@noelveiga: If the goal is to produce more game in a shorter time frame, thus getting a product out to market quicker than crunch absolutely is a positive thing for the producers of these games and they 100% see it as "good work". Theres a reason these guys continue to work their devs into the ground and ignore former employees who've complained about this practice.
This is speaking from experience as well. I’ve worked on projects with immovable time frames for no reason but because someone wants to get something out to market quicker (to line up with spent marketing budgets or to get ahead of competition, line up with EOFY balance sheets etc). Crunch was 100% seen as justifiable and a productive use of time and budget as the client did not want to buy another sprint of work, or move their marketing obligations.
Obviously crunch can go bad (introducing bugs, rushed art or whatever), but these guys are pros and the've found ways to work around that to squeeze as much extra productivity as they can get away with. This is another reason day 1 patches are such a norm now, too.
That's not how project management works, though, especially in gaming. You're balancing budget, time and resources. If you have a deadline and a budget it's gonna be more productive to ramp up more people than to work your smaller team to the bone daily. It simply is, you can measure it objectively.
The only event where you would get a benefit running crunch end to end for a videogame is gonna be if you are jumping into a thing on short notice (so no time to hire and train) and you absolutely have to end it on short notice (so no room for delays) and somehow you have money to spare, assuming you are paying overtime (which I'm assuming because I'm not an asshole).
... at which point I'd suggest you should not be attempting that project because you're clearly not equipped to complete it.
I'm not saying people don't do this. They do. This happens. Some people get it in their heads that it shows commitment or that they'll get away with it, or that despite all evidence this is actually productive or gives them an edge on the competition. Those people are bad at their jobs, though. And there is bad management in great creative studios, you can be sure of it. Again, those two things are not related in either direction.