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Ryse: Son of Rome crunch tweet sparks Twitter furor

Wednesday, 16th October 2013 00:15 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Ryse: Son of Rome is at the centre of a social media storm today thanks to a flippant tweet about development crunch.

“By the time Ryse ships for Xbox One, we will have served the crunching team more than 11,500 dinners throughout development,” the game’s official Twitter said earlier today.

This seeming celebration of crunch – a common industry practice of long overtime hours to meet deadlines – met with disgust from gamers, press and industry insiders alike. The hashtag #RyseFacts has been almost totally overtaken by reactions against the Crytek tweet.

Crytek has been criticised for its apparent callousness towards the effects of crunch on its employees’ quality of life, especially as crunch is often considered the result of project mismanagement. Other commenters have argued that crunch is too common through the industry, and should be criticised in general, not just because of a social media gaffe; plenty of popular developers are equally guilty.

The hashtag is well worth browsing through if you’re interested in how development crunch is viewed both inside and outside the industry.

Ryse is a Microsoft-published Xbox One launch title due in November. Originally announced as Kinect Xbox 360 game, it was reworked for the new hardware with support for traditional controls.

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14 Comments

  1. Hcw87

    Embarassing for the guy that made that tweet, but as said, this happens in every AAA release, especially considering it’s a next gen game.

    Don’t be surprised if the same thing happens to the devs of Forza, DR3, Killzone, DriveClub etc.

    They really should have thought this through though, this is just pure fuel for the rabid Sony fanboys out there.

    #1 12 months ago
  2. Panthro

    Developers need to not only stop pushing so much money into development but also allow more time for development, AAA games these days feel all to rushed, only the select few come out these days that don’t feel rushed and incomplete.

    Its sad really, gamers expect too much and because of that developers try to push more than they can handle resulting in negative effects on both the development team and the potential customer/ gamer.

    #2 12 months ago
  3. lookingglass

    The real people who are to blame are those who backlashed against the initial Xbox One policies and used game policies in general.

    The margins are so low and the development costs so high, the only way to make money for both the devs and publishers is to rush and compress development times.

    If used games were abolished, it would be at least one good step towards relaxing the industry. If piracy was somehow defeated entirely it would take it even further.

    #3 12 months ago
  4. Major Mayhem 70

    Am I missing something here?!? If Crunch is common place during a lot of developers final phase of game making, what is all the fuss about? I take that whoever tweeted about how many dinners have been served during the course of developing this game was only trying to show how much work has been put forth in making sure this game gets released on time. It’s called a deadline and the video game industry isn’t the only ones that have deadlines.
    I got to be missing something here….

    #4 12 months ago
  5. Erthazus

    Yeah. Ryse is indeed a next gen game. 900p and only on the Xbox One at launch.
    don’t forget to pay 500$+60$ for a QTE fest.

    #5 12 months ago
  6. Major Mayhem 70

    $60 for a QTE fest?!? No thank you. I’ll just stick with my PS3 and play Beyond: Two Souls…

    #6 12 months ago
  7. DarkSoulz

    Used games are killing it, with XO digital/DRM are the 1st games I’ll buy.

    #7 12 months ago
  8. Un-HolyMOTHERofGOD

    @4 Yeah I’m with you. I’m totally confused about what the outrage is about.

    #8 12 months ago
  9. Doppleganger

    Isnt it the employees decision in the end anyway? They cant fire you if you don’t want to put in more then 8-10 hours in a work day. Thats their fault and choice probably to kiss ass and move up.
    Ill be supporting them by buying the game, and I hope its worth all the work they put into it.

    #9 12 months ago
  10. Major Mayhem 70

    @8 you caught my point.

    #10 12 months ago
  11. GrimRita

    Or they could do what Sega do – just push out broken unfinished games(Rome 2) with zero polish and let the end user suffer.

    I remember when I first started in the industry doing QA and crunch time arrived. It was voluntary, the over time was excellent(double and triple time for weekends) and people forget about the ‘downtime’ once the game has been released before patching etc takes place (unless of course you are Sega).

