Epic Boss Responds To Exploitative Working Condition Claims

Illustration for article titled Epic Boss Responds To Exploitative Working Condition Claims

Epic Games president Michael Capps speaks extensively with Joystiq regarding accusations of employee exploitation that have recently been causing a bit of a stir.


The uproar began when industry critic Greg Costikyan called out Capps for comments made during an Independent Game Developers Association panel last year. During the talk he indicated that working 60 plus hours was expected at Epic, and that people only willing to work the minimum 40 hours weren't the sort of people that would fit with the company. Costikyan was appalled that a member of the IDGA board, as Capps was at the time, would champion overworking developers while representing an organization meant to support them.

In Joystiq's extensive interview, Capps outlines and defends Epic's policies, punctuating the importance of hiring enthusiastic employees who are passionate about what they do. He also gives his thoughts as to why a comment he made last year was suddenly causing such uproar on the internet and IGDA forums.

I think probably has a little bit to do with me being so confident that we are doing the right thing. I think they want everyone who crunches always to be contrite about it and say, "We're so sorry we fucked up, we didn't mean to let anybody work more than 40 hours a week. This is a huge disaster. We'll never do it again." We don't feel that way. We're very confident we did it the right way. We've done it 18 times and we're going to do it a 19th time and everybody here knows we're going to do it a 19th time. We're not lying and saying "Oh, we blew it!" I think that really bothers folks who have seen people do it, overwork someone, and then when we say "Yes, we crunch and we burst sometimes," confidently, like we know what we're doing and we're sharing that message. Because I really think Epic knows what it's doing and we've proven that again and again. We've been very successful. I think that really upsets people.

There's so much to the interview that it's relatively difficult to condense down into one or two lines. Hit the link to check out the entire thing. It's a fascinating look into the inner workings of a big-name development studio.

Joystiq interview: Epic's Michael Capps responds to accusations of 'exploitative' working conditions [Joystiq]


lol, I've worked 65 hour weeks, and 40 hour weeks, as a game programmer. And I can tell you that working more hours does not mean getting more done.

It actually degraded the work I did, and caused more problems later in the project. It's a much better idea to condense worktime rather than get more tired hours in at night.