A misunderstood Twitter Striking Distance Studios founder Glenn Schofield’s post has been removed after being criticized for appearing to glorify Crunch. The former EA and Activision man — whose team is currently working to wrap up the survival horror Callisto Protocol ahead of its December 2 launch — said that “we’re working six to seven days a week. […] Fatigue, fatigue, covid but we are working. He continued: “12 to 15 hour days. This is gaming. hard work Lunch, dinner, work. You do it because you love it.”
Scofield was roundly criticized by many industry pundits, including Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, who has written books about game development work. “That, from a studio head, is defining culture,” he said. “Of course no one is ‘forced’ to work crazy hours. But imagine the low bonuses and lack of promotion opportunities if you don’t? ‘You do it because you love it.’ Armed passion. That’s why people get burned out on gaming.”
After deleting the original Twitter message, Schofield tried to clarify his comments: “Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about the people I work with. Earlier I tweeted how proud I am of the effort and hours put in by the team. This was wrong. We value passion and creativity, not long-term. I feel sorry for the team for coming out like this.”
The work culture at several tentpole studios, including top AAA teams like Naughty Dog and Rockstar, has come under fire in the past decade — with some trying to improve their approach. Many developers pointed out that they did not work overtime on The Last of Us: Part I, while one of the reasons cited for GTA 6’s longer-than-expected development cycle is a change in developer Rockstar’s culture.
Of course, this is a complex topic with many nuances that often divide opinion. Scofield’s hint that his team is working while sick with Covid – though it’s possible he means his studio continued to go through the rigors of the pandemic. If these are the circumstances, however, we’d argue that a delay should be considered – although we imagine Striking Distance Studios is also feeling the pressure of the Dead Space remake, which is currently a month away. Ready to be released. Callisto Protocol, on January 27.
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