Sections

Inside the development crunch pandemic – part one

Monday, 13 January 2014 07:56 GMT By Dave Cook

Is development crunch an evil born from poor management or is it a necessary facet of game production? VG247′s Dave Cook asks over 20 developers for their view, revealing stories of sacrifice, compromise and thoughts of suicide.

“I know a lot of people that will complain about working eight hours a day and call it crunch. Some people wear an occasional all-nighter like a badge of honour and then there’s people that haven’t been home in a week.”

Most of us have worked a period of overtime in our lives. Perhaps it was forced upon you without room for negotiation, or you felt compelled to help your boss and team out simply because you enjoy your work and want to see the company succeed. Sometimes employees are rewarded bonus pay or time off in lieu for their efforts, while others – typically salaried staff – are given no such compensation. It is simply expected of them to get the job done.

It’s no secret that game development, with all of its pre-planned marketing ‘beats,’ release schedules and launch days goes hand-in-hand with overtime. ‘Crunch’ is the term commonly used for the period at the end of a game’s development that sees employees cramming hard to make sure the title is ready to ship on time. Failure to meet that deadline can prove costly, especially in the blockbuster arena with multi-million dollar budgets and investor relations on the line.

For years, crunch time was scarcely addressed in public forums but it was there, disrupting the work-life balance of countless employees. All across the industry, parents were missing their children’s birthday. Their home life and relationships were suffering, yet no one was speaking out to expose the issue. It was the elephant in the room. That was until the partner of a concerned EA employee stepped forward and published a harrowing article that detailed gruelling working conditions at the company.

‘EA: The Human Story’ was published on December 14, 2004 by fantasy writer and GameWatch co-founder Erin Hoffman. Using the pseudonym ‘ea_spouse’ , Hoffman revealed a sadistic and bleak reality long hidden from public eyes. During his job interview with EA, the employee in question – later confirmed as Hoffman’s then-fiancé Leander Hasty – was asked if he minded working long hours. Because overtime was expected in the games industry, he accepted the job offer. Within months he was working twelve hours a day, six days a week. It was merely a taster of things to come.

The employee was offered no overtime pay or extra holiday allowance for his efforts, and the crunch period was regularly extended. Hoffman claimed that the company’s response to resistance was ‘If they don’t like it, they can work some place else.’ The internet caught wind of the blog and quickly, developers from other studios started stepping forward with similar tales of crunch horror and unreasonable working patterns.

Ultimately, Hoffman’s blog resulted in a run of class-action lawsuits against EA, and in 2007 the company issued claimants $14.9 million dollars in unpaid overtime. However, it was clear the issue was global and certainly not unique to EA. It was a pandemic.

But who is to blame? Is crunch the result of projects falling behind schedule due to the incompetence of high tier power-holders, or is it simply an extension of the deadlined nature of the business, with its countless embargoes, industry events and other dated milestones? These questions were asked following Hoffman’s expose and the conversation ran hot for a while, but ultimately it fell by the wayside once more.

That was, until Crytek – a mere month from launching Ryse: Son of Rome – posted a tweet that read, “By the time Ryse ships for Xbox One, we will have served the crunching team more than 11,500 dinners throughout development.” It was written as a light, possibly humorous factoid, but the studio’s followers weren’t laughing. Most were astonished that the studio would openly admit the scale of crunch conducted by its staff.

It suggested what we already knew; that development crunch time is still here, running people into the ground and forcing them to work unreasonable hours with no extra reward. But is this really the case, or is Crytek one member of a minority? What causes crunch and how does it impact workers? Can something be done? I wanted answers, so I posted an open call for developers to come forward anonymously and share with me their experiences. Within a day I had received almost 30 responses from willing participants.

Defining ‘crunch’

My interviewees came from countries around the world and teams of various sizes, but there was a stark consensus among the pack that crunch time is very much real and isn’t going away any time soon. These are all real stories from real people eager to get their message to you, the consumers, so that you can gain insight into how your games are made. I started by asking each respondent for their on definition of ‘crunch.’

One developer wrote, “Crunch can mean, but not all of – Voluntary: people wanting to do more off their own back. Enforced: workers must do more to meet deadlines but are not paid for it, and Overtime: workers get paid for extra work. There’s also crunch and then there’s CRUNCH. Doing the occasional late night is crunch to some people.

“I know a lot of people that will complain about working eight hours a day and call it crunch. Some people wear an occasional all-nighter like a badge of honour and then there’s people that haven’t been home in a week. And there’s people that think crunch means staying late playing games before you get free food and go home.”

The term seems malleable then, but the majority of responses poured real scorn on the notion of crunch and suggested that they had all fallen foul of unreasonable working terms, as opposed to the occasional late night. One interviewee at a triple-a studio revealed to me that he was once told by an angry colleague that crunch time is a small price to pay for the privilege of working in games development. It’s not hard to see that this isn’t necessarily compensation for having a shattered work-life balance.

“The four of us were locked into our office by our manager, saying that we were not allowed to leave our computers until our work was over, and that if we didn’t finish on time we would all lose our yearly bonus. At each meal time the manager opened the door and gave us each a McDonald’s bag, then left and locked us back in.”

Another worker agreed that opinions change on the matter, but added, “Some view it as an essential part of development where the game gets finished and that it brings the team together. I’m in the camp that believes it to be completely unnecessary, bad for the industry and its members, and should be avoided at all costs. Others acknowledge that crunch overall negatively affects the industry, but see it as a necessary evil and unavoidable. It seems like the industry is trending towards the ‘completely unnecessary and harmful’ camp, which is good to see.”

Unsurprisingly, another developer conceded that crunch can often be of your own making and in that case, is often easier to manage than having a mammoth task pushed on you without warning. “That’s a little easier to get on with,” they explained. “You know when you’re coming up to milestones (alpha, beta or gold) then it’s really every minute counts. I found the most intense periods to be around game conventions, especially if you’re showing new playable content. No one really complains, it’s like the idea of going home on time is a reward almost.”

