Insomniac Games could be proof that it is indeed possible to create an AAA title without forced 10-12-hour (or even longer) workdays.
Crunch is a common thing in the gaming industry. We have discussed several studios (even CD Projekt RED…) using this method to get games done by the set deadline to satisfy the management, the leadership, and the investors. An AAA title is seemingly rarely done without utilizing crunch…
But now, Insomniac Games claims it wasn’t required, and if we see how Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is getting solid scores from the press, then it could indeed be making those who use this method perhaps way too often eat some of the humble pie, as their time management is less than optimal. „I’d appreciate people sharing this positive because it’s important. [Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart] is at 89 average score [on Metacritic], and I can’t speak for anyone on the team but for myself, but I didn’t crunch once. 40-hour weeks the whole time. It is possible to work on a great game without suffering,” Grant Parker, a game designer at Insomniac, wrote on Twitter.
„I didn’t crunch once [throughout the] entire production. A couple [of] late nights here and there finishing something up, but [it was] COMPLETELY CRUNCH FREE. It is possible. Team wellness lets creativity flow free,” Lindsay Thompson, an animation, added. And Hermen Hulst, the head of PlayStation Studios, has said something similar in a recent interview: „We want to ship extremely high-quality games, finished games, and we have to do that obviously without pushing our teams to the breaking point. […] With these things, something’s gotta give. It cannot be the quality of our titles, and it surely won’t be the health or the wellbeing of our amazing team.” So they will release games less often in return, going by logic.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which got its tech review by Digital Foundry below, will launch on June 11, exclusively on PlayStation 5.