Ryse developer Crytek has become the subject of criticism after openly discussing the strenuous conditions its Ryse: Son of Rome team is enduring to complete development.
The official Ryse: Son of Rome engaged its followers in a trivia quiz using the hastag #RyseFacts and opened by asking "how many total dinners do you think we had to serve the team while they were crunching"?
As promised, it is time to kick-off #RyseFacts ! How many total dinners do you think we had to serve the team while they were crunching?— Ryse: Son of Rome (@RyseGame) October 15, 2013
By the time #Ryse ships for #XboxOne, we will have served the crunching team more than 11,500 dinners throughout development. #RyseFacts— Ryse: Son of Rome (@RyseGame) October 15, 2013
The answer, as well as the quiz itself, has been perceived by critics as an unapologetic declaration that the studio undergoes crunch work.
Crunch is widespread in games development projects and usually involves staff member enduring lengthy periods of intense work in order to meet tough deadlines. Developers often cite the crunch period as being responsible for degradation in health, as well as the quality of their social and family lives.
But the causes are complex. Self-employed indie games developers often openly admit to crunching into late hours despite not having to answer to line managers.
Following Crytek's tweets, the #RyseFacts Twitter discussion has been inundated with updates highlighting the ill-effects of crunch, many sarcastic but others sincere and critical.
Game developers are idiots who won't unionize, and the idea of crunch time in any other industry is laughable. #RyseFacts— Rawson (@iamrawson) October 15, 2013
"The divorce of my parents eventually led me to a life of crime but, man, that launch game was REALLY polished." #RyseFacts from the future— Frank Cifaldi (@frankcifaldi) October 15, 2013
RT @RyseGame: By the time #Ryse ships, we will have served our cube slaves more than 11,500 dinners, while they fill out divorce forms.— Stiv, Tweet GHOST (@atweetingtwit) October 15, 2013
Most people get sick during crunch but Germany's public healthcare system favors young people so it all works out #RyseFacts— Frank Cifaldi (@frankcifaldi) October 15, 2013
#RyseFacts: Devs say that when #Ryse ships it will be like watching a baby be born, which they missed because they were crunching on #Ryse— Chris Kohler (@kobunheat) October 15, 2013