This quote was said by a team’s co-founder. This team has recently gone belly up, even though it didn’t seem like they are in big trouble, aside from comments that said they had to do eighty-hour work weeks.
We’re talking about Telltale Games, who have gone bust last Autumn. Emily Grace Buck, who was the narrative designer for them, told GameInformer that they kept getting changes made for the games at the last moments , and because of it, a „huge percentage of the studio” had to do crunch, otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to get things done on it.
Kevin Bruner, the former co-founder and CEO of Telltale, has responded: „For other studios, it happens all the time in games where, ‘Our release date is this fall’ and then the studio will announce that fall, ‘Oh you know what, the game wasn’t ready, we pushed it out until next spring.’ And that really wasn’t something that Telltale could do. We didn’t have the budgets to delay production that long; we didn’t have the cushion.
I’m not saying it was easy, but the fact that so many people made really compelling, really great, highly regarded content to me makes it seem like Telltale was a nurturing place. It was trial by fire, but there were definitely opportunities to succeed there and many, many people did. I take a lot of pride in that but it cuts both ways. Succeeding there was hard.”
And to GameInformer, Bruner said: „For me, at an executive level, all the way down to the animator, if you see an opportunity to make the game better, and you know it’s going to ship in a week and you care about the content, it’s really hard to walk away from the content and just say, ‘You know what? This is as good as it’s going to get. I’m going home.’ We tried to create an environment where you really had to do that to survive at Telltale because we didn’t have these three-year-long production cycles.”
To us, it sounds like Bruner might have required a bit too much from the team – such a leadership quickly gets hated by the employees, especially if they get close to no (or absolutely no) benefits out of it…
and 57 episodes between 2013 and 2017 based on five licenses sounds like hell.