A third of studio employees receive no extra income for overtime

Crunch time ‘still part and parcel’ of game development

Crunch time is still part and parcel of work in the game industry, a new IGDA report has claimed.

The developer satisfaction survey, which had 3,000 respondents, revealed that two thirds of participants’ jobs involved crunch time. Of these, many said they had experienced extended hours at work more than twice in the last two year. 61 per cent of respondents said this was often expected as “normal practice”.

Two thirds of respondents said they work less than 70 hours a week during crunch. A sizeable majority however, 17 per cent, admitted to working over 70 hours a week during this period of expected overtime.

Of those who work beyond normal office hours, 36 per cent said they receive no extra income. Those who do receive some form of compensation said this usually comes in the form of meals (47 per cent) or extra time off (27 per cent).

Generally, half of respondents employed at studios said they work between 40 to 44 hours per week during a regular period, which the report stated was a “normal business week”. 18 per cent said they work between 45 and 49 hours, while a further 12 per cent regularly work 50 to 59 hours a week.

44 per cent of those who said they do no experience crunch regularly work long hours, and do not refer to this as crunch. Of these, 31 per cent work 50-59 hours a week, and 30 per cent work 60-69 hours a week.

Freelancers are also at risk of not receiving overtime pay or crunch time. 57 per cent said they do not negotiate extra compensation for overtime. 59 per cent said they have not been expected to work unpaid hours on a contract in the past two years, but 36 per cent were expected to, however.

It should be noted the this report focused largely on North America. 67 per cent of participants are based in the US and Canada, while just five per cent – about 150 – are situated in the UK. The report also suggested that not all respondents answered every question.

In January Develop ran a report from our annual salary survey on working conditions from developers mainly based in the UK and across Europe. We found some similar results to the IGDA’s survey, with 41 per cent of studio employees working between 41 and 50 hours per week, and ten per cent working 51 to 60 hours a week.

45 per cent of developers said they were expected to work overtime regularly. Over 80 per cent said they were not paid for this.

You can read our full report on crunch and quality of life here.

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