Paul Tozour: The Game Outcomes Project, Part 4: Crunch Makes Games Worse

Extended overtime (“crunch”) is a deeply controversial topic in our industry. Countless studios have undertaken crunch, sometimes extending to mandatory 80-100 hour work weeks for years at a time. If you ask anyone in the industry about crunch, you’re likely to hear opinions stated very strongly and matter-of-factly based on that person’s individual experience.

And yet such opinions are almost invariably put forth with zero reference to any actual data.

Deep and wide analysis of an area that must be incredibly difficult to test in a scientific manner. Includes preemptive consideration of a reasonable counterargument, that crunch is likely most needed in projects that are poorly run or managed to begin with, which risks skewing the data or entangling variables.

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