The deletion of remarks by Dead Space's creators demonstrates how widespread the crunch culture is

The deletion of remarks by Dead Space's creators demonstrates how widespread the crunch culture is ...

Glen Schofield, the co-creator of Dead Space, who is currently directing the production of the Callisto Protocol's spiritual sequel, has retracted the statements he made this weekend that appeared to valorize excessive working hours at his company, Striking Distance Studios.

Schofield said his team at Striking Distance was working 12 to 15 hours a week, six to seven days a week, to finish the game. (The release date for the Callisto Protocols is December 2.) He said nobody is forcing the team to struggle in this way, but they were experiencing exhaustion.

We are working 6-7 days a week, nobodys forcing us. Exhaustion, tired, Covid but were still working. Bugs, glitches, perf fixes. 1 last pass thru audio. 12-15 hr days. This is gaming. Hard work. Lunch, dinner, working. U do it because ya luv it, Schofield tweeted on Saturday.

Schofield deleted the tweet later the same day and apologized to the Striking Distance employees, saying, "We value passion and creativity, not long hours."

Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about the people I work with, he said. Earlier I tweeted how thankful I was of the effort and effort the team was putting in. That was incorrect. We value passion and creativity, not long hours. Im sorry to the team for coming across as this.

Schofield should not be chastised in his outburst. However, Schreier noted that his original message is a textbook example of how unsanitary working practices and crony culture prevail in the video game industry.

Schofield is a charismatic and creative figure, well-known in the gaming industry for over 30 years. He co-founded Crystal Dynamics and, later, EA Studio Visceral Games, where he co-created Dead Space with Michael Condrey. The pair then sold their company to Activision. After a decade working on Call of Duty, Schofield returned to the sci-fi horror setting that had spawned his name.

He is both a well-known game designer and a studio manager. He clearly feels passionate about The Callisto Protocol, a game that deliberately recalls his most famous works. Its understandable that it would be personal to him. (Schofield may also feel strongly pressure to bring his former company's remake of Dead Space to market.) But he is also an employer who sets an example for, and manages the careers of, the Striking Distance development team.

He responds, without remarking on the importance of his own overwork for his employees or the pressures it puts on them to conform. This is gaming: you do it because you like it.

This is how firmly embedded these beliefs are in Schofield's generation. His swiftness and clarity in retraction demonstrate that he understands, on some level, how critical it is for these attitudes to change. But the proud glorification of overwork in the original tweet demonstrates how instinctive the crunch value system is for Schofield. These are the values he himself was taught, and they are difficult to change.

Schofield demonstrates that he understands that changes must be made. However, the real proof will be in the work that the Striking Distance team will devote to the release of The Callisto Protocols over the next three months.