New publisher Modern Wolf has revealed it has a crunch-free environment.
Speaking to PCGamesN, the company’s CEO and CCO, Fernando Rizo and Andreas Gschwari respectively talked about the firm’s commitment to ethical game development practices.
Rizo believes that consumers will play a part in making development environments crunch-free, as they care more and more about the conditions in which the games they play are created.
“I think [making crunch unacceptable] will require more consumer pressure,” said Rizo
“I think for the first time, we are seeing consumers who care about how their games are made, the conditions under which the developers who make their games work. That is great, and more of that will force bigger players than us to change.
“The fact is in a market-driven system like this, change really has to be consumer-led, and I think that consumers are just starting to care. We’re with them on that.
“We would love if by virtue of our existence and principles, and working the way that we work, we add a little bit of pressure to bigger players than us, then that would be great.”
The studio has five titles in the pipeline, set for release over the next two years.
Triple-A companies such as CD Projekt Red are refusing a mandatory crunch, wanting its staff to finish Cyberpunk 2077 without working an absurd amount of hours. Meanwhile, Outward developer Nine Dots has taken measures to prove that a crunch-free development environment works.
One of the worst cases for a crunch environment is Epic Games. Earlier this year Fortnite developers complained about the long working hours at the company, with some employees working between 70-to-100 hours a week.
Elsewhere, Fallout and Elder Scrolls studio Bethesda believes that developers should give it their all at the end of a game. While the company has become better at managing overwork, it still wants its staff to go the extra mile towards in the finishing stages.
“As long as developers primarily care about the product rather than the people, change will be very slow,” said Gschwari to PCGamesN.