For some workers, hitting those deadlines is a personal objective. After all, pouring hard work and passion into a years-long project, only to see if fail or release in poor health simply isn’t an option for one respondent. They told me, “I think it’s important for me to point that I’m working in Japan, which has a different working ethic than most western countries. That said, I worked at a studio for a year and had a very large share of crunch time there as well. I think I’ve come to accept it as part of the job. Most developers I know are very proud people. Being unable to deliver seriously sucks, and feels as a failure. Hence most of us put up with it to get the job done.”

It was noted by one employee that speaking on behalf of such a diverse industry in blanket terms can give an inaccurate depiction of crunch. After all, crunch for a 200-strong studio working on a blockbuster franchise will never be the same as two coders working on an iOS title out of a rented office. There was one constant they agreed upon, however.

“Not all studios operate the same way,” they cautioned, “and even within studios, not all teams operate the same way. That being said, I think there is a common attitude that crunch is just part of the job. It’s pervasive, and I think it’s dangerous. Acting like it’s just part of the job insinuates that it’s unavoidable, which is false. I’ve spoken up against it and I’ve done my best to avert it. Part of my job as a producer is to avert it. Being given the right channels to express problems with it is a lot more common than actually taking steps to avoid it, though, and I think the former is sadly more common than the latter.”

“Even outside of crunch, I think large parts of the games industry lack a proper respect for work-life balance; the attitude that if you’re only working eight hours a day, you aren’t really committed, is common. This doesn’t just affect the games industry, but I think we have it worse than a lot of other jobs. People feel privileged to be working in this industry, and sometimes that privilege translates into working too much, for a variety of reasons.

“People can be pressured by superiors, feel pressured by peers, or it can be entirely self-centered. If you’re the person working 10-12 hour days and you really feel like you’re pulling extra weight, it’s easy to feel prideful about that and be sceptical of the person who only works eight.”

It’s obvious that crunch is inevitable in many ways, but the origin of that last dash to release can vary, as can the attitudes of those encountering it. Given the regularity of crunch at studios in different countries, each bearing unique payrolls and work ethics, it’s not a leap to suggest that there are many factors at play when crunch becomes an unfortunate necessity. I then asked my interviewees for their own theories as to why crunch occurs, and was met with some rather harrowing replies.

Why does crunch happen?

It’s clear that crunch time is a thorny issue for many game developers, but it’s not entirely clear why it happens. When you think about it for a moment, yes, projects approaching release that still require work are most likely to hit harder periods of crunch, but what causes this eleventh-hour scramble? It’s easy to point fingers and accuse faceless executives and big entities like EA and Crytek without true rationale. Is it due to a time-management problem, lax attitudes at the project’s outset or something deeper and more complex?

“In the first company I worked for, we were about fifty programmers with ten managers above us,” a 15-year industry veteran told me. “The team of four people I was in was in charge of the online shop of the game, adding the products for sale, managing the special offers, programming the new payment methods, all that kind of thing. A bigger team was working on a second version of the game, with a brand new engine and this version didn’t have a release date, it hadn’t even been announced to the public yet. So there wasn’t any kind of pressure or anything, until one of the banks investing in the firm said ‘you’ve been working on a new version too long, release it next month or we stop giving you money’.”

“Game projects are gigantic. Details are bound to be overlooked and changed at the last minute. Which to be honest is fine, but at the end the client wants these changes in there as soon as possible. The project manager can’t say no, because they don’t want to lose the client.”

Crunch time set in, and once a version of the game was finalised and approved by the studio’s QA team, relief started to set in. That was, until someone in the upper echelons decided that the online store needed changing, and asked the coders to create a new one in 48-hours. By this point, the new store and updated version of the game had been announced to the title’s 10 million already-active players. The real crunch was only beginning, and got worse from there.

“The four of us were then locked into our second floor office by our manager, saying that we were not allowed to leave our computers until our work was over, and that if we didn’t finish on time we would all lose our yearly bonus (about €3,000 each). At meal time the manager opened the door and gave us each a McDonald’s bag (paid from our own salaries), then left and locked us back in. We all worked extremely hard during those 48 hours and managed to reprogram most of our features – all the ones that the players would see.

“We decided to leave our monitoring tools for later and took the risk of having payments running live without being able to check if it was working properly. We finally got out around 6am on the Friday morning, went to one of my colleagues flats to have a shower and were back to work at 9 o’clock, as requested by our manager.”

It’s a grim depiction of crunch caused by last-minute change, and one that could be pegged as rare. But as it happened, this developer was not alone. Other respondents agreed that changes to a game’s code can disrupt work-flow and shift patterns to an unfathomable degree, while producers were regularly singled out as central to the issue. Another worker told me, “Multiple avenues exist to reduce the impact of crunch, but studios aren’t taking advantage of them. Nearly every project I’ve been on, producers have not been aggressive enough to cut features that aren’t worth the effort.

“Standards aren’t high enough for code changes, so poor designs and hacks get checked in, even with peer reviews. Nearly every code base I’ve worked on has been filled with hacks to meet deadlines which don’t ever get fixed, and these hacks cause problems later in development (this is known as ‘technical debt’). Because fixing these hacks doesn’t provide a tangible benefit that can be seen in-game, they stick around, even in the shipped game. As an example, code for an E3 build often never gets removed. There are also tons of inefficiency in pipelines and tools. If these got fixed, team members could work faster and more efficiently, thereby reducing the need for crunch.”

It was also suggested that rising expectations from the paying public is also a catalyst for crunch, particularly in the triple-a scene which is constantly pushing production spend into the stratosphere. One developer explained, “You could lay the blame at publishers wanting the most for their money but then you can equally lay the blame at gamers wanting the most for their game as much as an artist wanting the most out of their art.

