"I work an average of 70 hours a week. There are probably 50 or 100 other people who work such shifts."
Behind every great success there is certainly a lot of work, just like in the case of Fortnite. It would seem, however, that the title signed Epic Games forces its developers to turn really grueling. This is confirmed by anonymous testimonies published on Polygon, which describe how the crunch time has created a climate of strong pressure.
What are we talking about? Crunching is a phase in the working of a game where you try to compress the development time as much as possible. This, of course, involves working hours that are out of the ordinary. "I work an average of 70 hours a week. There are probably at least 50 or even 100 other people here at Epic Games who work shifts like that. I know people who do 100 hours of work a week" - reads the article. And this is not just one testimony, but a dozen.
Shifts that are not only related to the development phase of the Battle Royale, but also to the work of managing the title and new content. We're looking at a different crunch time because it's necessary to get back on schedule before releasing updates and not just making a game. "The biggest problem is that all we do is work on updates. The executives are focused on keeping Fortnite popular for as long as possible, especially with the competition that's emerging" - said another employee.
With really impractical deadlines. "Everything has to be done immediately, we're not allowed to spend too much time on something. If some item doesn't work - like a weapon - we can't just take it out and fix it quietly, it has to be fixed immediately, all while we keep working on the next patch. It's brutal" - it goes on to read.
Epic Games apparently wouldn't force anyone: "The company gives us unlimited free time, but it's almost impossible to take it. If I take time off, the workload falls on other people and no one wants to be responsible for that consequence" - the Polygon piece also reads.
The company defended itself by downplaying the situation: "People here work hard on Fortnite and other Epic titles. Extreme situations like 100-hour shifts per week are incredibly rare, and in those circumstances we make sure the same situation doesn't fall on the same people again" - a spokesperson explained to the site.