15 January 2011

60 Straight Days of Crunch? Really? Please Explain. - by Keith Fuller

      Posted 01/14/11 10:31:00 am  

Choose Your Enemies Wisely

Honestly, I don’t want to have enemies. I like being liked too much to want enemies. But I suspect this is going to make some. I’m going to provide you with two quotes and I would like someone to reconcile them for me. Someone authoritative, mind you…not the good people who will likely respond in the comments section with amens and words of encouragement. God bless you, though, Comments Section People. Write your comments anyway. Our industry needs the support.

Here’s a quote from develop-online.net. Dateline today, January 12th, 2011:

“The development team at New York outfit Kaos has been subjected to a seven-day crunch phase for two months, the studio’s owning publisher THQ has said.

The Kaos workforce has been thrown into the brutal crunch phase in order to finish work on its current project, Homefront, before the scheduled US release of March 8th.

THQ has no intention of delaying the game past its release date.

The publisher’s executive vice president of Core Games, Danny Bilson, said on Twitter that he was yesterday in New York to visit the studio.

His message read: “At Kaos studios in New York sitting with a team that's finaling on 7-day weeks for a couple of months. Talk about that ‘thousand yard stare’.” ”

Now here’s a quote from the website for Kaos Studios, the company at which developers have allegedly been working seven days a week for months:

“Quality (of Life) Assurance

Above all, we are driven to ensure that our employees have a high quality of life and a good work/life balance. While game development – like any entertainment business – is a profession that lives on deadlines and overtime, Kaos places a high premium on our employees coming to work refreshed, relaxed, and ready to make industry-leading games. Key to that is our deployment of Scrum and Agile methodologies, our commitment to an 8-hour workday, and our refusal to burn out our employees. While we may not be able to eliminate overtime and crunch completely, we’re constantly evolving our business to better meet the needs of both the project and the long-term health and happiness of our workforce.”

Reiterating: Explanation, good. Enemies, bad.

All I’m after is an explanation as to how these two things can be true. Kaos has allegedly had some people working every day for 60

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