So hopefully we’ve all heard by now that the development team behind ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ worked many 100-hour weeks to get the thing finished on-time. Now, for anyone who works in game development or has done their research into the work that went into some of the most famous video games of all time, such long hours won’t be a surprise. Stretches like these are startlingly common across the entire industry. And hopefully we can all agree that abuses of workers’ rights like this are no bueno, to say the very least. But what do we do about it?
The developers have certainly earned much of the blame. Marathon designing is the fault of poor planning, overly ambitious goals for the finished product, and occasional understaffing. But there’s another part of the equation, one that we tend to shy away from.
It’s also our fault. We want bigger, better, almost on a monthly basis. It’s a collective hunger, one that’s been influenced by the increased pace and output of media in general. And this huge market has been beneficial in some ways, namely in how it helped indie developers get a slice of the pie, and we’re seeing some incredibly inventive and original games as a result. But especially when it comes to AAA gaming, we ask a lot. No, we never asked for developers to turn into sweatshops, but we also haven’t made an effort to tell these companies that it’s ok if the game comes out late, that no FPS is worth the misery of actual human beings.