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Rockstar has gotten a lot better at handling crunch

Rockstar Games crunched intensely to finish GTA V, but the studio has changed its ways

By Derek Strickland on Jan 18, 2020 01:59 pm CST - 1 min, 30 secs reading time

All devs crunch, but Rockstar Games is among the most famous for its brutal hours-smashing overtime. Now a new report says the studio has relented and is actively working towards better policies for its workers.

Rockstar has gotten a lot better at handling crunch |

Crunch is endemic in the games industry, and is generally seen as part of making games. Devs have to constantly iterate, build, adapt, and throw away weeks (or sometimes months) worth of work due to miscommunication, cancellations, and revisions. And when a game is delayed, it doesn't give developers more freedom per say--it just gives them more time to work long hours and crunch even harder. Sometimes these long months lead to depression, anxiety, and even mental breakdowns.

Case in point: GTA V was delayed three separate times, and according to ex-Rockstar dev Liam Edwards, every delay added on 6 months of crunch time. That means Rockstar had 18 months of toil and heavy work added to their cumbersome dev cycle. Thankfully Rockstar is getting better at handling crunch.

"GTAV was delayed 3 times. Each time meant I had to work an extra 6 months of overtime," Edwards said on Twitter.

"For posterity. I've since heard from a lot of friends that R* has changed policies and responded in a positive way towards the news story exposes from last year. So, fingers crossed towards better working conditions for game industry folks."

Hopefully other developers like BioWare can take a page from these lessons.

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Derek Strickland

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Derek Strickland

Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements, whether it's VR with the Oculus Rift or Augmented Reality. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the technology that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.


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