Crunch and other intensely political issues have been at the forefront of the video game industry for a while now, and while the industry as a whole has tons of progress to be made, the awareness around these recurring problems has improved. And even as some companies dismiss crunch, unionization and other struggles, many more companies are signing on with the idea of fighting back against these toxic influences. And Capcom, makers of Resident Evil, Monster Hunter and so many more great gaming franchises, looks to be one of those in the latter category.
Monster Hunter World director Kaname Fujioka took part in a recent interview with Eurogamer, where he talked candidly about how Capcom approaches dealing with the pressure of game development. Crucially, when speaking about the upcoming Monster Hunter World: Iceborne expansion, Fujioka was very clear about the commitment to a healthy balance of work and life obligations.
As he put it, “There’s always the tough periods at the end of development, in particular, where there’s a lot of work to do and not much time left to do it in, but as a company we do value people having core time.” He further emphasized that this process was integral to development on the new expansion, adding, “People are so passionate about the games they’re making that if you left them to their own devices, sometimes you’d have to tell them to go home because they really want to keep working on it and keep making it better.”
Further focusing in on the problem of crunch, Fujioka said that it’s a definite responsibility of those in charge to help mitigate toxic influences, and he’s right. Those in leadership positions must take responsibility for the prevention of crunch and other problems, but also be held accountable for when mistakes happen. Here’s what he had to say, “part of our job as the heads of the development team is to make sure no-one’s overdoing it and causing themselves health issues or anything like that.”
That isn’t to say that things are perfect, some pretty major stories have broken over the last few months telling of pretty depressing crunch.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is set for release on September 6 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with a PC release planned for a while later in 2020.