    #11 12 months ago
  12. Panipal2005

    About used games ‘killing the industry’, the most excellent rebuke can be found on Neogaf:-

    “But Gamestop would never accept that original trade if person 2 wasn’t going to buy the used game. Why shouldn’t Gamestop benefit? They are the middleman. You just want them to give people free money and throw the discs away?

    No, here’s the problem. Tomb Raider sold 3.4m units in the space of a month and it’s a “failure” because it will fail to recoup its budget.

    THREE POINT FOUR MILLION FUCKING UNITS FOR WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY A B-TIER FRANCHISE AND THAT’S STILL NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE ANY MONEY.

    And killing used games would have solved this how? Would it have made the execs at Squenix who thought throwing $100m budget at a franchise that’s been irrelevant since the turn of the century suddenly get a clue?

    Oh, but no, they argue “GAMERS PUSH FOR HIGHER AND HIGHER BUDGETS AND WE HAVE TO GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT! THEIR ENTITLEMENT COMPLEX CAN’T BE SATIATED! WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO LET BUDGETS SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL!” and that’s lovely, but since when did they ever give a fuck about what we actually thought?

    Are Microsoft going to turn around and backtrack on this DRM fiasco because “WE HAVE TO GIVE GAMERS WHAT THEY WANT!”? Are they fuck.

    Are EA going to throw all their games up on Steam and patch Sim City to not need the stupid Origin authentication because “THAT’S WHAT THOSE ENTITLED GAMERS ARE SCREAMING FOR!”? Fuck no.

    If you couldn’t afford to give people what they wanted, then why didn’t you just turn around and say no like you do with every other thing we complain about? Here’s why; Every publisher big and small decided to get into a dick waving contest and it turns out that not everyone has a big dick. Squenix got its tiny little acorn cock out and went up against Mandingo Activision screaming “LOOK AT MY MASSIVE JUNK! YOU’LL WANT TO CARE FOR IT!” and everyone just turned around and shrugged and bought something else.

    Not everyone has a big dick. Acting like you have a big dick when you don’t have a big dick is going to make the reveal of your tiny little penis all the more humiliating. And that’s what happened here. Squenix acted like Tomb Raider, a franchise that habitually sells less than 3m lifetime per entry was going to suddenly sell COD numbers just because they spent $100m on it and guess what happened? THE FUCKING INEVITABLE.

    In terms of the franchise post-Core, the game is going to do really well, probably double what you’d expect from a Tomb Raider game post-PSone but it cost far, far too much.

    But no, it’s all used games that did this. Used games made Capcom make some horrible design decisions on DmC and piss off the entire fanbase. Used games made Activision and EA flood the market with guitar games and accessories long after people stopped caring. Used games made Microsoft make a fourth Gears of War game that nobody asked for from a developer nobody cares about. Used games made Sony pump out another God of War game after they spent the past few years flooding the market with HD remasters. Used games made Sony make a Smash Bros clone with no appealing characters to help sell it. Used games made Bizarre Creations make James Bond and racing games no-one wanted. Used games make publishers shutter studios the moment the game they were working on goes gold, before they’ve even had a chance to sell a single new copy, let alone a used one.

    I could go on. And on. And on. You could write a book about every single executive level screw-up this gen and yet these same people with their million dollar salaries and their shill puppets still try to insult our intelligence and blame used games and awful, entitled consumers for companies shutting and talented people losing their jobs.”

    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=59589373&postcount=19

    #12 12 months ago
  13. bradk825

    I don’t get the outrage. Crunch is not just common in gaming, but manufacturing, journalism, publishing, construction, pretty much every industry.

    Yeah, crunch time sucks for everyone, I get that. But this is just a tweet keeping people in the loop (if they are interested) in what’s going on at the office. I would not have read this and thought of the word “flippant” whatsoever.

    Hey, at least they are getting paid and getting free meals. Much better than the kids over at Foxconn are getting.

    Too many people are just waiting for something to be outraged about. Outrage is pretty hip these days.

    #13 12 months ago
  14. DreadSabot

    How is this news. Every development cycle or at least most go through a similar code crunch – its the nature of the business and devs know it. This is not unique to gaming but all coding projects and I am speaking from experience. Big Deal!

    #14 12 months ago

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