Splash Damage: Crunch time “inevitable”, but “respect for staff” is key

Tuesday, 26 July 2011 15:09 GMT By Stace Harman

Paul Wedgwood, CEO of Brink developer Splash Damage, has told Edge that whilst the crunch period during development is all but inevitable, the key to a healthy studio is to do as much advanced planning as possible.

Speaking with Edge, Wedgwood said of the infamous period toward end of a development cycle: “There’s just no way of avoiding that; things just get forgotten,” he said. “We’re human, you know? We make mistakes.”

However, in comparison to comments made by Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter who said that bonuses offer compensation for the expected long hours, Wedgwood believes that crunch time should be planned for, and not taken for granted.

“Nailing the crunch problem is a real priority for Splash Damage, and getting to a point where, when we do overtime, it’s planned in advance and we’re able to compensate people appropriately for, in an ideal world, volunteering to do additional work. That’s the ultimate ideal goal.”

Crunch periods are not a new concept in the videogame industry, but the debate over them was reignited recently by ex-Team Bondi members who claimed that 100-hour working weeks during the development of LA Noire were common.