Ratchet & Clank developers praise bosses for avoiding punishing ‘crunch’ in run up to release
Several developers who worked on the new Ratchet & Clank PlayStation 5 game confirmed it was made free of crunch.
Crunch is where developers are forced to work overtime on a game in order to meet expected release dates. It’s been widely derided by the industry as having a negative impact on the mental health of developers.
It’s a positive step, therefore, to see Insomniac supporting its employees working on Ratchet & Clank with a healthy work-life balance, leading to a hugely impressive game that’s received strong review scores.
“#RatchetPS5 is at 89 avg score & I can’t speak for anyone on the team but myself, but I didn’t crunch once. 40h weeks the whole time,” tweeted Grant Parker, game designer at Insomniac.
“It is possible to work on a great game w/o suffering.”
Parker’s tweet was shared by animator Lindsay Thompson who added: “I didn’t crunch once, entire production. A couple late nights here and there finishing something up, but COMPLETELY CRUNCH FREE. It is possible. Team wellness lets the creativity flow free.”
I didn't crunch once, entire production. A couple late nights here and there finishing something up, but COMPLETELY CRUNCH FREE. It is possible. Team wellness lets the creativity flow free. https://t.co/Bf9C7BQLRn
— Lindsay Thompson (@Binzimation) June 8, 2021
She responded in a second tweet: “I do believe the team as a whole did not suffer crunch and our management certainly encouraged that.”
Narrative coordinator Justin Fennessy replied to her saying: “And those few late nights don’t even feel like work when you’re having so much fun making the damn thing!”
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Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption developer Rockstar and Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red have both been in the midst of controversy for forcing crunch on staff.
Several Rockstar employees chimed in on the debate following the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, while Cyberpunk 2077 was plagued with bugs that forced the developers to work overtime.
The positive response to Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is proof, though, that crunch doesn’t need to be a necessity.
You can check out our review of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart here, where we describe the game as a spectacular showcase for the PlayStation 5.