Opinion PS5

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Proves That You Don’t Need To Crunch

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Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart launched last week and it blew my mind. The game looks stunning, it feels amazing to play on the PS5, and it was all made without crunch. In fact, it’s been made clear that crunch was actively talked about and avoided during development. I’m so surprised that a game of this caliber could be made without any sort of crunch, but I’m also extremely pleased for Insomniac Games and everyone there who will forever have a wonderful memory of working on the title. More than anything, it shows that crunch is something that doesn’t need to exist, and we should all push as hard as possible to make this the norm.

Game Designer Grant Parker shared news that the game was made without crunch on Twitter. He added that his managers talked to him about overworking and burnout, and asked him to avoid both. This is a huge difference from the culture I think most people have experienced both in games and in general. I used to work in a company that built websites, and if something needed doing, we were all forced to stay late and get it done, even if we couldn’t help with the problem. That’s a toxic culture, and it’s made even worse when no financial incentive is provided. For me, I had to do it or lose my job at a time when that wasn’t an option.

I think a lot of developers face the same situation with every game they work on. The management wants to push to get the game out on time, and they don’t care who has to suffer. Usually there are financial incentives for the company as a whole, but the staff never really see that benefit. They’re simply expected to work 100 hour weeks, sleep in the office, and leave the company after launch with some serious stress. This isn’t healthy, and it should be abolished. I’d love for every game to avoid crunch, but it’s going to take time for companies to regulate their pipelines of work. If you take anything away from Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, let it be that you’d rather get a game that good after a delay rather than because several people had to work extremely long hours in the space of a few months to get it done in time.

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