A festering pandemic in the video game workplace is that of crunch – prolonged hours and overtime for developers who are scrambling to make sure a game gets out and delivered on time. Many companies, both on the development and journalistic side of things, have been conversing about possible solutions – and today, IGN asked newly appointed Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser about the company’s approach to dealing with crunch culture.
“The crunch point is an interesting one,” Bowser said. “For us, one of our key tenants is that we bring smiles to people’s faces, and we talk about that all the time. It’s our vision. Or our mission, I should say. For us, that applies to our own employees. We need to make sure that our employees have good work-life balance. One of those examples is, we will not bring a game to market before it’s ready. We just talked about one example [in Animal Crossing’s delay]. It’s really important that we have that balance in our world. It’s actually something we’re proud of.”
The position lines up closely with Reggie’s previous comments the year before, but it’s reassuring to know that under Bowser’s reign the company is still considering the lives of its developers. And we have tangible evidence of such consideration with the delay of Animal Crossing and others. It may be disappointing to some fans to see such a delay, but – speaking purely for myself – the well-being of those who make the games we cherish for a living far outweighs the need to have a title in our hands as soon as possible.
We can only hope that the workers at Nintendo around the globe continue to work happily and heartily on game development moving forward, with consideration and respect given to them above the sanctity of a release date. In the meantime – check out that cool Treehouse footage to tide you over!