“Developers tend to get a lot of hate thrown at them for things that are entirely out of their control and, you know, management are developers too. Fact is, we’re making products that people buy and even the best planned projects fail for reasons too wide to go into here. As soon as you have a relationship with a customer where you need to deliver something in return for money, you are beholden to making that happen. What can we do? Lose the customer or work harder to deliver?”

It’s a good point, and goes hand-in-hand with all the Metacritic-chasing publishers have been doing since the aggregation site became popular. Back in 2012, reports detailed Bethesda’s promise to give Obsidian employees a bonus if Fallout: New Vegas hit a meta score of 85. It rested at 84 and no such bonus was rewarded, despite the years of work poured into the project. Did the studio crunch hard to get the game in a shippable, ’85 meta-score’ state before launch? It’s not beyond the realm of possibility.

“Budgets and release dates are often fixed so if there turns out to be more work in completing a game than expected, the only thing that can be done is find more time from somewhere or reduce scope. So, instead of ‘poor project management’ I blame ‘undisciplined leadership.’”

Another running theme throughout my interviews was that management and paying clients have little to no understanding of the development process at code level. What they might feel is a simple fix is regularly not the case. An engineer I spoke with claimed that all projects must be written ‘to spec,’ rather in modular code.

The latter is relatively easier to change, should the client request amendments down the line, but commonly, modular code isn’t allowed for various reasons. Engineers are warned against raising this and other issues to clients. “You don’t bite the hand that feeds,” they told me.

One engineer added, “So right there we have a frequently occurring situation. The engineer codes according to the spec and wants to reach deadlines so writes his code only according to spec. The engineer then becomes angry when the PM (project manager) tells the engineer: ‘Hey, we had a chat with the client and they want multiple objectives per quest’. The engineer will ask ‘Why didn’t they think about this before?’ and the project manager might be inclined to say ‘Why did you make a system that only allows one quest. Can’t you think outside of the box?’”

“And this always happens. It always does. Game projects are gigantic. Details are bound to be overlooked and changed at the last minute. Which to be honest is fine, but at the end the client wants these changes in there as soon as possible. The project manager can’t say no, because they don’t want to lose the client, and the engineers will say ‘fuck you’, but end up making the feature anyway because of pride issues and because they don’t want to lose their job.”

Many of us have – at some point – blamed our bosses for how the ship is run. It’s a natural gripe when you’re feeling over-worked or simply fed up with your vocation. It was a common issue shared among the developers I spoke with for this feature, and it certainly felt like more than a simple moan. I was told, “You often hear people blame ‘poor project management’ for crunch time but I think this misses the point. It’s worth looking up the project management triangle to get an understanding of what project management is here. In short: if you want to do more you either need more resources (i.e. people and money) or more time.

“Budgets and release dates are often fixed so if there turns out to be more work in completing a game than expected, the only thing that can be done is find more time from somewhere (i.e. crunch) or reduce scope (i.e. cutting features – which generally makes the game worse so people don’t want to do it). So, instead of ‘poor project management’ I blame ‘undisciplined leadership’. The people in charge of a project need to be able to say no to a new idea or feature or agree to cut scope before they expect the development team to cover the cost of the features for them.”

It seems then, that management is bowing to the pressures of the client or publisher, which then trickles down to the creative teams, forcing more hours and mounting demands on their already-heaped plates. Is this now the nature of the industry – with its multi-million dollar projects and increasingly corporate ways? Can something be done about this seemingly entrenched culture? What is the true human cost of crunch time?

Click here to check out part two of this feature and find out what my interviewees suggested.

Latest

  • Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness – details on story and setting emerge

    Information pertaining to the story and setting in Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness has been detailed by Famitsu. According to what Siliconera reports, several centuries after leaving Earth, humans have created the “Galactic Federation” in order to maintain unified order and peace after years and years of war. But all is not peaceful, as […]

  • This homebrew app turns your 3DS into a remote desktop – shown running World of Warcraft

    Modders are busy working on a Nintendo 3DS homebrew app which turns the system into a remote desktop. A post on the gbatemp forum (thanks, Eurogamer) shows the app in action running World of Warcraft on a 3DS – although not perfectly. At present, the app has a rather low frame-rate, but development is still […]

  • Release dates for three Hyperdimension Neptunia games announced

    Hyperdimension Neptunia fans will be pleased to know three games in the franchise have release dates for Steam and Vita. Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed, which was announced for western audiences last year, will arrive on PS Vita will be released digitally and and at retail in North America on May 19 and in Europe […]

  • Mass Effect 4 survey contains info on crafting, exploration, a Horde Mode more – RUMOR

    Remember when a Dragon Age: Inquisition survey popped up and outed possible content for the title? It’s happened again and this time it’s for the next Mass Effect game. Note: take the information contained herein with a grain of salt. Surveys, if this one is legit, are usually sent out to test ideas and aren’t […]

  • GTA 5 PC: modders poking around the files find Army Cavalcade, Feroci and SuperGT textures

    More GTA 5 information has been posted by modders poking around in the files of the PC version. This time, instead of zombies and horses, textures for the Army Cavalcade, Feroci and SuperGT vehicles have been found. New leaked vehicles Barbarian, Detonator and Tampa are also mentioned in the thread. A screencap of the files […]

  • Sony leaks: Uncharted movie similar to National Treasure but more “intense” and not as “silly”

    Sony Pictures wants the Uncharted film to be similar in tone to the National Treasure franchise, but not as soft or silly, and with deeper romantic storyline than the Nicolas Cage films. The information on the upcoming film was pulled from emails and database files derived from the Sony Pictures hack last year by North […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t just a “big-budget Battlefield mod,” says DICE

    DICE boss Patrick Bach has promised Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t just a “big-budget Battlefield mod,” as the game carries the Battlefront title for a reason. Speaking with Eurogamer during Day 2 of the Star Wars Celebration yesterday, Bach said the team stayed true to the “core ethos” of the Battlefront series by adhering to what […]

  • New Steam policy restricts accounts to protect users from phishing scams and spam

