More voices are speaking out about their experience with crunch in game development, and a few of them are linking directly back to Rockstar Games, painting a picture of a crunch-based culture in the studio – at least in previous projects.
Jenn Sandercock, game designer at Edible Games (it’s literally what it sounds like, brilliantly), posted a thread on Twitter detailing an anti-crunch method she implemented at a previous role: cake day.
Baking a cake and bringing it in to the office, allowing others to have half an hour of cake and tea and chat, Sandercock says it helped morale, helped work, just generally helped. Eventually management came down on her about it, and cake day was unceremoniously cancelled. The developer in question was Team Bondi, and the publisher pressure leading to cake day being cancelled? That came from Rockstar Games.
Along similar lines, former Rockstar and Telltale dev Job J Stauffer, has also spoken out on Twitter about his time at the former working on Grand Theft Auto IV, which he states ‘was like working with a gun to your head seven days a week’.
Both come in the wake of Rockstar chief Dan Houser’s comments on working 100-hour weeks and a thinly-veiled insinuation that anybody not working hundred hour weeks doesn’t want to ‘work hard’. No devs currently working at Rockstar have relayed their experiences at the company, so it’s difficult to get a balanced view on how things actually are there these days.