Crunch Tim3: Th3 Dark Side to Game Development

As technology has evolved, so has the impact the gaming industry has had. We’ve come to a point now where kids can get full scholarships for being good at a particular game. As amazing as that is, there are deeper issues that are finally getting the attention it deserves.


Take 2 and Epic games have created toxic work environments for their employees. Red Dead Redemption 2 and Fortnite have relied on “crunch” periods for much of its success. The crunch period is when developers push past normal expectations to finish deadlines. Many are to blame for this but gamers share a unique part of the responsibility. We have come to an era of gaming where mere gameplay and the enjoyment of the game is not enough to keep most satisfied. Entitlement has plagued the gaming community creating clouded judgement and empathy for developers. Updates to keep content fresh which would takes time and effort are now expected weekly. What Epic Games and Fortnite has done in the past few years is very hard to repeat. While impressive, it has also caused some gamers priorities to shift. Unique character and weapon skins provide the ability for individuality online. But when it becomes the primary focus, it takes from the efforts provide by developers.

My criticism of unfinished games priced at AAA cost (looking at you Anthem and Fallout 76) has not changed. Neither has my outrage at increased monentization of gaming with lootboxes and micro-transactions. But we as gamers (myself included) need to take a step back and realize developers aren’t to blame all the time. We are all passionate about video games but we have to also acknowledge the pressure put on a developer. They already deal with shareholders and executives who only care about making money. We may as well do our part to make sure they feel appreciated.

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