    Valve has implemented a new policy on Steam which limits user accounts which have spent less than $5 through the store. The new policy is to protect users from phishing scams and spam. If the users hasn’t spent anything on the store, they at least have to have $5 sitting in their Steam Wallet. This […]

  • Latest Flash Sale on the US PlayStation Store discounts action games and movies

    Sony is hosting another Flash Sale on the North American store with plenty of action games, and some films, to help get your weekend started. The list is super long, so here’s a few highlights: Army of TWO The Devil’s Cartel Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Bayonetta Beyond Good & Evil HD Castlevania: Harmony of Despair […]

  • A new expansion for Postal 2 called Paradise Lost was released today

    It appears Postal 2 has a new add-on available. No, it’s not for the 2003 version, but the Complete Edition which was greenlit on Steam 10 years later. Called Paradise Lost, the add-on stars the Dude and contains a new single-player story campaign and new areas featuring free-roam gameplay. The original voice actor for the […]

  • GTA 5 patch 1.01 is now available for PC, fixes launcher and framerate issues

    Rockstar has released patch 1.01 for the PC version of GTA 5 and along with a fix to the character’s facial features changing when transferring to PC, the launcher will no longer drain your CPU and crash. Here are the full patch notes: Fixed an issue where the GTAV Launcher would use an abnormally high […]

  • Ultra Street Fighter 4 will arrive on the PS Store for PS4 in May

    Ultra Street Fighter 4 will be released on PlayStation 4 in May, Capcom has announced. All characters, levels and previous DLC will be included in the PS4 version, including a fix to input lag found in the PS3 version’s controls. The fighting game will be released digitally on the PS Store May 26 for $24.99 […]

  • Upcoming Dark Souls 2 patch to fix weapon degradation glitch

    Weapon degradation wan’t an intentional feature in Dark Souls 2, and now that it has carried over into Scholar of the First Sin, the glitch will be patched out in an upcoming update. The glitch also affected the framerate of Dark Souls 2 on PC, and on all platforms with Scholar of the First Sin. […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront is now available for pre-order on Origin, Amazon, others

    Star Wars: Battlefront is now available for pre-order through EA’s Origin service as well as Amazon and GameStop. Star Wars: Battlefront pre-orders, as previously reported, will include early access to the free Battle of Jakku DLC. The planet is included in the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and finds the New Republic coming […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront – watch the lovely reveal trailer here

    The first trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront was released today after much anticipation. Watch the lovely game reveal below, all captured on PlayStation 4. The trailer was revealed during an EA panel today at the Star Wars Celebration, and featured Lucasfilm concept artist Doug Chiang, the game’s senior producer Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir, and other members of […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront has 40-player battles, play as Darth Vader and Boba Fett

    Star Wars: Battlefront will take place during the original film trilogy’s timeline, according to a report from the Associated Press. It appears the information was posted ahead of time, (via Kotaku) as the report is written in past tense. According to the report, players will take part in “frenzied shoot-outs between up to 40 players” […]

  • Microsoft confirms departure of Xbox Europe VP Phil Harrison

    Microsoft has confirmed the departure of Phil Harrison, its corporate VP of Xbox in Europe. According to a statement, Harrison left to pursue interests outside of the company, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told GI.biz. “Following a successful tenure as Corporate Vice President in Xbox in Europe, Phil Harrison has chosen to pursue business interests outside […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Rent-a-Server option coming to both last and current-gen consoles

    Battlefield Hardline players will be able to take part in the Rent-a-Server program, similar to the one in Battlefield 4, when the first patch for the shooter is released. Rental servers will come to both last and current-gen consoles, and CPU issues will be addressed in the patch as well, which PC players will be […]

  • Chip’s Challenge and unreleased sequel Chip’s Challenge 2 arrive on Steam next month

    Chip’s Challenge, the 1989 top-down tile-based puzzler created by Chuck Sommerville, is heading to Steam along with the unreleased sequel Chip’s Challenge 2. After the release of the first game, Sommerville spent two years developing the sequel, only to find the trademark had been sold. The trademark’s new owners wanted him to fund the publishing, […]

  • Pillars of Eternity patch betas hitting Steam, update 1.05 to drop in May

    Patch 1.04 for Pillars of Eternity dropped yesterday, and according to Obsidian Entertainment, players can expect the next round of fixes to arrive in May. According to a post on the Kickstarter page, patch 1.04 contained quite a bit of fixes, and going forward, the team plans to continue squishing bugs, adding additional polish and […]

  • Goat Simulator comes to Xbox platforms

    Goat Simulator continues its plan to dominate all platforms under the sun by releasing on Xbox consoles. Goat Simulator has been released on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The store page for the Xbox One version is now live, but the 360 one is lagging behind. Don’t know what this game is or what it’s […]

  • Alienation: first co-op footage revealed

    We have our first look at gameplay footage from Housemarque’s Alienation. Housemarque has finally given us a look at their upcoming shooter project, Alienation. The twin-stick shooter will feature co-op and the new video shows it in action. It’s a short one but still manages to demo several environments. The game was shown off at […]

  • ReShade SweetFX supports GTA 5, user-made presets begin popping up

    GTA 5 modders started making presets for ReShade SweetFX as soon as they realised the tool supports it. To the modding community’s delightful surprise, shader-altering tool ReShade SweetFX was discovered to support GTA 5. What this means is that anyone can download the tool, mess around with the post-processing options, and inject them into GTA […]

  • Project Cars goes gold, full track list revealed

    Project Cars has finally gone gold. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has announced that the racer has reached gold master milestone. “We know the wait for the game to be released was worth it, as we’re confident the quality and realism level we have achieved will provide our fans with the game they are all […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes has a stupid subtitle in the West

    The Western release of Dragon Quest Heroes has been given the most absurd subtitle. Square Enix announced a while back that Dragon Quest Heroes will come to North America and Europe this year. Unlike in Japan, it will launch only on PlayStation 4. Earlier today, the Japanese publisher revealed what the game’s logo will look […]

  • Minecraft vulnerability allows users to crash servers remotely [UPDATE]

    A security flaw discovered in Minecraft’s code that could give perpetrators the ability to crash servers remotely has been fixed via a patch by Mojang. Update: Mojang has released an update to Minecraft patch 1.8, listed as version 1.8.4, and it is available now. It fixes reported security issues, in addition to some other minor […]

  • Official Bloodborne merchandise now available, including a limited edition statue

    The PlayStation gear store has added a new section dedicated to Bloodborne merchandise. The first set of items is as good as you’d expect. If you’re a fan of Bloodborne and want to make sure everyone around you knows it, you’ll be happy to know that Sony has added a few pieces of Bloodborne-branded gear […]

  • Destiny Xur update: should you buy The Last Word?

