The Outer Worlds Developer Speaks Out Against Crunch

With crunch becoming an increasingly hot-button topic in the games industry, many developers are speaking out against the ruthless work environments employees at high-profile studios like Epic Games and Rockstar routinely face. The Outer Worlds developer Obsidian Entertainment is one such studio, saying it is “very committed” to keeping its work environment crunch-free.

In an interview with PCGamesN, The Outer Worlds’ senior designer, Brian Hines, said crunch is not in the studio’s development formula. “Obsidian is not a crunch studio, which is one of the things that keeps people staying there for a long time,” Hines said. Though he admitted employees are sometimes asked to stay longer in order “to meet a deadline,” Hines assured that these extra hours were “always [just] a request” and last for only “a week or so.”

Hines also confirmed the individual developers always have the right to exercise their autonomy, declining the request if they so choose. “There really hasn’t been a crunch or a death march or anything like that with the studio for quite a long time, as far as I can remember anyway,” Hines said. “That’s definitely one of the things that as a studio we’re very committed to. [W]e’d rather cut something than try and get people to not have a life outside of the industry.”

The Outer Worlds is set to launch on October 25 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The upcoming first-person RPG is also coming to Nintendo Switch, though no release date has been confirmed as of yet. It might not be “politically charged,” but The Outer Worlds is shaping up to be a modern homage to Fallout: New Vegas.

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