator Jay Hosfelt tweeted, "Epic shuts the studio down for 2 weeks in the summer and two in the winter. We also get vacation on top of it. I don't say this to brag, but to vocally applaud a company that sincerely cares for its employees."
If you're worried the break will affect Fortnite's update schedule, Epic thought about that too. "We will still have two content updates over these weeks and you’ll be able to get all the details in the patch notes as normal", they wrote.
You can find the original announcement here.