    Xur is selling one of Destiny’s top hand cannons today: The Last Word. Is it worth grinding the coins for? The answer is a resounding YES. The Last Word is one of Destiny’s best Exotics, and one of the best Hand Cannons in the game. Our Destiny expert Alex notes that it’s one of the […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for April 17, 18 – The Last Word edition

    What did our good buddy Xur bring for us this week? Xur: Agent of the Nine, Destiny’s weekend vendor is back with more Exotic offers. Xur is your guy if you’re after Exotic weapons or armour, provided you have the Strange Coins for them. Head over to the lounge in the Tower Hangar, you’ll find […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt discounted for Gold members, pre-load now live

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt files are now live on the Xbox Store. Xbox One owners with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt pre-orders can start downloading the full game to be ready for launch. The file size was confirmed earlier to be just over 25GB. Those who have yet to pre-order can do so at […]

9 Comments

  1. sh4dow

    “I know a lot of people that will complain about working eight hours a day and call it crunch.”

    As usual, I would like to initially point out that I work in the film, not the games industry.
    However, based on the things people have told me and that I’ve read, it seems like they are very, very similar.
    And based on that, it sounds to me like you’ve interviewed one of them macho employees of the creative industry there. With the proper “rah-rah, don’t be faggots, we can do it!!”-mentality.

    Aside from the fact that I’ve NEVER come across anyone complaining about crunch while working 8 hours a day, this developer may or may not have left out a minor detail. Namely that those people may be working 6 or even 7 days a week. Meaning 48 or 56 hours instead of 40.
    Of course, those are probably just wusses in his eyes. Because anything under 70 is for lazy bums.

    That said, I do see people watching videos while they work (and frequently not while they have legitimate downtimes because they wait for renderings or whatever) or who are very liberal with the breaks they take. And then claim to have worked 10-11 hours, when it was really just more like 8.
    And on the one hand, it bothers me a lot, as I’ve grown up with a strict belief in the duty of an employee to always give 100%. Because that’s what you get paid for.
    But you know what? There are also the duties of an employer. And since employers in these industries have mostly been acting like assholes, I can’t say that I blame people much. For one thing, they know that if they consistently leave on time, they soon might not find another job in their city. And so they find ways to deal with the excessive overtime (because it never is just an hour or two here or there). Especially when it’s unpaid overtime. And while I’ve been lucky myself so far, I am constantly worried about my future in this insane industry, as I not only see many, many people bowing to pressure (while I don’t tend to) but also quite a few who break and exit the field for good.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Docker Al

    Excellent, interesting article. Well done Dave.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Darkfield

    Excellent read, looking forward the the next part.

    Although if I can make a suggestion Dave, these kinda articles are best for weekends where there are next to nothing to read on VG247 and although it’d be though to miss it among the Monday morning news storm, still it’d be better if we have something to read Sundays too.

    Thank you though, it is a great piece.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. bradk825

    Very interesting read. It does make me wonder what can be done about crunch. I suspect that as in other deeply entrenched practices, it may take drastic steps to correct.

    Does the class-action suit against EA need to happen to other publishers, investors and studios? After how many law suits will they decide that crunch, or at least some versions of it, are now to be considered legal exposure as opposed to necessity?

    I know from experience that legal exposure changes the view of corporations. Not because I’ve been involved in anything of the sort (thank goodness) but because I have felt the changes it brings. The giant book of rules you must follow for your organization to keep non-profit status in Canada used to be a pamplet. The rules you had to follow to have liability insurance is the same way. If you fail to follow these rules, or appear to have failed to follow them, your insurance company will drop you like a bad habit.

    So if 6 or 7 more big publishers were to be hit by class-action suits similar to EA, would that change their minds? These people don’t understand people, they understand numbers. They don’t think of the human cost of their expectations, they think about the financial cost of those expectations not being met.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Zero@Dawn

    Excellent article, my only real question is why does nobody record or keep records when this happens? Especially the situation mentioned where employees were locked in a room for two days, I mean that company could be sued monetarily or even criminally in a case like that. I mean look what came from the EA Spouse Blog, a lot of the claimants got their unpaid overtime. Maybe it’s just because I’m an American but there are laws to protect against things like that here, and no amount of non-disclosures or threating can stop you from reporting if something is going on.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Penney R. Tucker

    I’ve got my FIRST check total of $1681for one week, pretty cool. working from home saves income in several ways.I love that. I’ve recently started taking the steps to build my freelance Job career so that I can work from home. here is i started….. http://WWW.TeC80.COⅯ

    #6 1 year ago
  7. UKVampire

    Amazing article Dave happily retweeted both part 1 and 2

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Dave Cook

    @7 Thank you :)

    #8 1 year ago
  9. YoungZer0

    @4: Better upper management.

