Gotta Break A Lot of Eggs To Make That Omelette
Epic Games is the latest company to be dragged into the limelight for their crunch-centric work environment. A new article from Polygon goes into great detail about the levels of toxicity and suffering camouflaged by Fortnite’s tremendous success. In fact, said success is directly responsible for all that crunch.
Some of the stories that have come out paint a more idyllic picture, at least in the beginning. It’s not until Fortnite Battle Royale finds its legs that the bosses start really cracking the whip. Then, the narrative shifts towards 70-hour work weeks. For months at a time, no less. Sure, the money is incredibly good. But the hours are basically killing you.
This isn’t like those Rockstar stories, where a single looming deadline was grinding people into dust. Fortnite’s constant stream of updates and adjustments mean that crunch is more like, the regular schedule. Not only that, but development staff are painted as inherently disposable. That’s how you get stories of people just getting up, walking out, and never coming back. This massive article compiles stories from a dozen interviews to create one rather sinister image of this massive online game. For now, the wait is on to see how Epic will respond to these stories being told. Will this be another step towards unionization? Or is this a blip on the radar before business as usual?