Over the last couple of years, the topic of developer crunch has been gaining much more traction, largely due to developers opening up about their experiences working on some of the biggest games. Rockstar was drawn into the conversation last year in the wake of Red Dead Redemption 2’s launch but it looks like improvements have been made since then.
Last year, following on from Red Dead Redemption 2’s launch, Kotaku highlighted a number of sources working at Rockstar’s various offices, who all talked about massive crunch throughout the lengthy development cycles of the studio’s games. Rockstar hasn’t explicitly said anything about the changes it has been implementing, but sources at Rockstar Lincoln have reached out to Kotaku again to inform them of recent improvements.
For those who don’t know, Rockstar Lincoln is one of the studio’s UK offices and in previous years, it has mostly been used to house temporary contract workers for game testing purposes. Testers are often hit quite hard during Triple A game development and temporary contract workers are rarely treated as equals within the offices.
However, since reports emerged last year, Rockstar Lincoln has apparently upgraded a number of temporary contract employees to full-time status, giving them security for the future. Rockstar has also begun experimenting with flexible hours, giving employees a chance to move their assigned work hours around based on their own needs.
KitGuru Says: Rockstar makes some of the best games around each generation but that level of excellence has often come at the cost of employee’s well-being. Hopefully the changes being made currently can even things out in the future. We all want good games, but nobody should have to give up their entire lives to create them.