    #9 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • Fix for GTA 5 PC Windows install bug releasing today

    Rockstar is set to release a patch today that will fix a bug preventing players from installing the game. The bug is tied to Windows usernames that use certain characters not supported by Rockstar. There’s already a workaround available on the Rockstar Support site, but those waiting for an official update will be able to […]

  • Prey 2 dev’s new mobile horror Lost Within out now on iOS and Fire

    Remember Lost Within, that mobile survival horror erstwhile Prey 2 developer Human Head Studios was making with Amazon Game Studios? It’s now available on iOS and for Amazon’s Fire devices, through the appropriate App Stores. There’s a little bit of extra info on it on the AGS blog, if you’re keen; unfortunately the blog doesn’t […]

  • Let’s take a look at Blood Bowl 2′s Chaos faction

    Blood Bowl 2: The Chaos Theory is only the latest in a much loved series of games based on a game based on two other games. Blood Bowl is a popular Games Workshop tabletop game which blends the fantasy universe of Warhammer with a fantasy sport drawing inspiration from American football and related games. It’s […]

  • “Second-person” shooter Screencheat coming to PS4 and Xbox One

    Goldeneye players should be familiar with the concept of screencheating, which is what this new indie is all about. Screencheat has been on our radars for a while but has now been confirmed for PS4, sparking a new wave of interest with a trailer and PS Blog post. However, it was one of a number […]

  • World of Warcraft Timewalking will make old dungeons fun again

    World of Warcraft will soon introduce a feature called Timewalking, designed to make you feel young again. When WoW players participate in a Timewalking event, they’ll be transported to a randomly selected classic dungeon. Upon entering, their level and gear will be scaled way, way down to the Dungeon’s Heroic level – so they won’t […]

  • Bloodborne and Dark Souls messaging – in real life

    Soapstone is a cool little app that mimics the messaging system found in Bloodborne, Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. Bloodborne and Dark Souls fans will surely agree that the asynchronous multiplayer side of things, with players leaving anonymous tips, encouragement and jokes for each other, is one of the cooler aspects of the From Software […]

  • Mass Effect fans, get a load of this My Talking Elcor plushie

    I have been waiting to write about this all day because oh my god. Mass Effect attracted a devoted fanbase and Bioware has found tons of clever ways to satisfy that fanbase’s desire for clothes, collectibles, books, comics and toys related to the future world of Commander Shepard and company. The company has been so […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection headed to retail

    Homeworld fans can purchase a neat little package of gloriously remastered nostalgia soon. The Homeworld Remastered Collection has been available online since the end of February, but is now on its way to retail thanks to a deal between new rights holder Gearbox and Ubisoft. The PC exclusive will launch in physical form from May […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt download size lower than predicted

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a hefty install footprint, but it’s not as bad as we expected. The Witcher 3 was expected to be a 50GB download after a note to this effect was added to the PlayStation Store. It looks like that might have been a placeholder figure, as DualShockers noted today that […]

  • Bloodborne, beaten with a Guitar Hero controller

    Come on now, you didn’t expect anything less from the Souls community, did you? Bloodborne has been vanquished with a Guitar Hero controller, just a few weeks after its release. Kotaku reports Bearzly took nine hours to finish the game, which is probably less than many players using a Dual Shock. You can watch a […]

  • Vendors? New social space? Your House of Wolves questions will be answered

    Destiny players learned more about House of Wolves in this week’s Bungie update than you might realise at first glance. Resident Destiny expert Arekkz cast his eagle eye over this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, which announced next week’s Reef tour livestream. I personally am most excited to learn about gear upgrade paths, but Arekkz points […]

  • GTA 5 playable with Virtuix Omni VR treadmill

    You’ve seen GTA 5 with Oculus Rift, Now see GTA 5 with the Virtuix Omni. GTA 5 PC has unlocked a number of exciting possibilities. Modders and hackers are still working on making the game’s files accessible to third-party creation tools, but several cool things have been produced even with this barrier still in place. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: play as Rain and other locked characters on PC

    Mortal Kombat X players comfortable with tinkering with the game’s files can unlock unplayable characters. Mortal Kombat X includes a number of familiar fighters available only as opponents, not playable characters. if you’re super keen to try out Rain, Baraka and co, you can – with a bit of fiddling. Redditor XVermillion figured out that […]

  • Madden 16 release date set for August, of course

    Madden NFL 16 has a deeply unsurprising release date. Madden’s release date always falls at the end of US summer, and Madden 16 is no exception. EA Sports has announced that the NFL sim will release on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on August 26. We have absolutely no further information at […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront won’t have Battlelog support

    Star Wars Battlefront is not just Battlefield in a Hallowe’en costume, so don’t expect the same suite of features. Star Wars Battlefront is the subject of intense anticipation and curiosity, so it’s not surprising a bunch of rumours have turned up. One of these rumours suggests that Battlefront will have its own version of Battlelog, […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beats Bloodborne to top March NPD chart

    PS4 had a good month but it was EA’s multi-platform Battlefield Hardline that was the best-selling game. March 2015 NPD at a glance Total spend down 6% YoY. Hardware and software both down. Console hardware blamed for significant hardware dip. Accessories up. Battlefield Hardline tops software chart. PS4 outsells other consoles. Wii U, 3DS and […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves gear upgrade paths will be revealed next week

    Destiny developer Bungie will reveal new equipment upgrade paths during a livestream next week. Destiny: House of Wolves will release on May 19, the developer announced last week, promising a full schedule of reveals over the next few weeks. It also gave a broad outline of some of the things it will be discussing in […]

  • Don’t forget: the Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow

    Just a quick heads up to remind you that The Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow, April 17 at 10am EDT. The free weekend is an incentive to bring back beta players which tried the game, but decided not to pursue a purchase. You can play the MMO until 10am EDT on […]

  • Tale of Tales announces May release for Kickstarter success Sunset

    Those attending Kill Screen’s Two5six Festival next month will be able to play Tale of Tales upcoming title Sunset before it’s released. Along with the news provided to us by BeefJack, Tale of Tales have also released new set of lovely screenshots which we have posted below. Sunset will be released on Linux, Mac and […]

