Welcome to Good News Corner. As spotted by VG247, a couple of Insomniac Games staff took to Twitter to report that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was created without any crunch. While it’s certainly terrible that this is an industry where such a thing merits remark, it remains good news that it can be done.
Game Designer Grant Parker tweeted not only to boast of the game’s current 89 Metascore but also to say that he experienced no crunch whatsoever during the game’s development.
“I can’t speak for anyone on the team but myself, but I didn’t crunch once. 40h weeks the whole time,” he tweeted. “It is possible to work on a great game w/o suffering.”
This was backed up by Insomniac animator Lindsay Thompson who added, “I didn’t crunch once, entire production. A couple late nights here and there finishing something up, but COMPLETELY CRUNCH FREE. It is possible. Team wellness lets the creativity flow free.”
Thompson added that she could only speak for herself, but it was her belief that the whole team didn’t “suffer crunch” and that “our management certainly encouraged that.”
Another staff member, Justin Fennessy, replied to Thompson saying that “those few late nights don’t even feel like work when you’re having so much fun making the damn thing.” Of course, people shouldn’t be expected to work beyond their hours whether they’re having fun or not, but the important part was that there were few.
The resulting game certainly doesn’t show any harm for its developers being treated humanely—it’s a fantastic action-platformer, absolutely vast, and as good as the genre gets. In an industry where crunch is not only normal but even intentional, it’s hugely important that it be highlighted when successful AAA games are created without it.
Of course, it’s worth reiterating that we are only hearing from individual developers and don’t know the experience of, say, the QA department. We’ve reached out to Sony to ask for more details but have yet to hear back.
Ratchet & Clink: Rift Apart comes out on Friday, June 11, and you can read our review here.