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

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

Glen Schofield, the co-creator of Dead Space, who is now directing the production of its spiritual sequel The Callisto Protocol, has withdrawn from making any comments that appeared to equate excessive working hours at his company, Striking Distance Studios.

Jason Schreier of Bloomberg reported that the Striking Distance team was working 12 to 15 hour days, six to seven days a week, to complete the game. (The Callisto Protocols release date is December 2.) Schofield said nobody is forcing the team to work in this way, but admitted that they were experiencing exhaustion.

We are working 6-7 days a week, no one is 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 collaboration and creativity, not long hours."

Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about the people I serve. I tweeted earlier how grateful I was of the effort and effort the team was putting into it. That was wrong. We value passion and creativity rather than long hours. Im sorry to the team for coming across like this.

There is no need to assume Schofield is insincere in his apologies. However, as Schreier noted, his original tweet is a textbook example of how unsanitary working practices and a rigid culture in the video game industry persist.

Schofield is a charismatic and imaginative figure who is well-known in the game business for over 30 years. He co-founded EA Studio Visceral Games, which was soon acquired by Activision. After a decade working on Call of Duty, Schofield left to pursue a sci-fi horror setting.

He is both a well-known game designer and a studio boss. He truly believes in The Callisto Protocol, a game that deliberately recalls his most famous works. It is understandable that it would be personal to him. (Schofield may also feel much pressure to beat his former company's remake of Dead Space to market.) But he is also an employer who sets an example for the Striking Distance development team and manages its careers in three decades of development.

He insists that no one is forcing them, ignoring the example his own overwork sets for his employees, or the pressure it puts on them to conform: this is gaming. You do it because you like it.

This is how deeply embedded these attitudes are in Schofield's generation. On some level, his retraction demonstrate how much he understands that change is necessary. But the proud glorification of overwork in the original tweet shows how instinctive the crunch value system is for Schofield. It's all he's ever learned, and it's difficult to change.

Schofield admits that he understands that changes must be made. The evidence for the Striking Distance team's efforts in the three months leading up to the release of The Callisto Protocols