  • Take 50% off select racing titles through the Codemasters online store

    Codemasters has launched an online store and is celebrating by giving you 50% off the titles listed. Here’s what’s on sale: F1 2013 Classic Edition F1 2014 – F1 RACE STARS BUNDLE F1 2013 GRID 2 GRID 2 Reloaded GRID Autosport DIRT 3 Complete Edition DIRT Showdown Toybox Turbos F1 RACE STARS Hit up the […]

  • Spy_Watch coming to Apple Watch from Surgeon Simulator devs

    Surgeon Simulator developers Bossa Studios have announced its working on an Apple Watch game called Spy_Watch. Spy_Watch, according to the developer, has players heading up a spy agency which isn’t faring too well. Players will need to train a spy and then send him out on various missions to “reclaim the agency’s former glory.” Real-time […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power hits Steam Early Access next week

    Frozenbyte has announced Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power will launch on Steam Early Access next week. The early access title will run you $19.99/€19.99/£14.99 and you can purchase it come April 21. If the short video above isn’t enough to tempt you, a video showing nine minutes of gameplay was released last week.

  • Journey, Flower, flOw trilogy to be released this summer on PS4 in 1080p at 60fps

    A remastered version of the Journey Collector’s Edition is coming to PlayStation 4 from ThatGameCompany. According to Gamespot, the trilogy will contain PS3 titles flOw, Flower and Journey on one disc, and it will run in 1080p at 60fps. A standalone version of Journey will arrive close to the trilogy’s release on PS4 through the […]

  • Here’s a few screenshots of PS4-exclusive Alienation from Housemarque

    Screenshots for Alienation, Housemarque’s four-player co-op PlayStation 4 exclusive, have been released and you can have a look at them in the gallery we’ve posted. Announced at gamescom 2014, the game features three main character classes, weapon customization, and various team set-ups. The game has players shooting at things with twin-stick gameplay with a top […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront website notes November 17 release, teaser video and first image hit

    The first Star Wars: Battlefront image has been posted, and apparently it appeared on the official website at some point this morning. The game will also be released on November 17, according to the official website’s source code. The release date is noted in the code located in the image below. Props to Gematsu for […]

  • Mortal Kombat X is the fastest selling entry in the series to date

    Mortal Kombat X has sold faster than any other game in the series to date, making it the “biggest launch” in Mortal Kombat history, according to creator Ed Boon. Speaking in a series of tweets, Boon said both the mobile and console versions have “literally millions of players getting online” resulting in the servers being […]

  • Shadow of the Beast reboot resurfaces with some new screenshots

    The Shadow of the Beast reboot, which was announced in 2013, has show its face once more with early screenshots. Screenshots of the Amiga classic remake show off the Karamoon’s desert and the main character, Aarbron. According Matt Birch, CEO and founder of Heavy Spectrum, the team is currently hard at work on the “core […]

  • Halo: Spartan Strike arrives on Windows 8, iOS and Steam today

    Halo: Spartan Strike is now available on Windows 8, Steam, iOS devices and Windows 8 phones. The mobile top-down shooter will run you $5.99. Halo: Spartan Strike tells a new story in the Halo universe set during the events of Halo 2 on New Mombasa in 2552. Those playing on Windows 8 devices can compete […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video shows highlights from the Episdoe Duscae demo

    Square Enix has released a Final Fantasy 15 video which shows highlights from the Episode Duscae demo included with launch editions of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. FFT0 has shipped over one million copies worldwide, and a player feedback survey is available for the Duscae demo until May 19. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is available on PlayStation […]

  • Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since release – SuperData

    PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since it was released on March 24, according to SuperData’s latest report. The figure produced by SuperData is worldwide and comes on the heels of the one million units sold announcement earlier this week. “After the release of the beautiful but terribly short game The […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Mega May returns, Super Smash Bros. update, Mii Fighter costumes

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a Super Smash Bros. update and the StreetPass Mii Plaza games Battleground Z and Ultimate Angler. The update is rather detailed, and a bit larger than normal, and you may wish to pay special attention to the activities listed. Here’s the full update: StreetPass […]

  • Here’s your first look at Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida in Super Time Force Ultra

    Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida is a playable character in Super Time Force Ultra, and today, Capy Games has provided a couple images of the man himself in the game. Yoshida was announced as a playable character in the game during Sony’s PlayStation Experience event back in December 2014. The PS4 and Vita version will […]

  • The wait is almost over – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has gone gold

    CD Projekt RED has announced the news we’ve all been waiting to hear: The Witcher 3 has gone gold. This means Geralt’s latest, and possibly last, adventure has been sent to the factory to be pressed into lovely gaming discs. “We worked so damn hard over the past three years to bring you this game,” […]

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a “couple weeks out from beta,” new trailer

    Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is just a “couple of weeks out from beta,” according to development studio The Chinese Room, and a release date will be announced “shortly.” To give you an idea of how development has been coming along since it was announced at gamescom 2013, the team has released a new trailer […]

  • GTA 5 on PC looks incredible, but I can’t recommend it to console players

    As much as Matt Martin loves GTA 5, he can’t recommend upgrading from console to PC just for a slick editing suite and even prettier graphics. “This is the third time in as many years that I’ve bought GTA 5.” I have a Grand Theft Auto 5 obsession, as I’m sure you know if you’ve […]

  • The Forest engine updated to Unity 5, major graphical and gameplay improvements made

    The Forest’s latest patch added substantial improvements to the game. The Forest version 0.16 is now live on Steam with plenty of new additions. The game has been ported over to Unity engine version 5. The plant and skin shaders have been replaced or rewritten. Many other visual tweaks have been made, such as model […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront banner leaks from Star Wars Convention

    EA has been setting up the Battlefront booth at Star Wars Celebration, and one leaked picture shows what could be the game’s main art. Someone on Reddit posted a picture of the game banner at EA’s booth. Here it is: Lots of things happening here. There’s a Star Destroyer in the distance, TIE Fighters and […]

