Obsidian Entertainment, which now belongs under Xbox Game Studios, doesn’t follow the example of other studios (just a few examples: Epic Games, Treyarch, NetherRealm Studios, Naughty Dog, Rockstar Games…).
„Obsidian is not a crunch studio, which is one of the things that keeps people staying there for a long time. There hasn’t been a crunch or a death march or anything like that with the studio for quite a long time, as far as I can remember anyway. That’s one of the things that as a studio we’re very committed to. We’d rather cut something than try and get people to not have a life outside of the industry,” Brian Hines, The Outer Worlds‘ senior designer, told PCGamesN. The game is in development for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and, as a significant surprise, the Nintendo Switch!
Hines admitted that Obsidian Entertainment’s staff was sometimes asked to work extra hours „for a week or so” when a deadline was approaching, but he expressed that it was a request, meaning developers could simply say no if they didn’t want to work overtime.
So it’s perhaps time to step up against crunch – it’s not a good thing when you get no days off whatsoever while working twelve to fourteen hours (or even more…) per day, which might not even appreciate your work (or get paid properly for it either).
Thankfully, multiple studios are against the crunch – Nintendo and Bungie rather delay their products just to avoid it. Respawn Entertainment also updates Apex Legends slower just to keep the developers’ quality of life good. Playground Games and Digital Extremes is also distancing itself from crunch.
As Obsidian is now under Microsoft as part of a team of several game studios, perhaps they no longer have to use crunch to work on their games.