Develop Conference: Mark Rein and Miles Jacobson claim best devs are ready to make sacrifices

Passionate developers are willing to crunch say studio heads

Passionate developers are happy and willing to experience crunch, two leading studio heads have said.

Speaking at the Develop in Brighton confernece, Sports Interactive MD Miles Jacobson and Epic Games VP Mark Rein said that many developers are willing to do overtime in order to ship the best product that they can.

"I’m sure we crunch just like everyone else," said Rein.

"But passionate people will want to ship the best product they can. We’ve been successful at managing our resources both financial and human.

He added: "We just went through a lawsuit, and when you see how hard the lawyers work, they crunch harder than many developers.

"My dad was a doctor, and he put in more hours than most developers. Firemen and policemen work just as hard, but they just don’t have blogs writing about it."

Rein and Jacobson also said they do not offer most workers overtime pay, although the Epic VP explained that employees at the studio were paid well in bonuses.

Jacobson also clarified that his studio never enacted enforced crunch, and that it was important that if this overtime work did take place, that a studio head also worked just as hard.

"We’ve never had enforced crunch at our studio, ever," said Jacobson.

"If they want to do a little at the start and lots at the end, then that’s their choice. If people want to get the reputation of working in a studio where the games are great, then there’s going to be extra work going in.

"As long as the studio heads are working as hard as everyone else you don’t normally get any complaints. It’s normally when the bosses come in a couple hours a week and aren’t working much."

Rein added: "The difference between companies like Epic, Valve and Sports Interactive is that we really do share the wealth. It’s not like you’re just working super hard for someone else to go home and have a swimming pool."

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