Editor-in-Chief of The Escapist
- Mar 13, 2020
I think you're missing the point that working conditions could always be better. It's one thing to work overtime to be paid more, it's a completely separate issue to work overtime because a failure in management or due to unrealistic investor expectations, etc.That's part of the issue, the stories themselves are always incredibly bias to paint a narrative that working a Crunch period for any reason is the equivalent of sweat shop work. And it's obviously done to rile people up for clicks. Yet completely circumvents the fact that overtime and mandatory overtime is the reality of the working world from time to time.
The articles always like to emphasize how stressed the developers are, but they would be stressed regardless of the overtime because finishing a project you've been working on is always stressful. Remember the stress of double checking your papers in college right before the due date? Combing over the paper late into the night just to make sure you didn't miss anything. Or in some people's case, waiting until the night before it was due and pulling all-nighters to get it done. Deadlines are deadlines and in the real world sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to get it done.
Now people can discuss the merits of overtime all they want. But even in the best scenario it isn't a workplace situation that can be 100% avoided even if your management was the best fucking management on the planet.
At very least this is Crunch that they knew was coming. And it isn't even a "bad" crunch the way we've seen reported from other companies (I.E. the Rockstar example I've already pointed out).
I think the reason why people get so butthurt about it is, like you said, the article does a bad job of painting the real situation and is written like a knee jerk reaction based off a minimal source for the sole reason of making it all look bad.
Crusader Kings III, one of the highest rated games of the year, was made without crunch. Crunch isn't good and while this year may be an exception due to COVID, it shouldn't happen. Schedules should be shifted if you can avoid crunch, that's something all developers agree on.
I don't think Jason's article was written to elicit a knee-jerk reaction. It's how he publicizes the story on social media that I have a problem with. He inserts himself into the story and drives a social media outrage mob before the studio even has a chance to respond. He's got such an ego that he doesn't see that while reporting on these issues, he's causing more issues by riling up social media into such a frenzy over these things, that discussions can't be had and it's just people screaming at one another.