As studios like Naughty Dog impose merciless crunch that's hospitalizing its developers, id Software didn't crunch while making Doom Eternal.
Doom Eternal's core development team--at least the higher-ups--didn't crunch long hours readying the game for release. At least that's what creative director Hugo Martin said in a recent podcast with Joe Rogan.
"It's not really crunch. It's like a lifestyle. I live and breathe this. No one makes me stay at the office, and even when I come home I see my kids, I do my thing, and then I just do research. It sounds ridiculous but my research is that of a 13 year old. I play video games and read comic books and engross myself in pop culture because essentially what we do is make pop culture content," Martin said.
"You just have to ingest a ton of it which means it's 24/7. I get up really early, I do the exercise stuff, I come home and take the kids to school and then I have about two hours where I'll just play games."
This is pretty surprising considering Doom Eternal was delayed four months from its initial November 2019 release. Usually when a game is delayed it gives devs more opportunities to crunch, not less, and studios will ramp up their workforce and put tons of hours on everyone involved.
Martin also talks about how jiu-jitsu helps keep him healthy and counteract his sedentary game dev job. "It's a lifestyle but it's a lot of sitting," he said. "Jiu-jitsu had this ripple effect in my life and it was amazing."
We have to wonder if Bethesda's contractors are crunching or not. If Martin isn't--or maybe he is and doesn't define it as such because he's so passionate--maybe the grunts in the trenches are working grueling hours. Possibly not as much as Naughty Dog, but it's probably included as part of Bethesda Softworks' development regimens.
Remember that Doom Eternal is a massive game. It's the biggest thing id has ever done, and has a strong emphasis on engagement with tons of RPG-like customization and optional grinding. It's an expansive experience that's the result of tons of work across four years' time.
Doom Eternal launches in just five days on March 20, 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.