Almost every studio goes through a period of crunch as a game nears its release date. While neither healthy nor good, it is a common practice in the industry. Fortunately, studios are taking steps to undo this culture of crunch, with Naughty Dog claiming that the upcoming The Last of Us Part 1 was developed with zero crunching involved.
Ahead of its release on the 2nd of September, Naughty Dog has now announced that The Last of Us Part 1 – the remake of the PS3 classic – has officially gone gold, meaning that the game is complete, barring final bug fixes.
Responding to this announcement, Anthony Vaccaro, the principal environment artist at Naughty Dog stated that “This is the first time in my 13 year career, across multiple studios, that I didn't need to crunch to finish a game. Feels good, really good. Especially hitting the same quality bar as TLOU2. More work to keep doing but proud of the big changes so far to make the studio healthier.”
As mentioned, crunch is an unfortunate reality which persists across all aspects of game development. It is encouraging to see however that studios are directly addressing and tackling this issue – ensuring that those who make the games we love so much remain happy and healthy.
KitGuru says: Are you excited for The Last of Us Part 1? Are you glad to see Naughty Dog not crunching? What other steps should studios take to maintain a healthy workplace? Let us know your thoughts down below.