The subject of crunch (extended periods of overtime) is a hot topic in the world of video games. Most recently, the crunch debate, if you could call it that, emerged again with Cyberpunk 2077. We’ve heard some developers saying that they will work towards reducing crunch too in recent months. But does that apply to the third party support studios that they hire?
Apparently not, according to a new report by YouTube channel People Make Games. The outlet interviewed 19 current and former employees from two outsourcing studios. One being our very own Lemon Sky Studios in Malaysia, and the other being Brandoville in Indonesia.
Over the last month I've interviewed 19 employees from outsourcing studios in SE Asia who've provided artwork for SO MANY games you've played.
— Chris Bratt (@chrisbratt) March 4, 2021
And the common consensus is that, unpaid overtime is very common. One former concept artist of Lemon Sky said that things can go from no overtime while working on TV animation to daily crunching for Warcraft III Reforged.
But unfortunately, this reality is unlikely to change for most outsourcing studios. One former Lemon Sky employee explains that in order for such studios to get a deal with a big-time AAA publisher, studios will need to offer to get the job done in a certain amount of time. That will then get squeezed further after negotiations, which means devs have to do more in less time. And if one studio doesn’t take the deal, another one will.
(Source: People Make Games)