Hot on the heels of Kotaku's excellent reporting of the disarray at BioWare comes this good piece of reporting from Polygon on the culture of perma-crunch at Epic Games attributed to the success of Fortnite:
But for workers on Fortnite, the normal rhythm of working hours was changed by the game’s success. “There was a gym in the office,” said one source. “It was available for technically any employee to use when they had free time, but free time wasn’t something that I was allowed at all. We’re always in crunch. Crunch never ends in a live service game like that. You’re always building more content and more stuff.”
“I was working at least 12-hour days, seven days a week, for at least four or five months,” said one source. “A lot of that was having to stay at work till 3 or 4 in the morning.”
Many of our sources said that refusing to work late hours represented a serious impediment to career advancement. Bosses expected workers to stay late, and to not complain.
“It wasn’t much of a conversation,” said one source. “It really was just a ‘I hope you didn’t have plans this weekend because this is what needs to be done.’ And if you did have something going on, it had to be serious, otherwise it was going to be a negative experience for that person.”
I can't say I'm surprised, but I would have hoped that the massive success of Fortnite would have allowed Epic to go on a hiring spree to help make the workload manageable. I'm legitimately curious, do you think stories like this dissuade people who would otherwise be interested in game development from joining the industry?