  • Get GTA 5 working with Oculus Rift using this tool

    There’s a way you can play GTA 5 in VR if you own an Oculus Rift Dev Kit and have a bit of cash to spare. VorpX, the go-to program for adding VR support to games has received an update recently to support GTA 5. This is far from perfect, as it only translates the […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 15 team revealed

    This week’s Team of the Week is now available for anyone to challenge in FIFA Ultimate Team. The team members get selected each week based on their performance during the weekend matches. You can fire up FIFA Ultimate Team on any platform and challenge this squad. You’ll also find some Team of the Week items […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will let you stealth all encounters, including bosses

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will bring back one of the original game’s major features. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is considered by many to be a great game and worthy of bearing the franchise name. One of its grating issues though was its boss fights. You only had one way to fight them: be confrontational. The […]

  • Project Cars PC specs and supported wheels announced

    The release date of Project Cars is inching ever closer and more details have been revealed to answer all your burning questions. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios has revealed the full list of supported steering wheels on all platforms, as well as the minimum and recommended PC specs. Minimum specs CPU – 2.66 GHz […]

  • GTA 5 gets custom FOV mod on PC

    Those not satisfied with GTA 5′s built-in field of view slider can use a new mod to push the number even further. The PC versions of GTA 5 – just like its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts – lets you switch between third and first-person view in shooting and driving. The game has an FOV […]

  • Win! GTA 5 on PC!

    Want to win a Steam key for Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC? Just enter here. GTA 5 released on PC this week and is going down a storm. We like it a lot, which is why we’re giving away a Steam code for Rockstar’s latest. All you need to do is enter your email […]

  • GTA 5 topples Skyrim’s record for highest concurrent players on Steam

    Not factoring in Valve games, GTA 5 is the new king of concurrent player numbers on Steam. GTA 5 is very popular on PC, even more popular than games like Skyrim in its heyday. The number of concurrent players for GTA 5 has peaked today at 301,246. This makes it the only non-Valve game to […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: what does a modern fighting game look like?

    Mortal Kombat continues to evolve as NetherRealm adds RPG systems and daily challenges to a solid fighting game, says Sherif Saed. “Mortal Kombat X takes many cues from games like Destiny, Call of Duty, and GTA Online with hourly, daily and weekly events.” For as many of its familiar facets, Mortal Kombat X has enough […]

  • J-Stars Victory VS+ coming west in June – new trailer

    J-Stars Victory VS+ will make the jump (see what I did there) to the west after all. J-Stars Victory VS+ is the western title for the fighting game which stars characters from a variety of Shonen Jump-published manga. Bandai Namco has announced the fighter will release in Europe on June 26 and in the Americas […]

  • Codemasters F1 license good through 2016

    Codemasters has at least one more F1 game in it. F1 2015 isn’t out yet, so Codemasters is naturally not talking about what it might get up to in the future. We do know what it can get up to, though; Codemasters’ Steven Embling told Videogamer has the option to continue the series. “We have […]

  • Project Cars has pretty deep graphics options on consoles

    Project Cars offers players a wide variety of ways to customise their graphic settings on PS4 and Xbox One. Project Cars is a graphics showcase and all early indications suggest it’s going to be one of the best-looking games out there. Slightly Mad’s commitment to graphics seems to go deeper than making things pretty, though: […]

  • Super Smash Bros. patch nerfs Diddy Kong – report

    Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U is great but Diddy Kong is a beast and must be stopped. The latest Super Smash Bros. 3Ds and Wii U patch seems to have nerfed Diddy Kong, a character so over-powered that serious tournament players generate controversy by choosing to use him. Nintendo doesn’t publish patch notes, […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer shuttered

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer 2K Australia has been closed down. Kotaku broke the news, and also had word from an anonymous source, who said that all staff have been let go. 2K responded to our request for comment with the following statement: We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process […]

  • Samorost 3 trailer shows Amanita still in fine form

    Samorost 3 looks as delicately beautiful as its siblings. Samarost 3 developer Amanita Design has a reputation for gorgeous, slightly surreal world building. This new trailer for its latest adventure looks just as if not more lovely than the previous Samarost games and Botanicula. Samarost 3 is coming to Mac and PC later this year, […]

  • Amnesia dev’s new project SOMA now in beta

    SOMA is nearly here and I am torn between excitement and horrified dread. SOMA is the latest horror project from Frictional, the team behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We’re pretty excited to see what Frictional comes up with next, and we won’t have too long to wait, apparently; the developer has announced that SOMA is […]

  • Steam Guard mobile authenticator now in beta testing

    Steam is now testing its latest security measure. Steam helps you protect your account by offering two-factor authentication, a solution so beautifully elegant and effective that it’s astounding every gaming network doesn’t do the same (looking at you, Sony). Valve’s version is called Steam Guard, and it works via email. This isn’t always super convenient, […]

  • Godzilla battles Mothra in new trailer

    Godzilla lets you stomp around cities and battle classic kaiju. I’m in. Godzilla is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 in early July, but we haven’t seen a great deal of it since its December reveal. The new trailer below gives you an idea of just what Natsume has done with one of the biggest […]

  • Tales of Zestiria to launch this year – new trailer

    Tales of Zestiria continues Bandai Namco’s delightful new habit of bringing the popular JRPG series to the west before the shine wears off. Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, the publisher has announced. That’s not a bad turnaround, given it first hit Japan in January, and localisation of text-heavy titles is expensive […]

  • Project Cars release date locked down, new trailer released

    Project Cars finally has a release date. Project Cars will release on May 8, Bandai Namco UK has announced. We haven’t yet had an update from Namco Bandai’s other regional offices, but its probably safe to bet the racer will release around the same time in the Americas, Europe and ANZ region. We can now […]

  • Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains trailer shows combat, online multiplayer

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains has plenty to offer fans of the anime. Previously known as Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, the Spike Chunsoft action game is coming west thanks to Atlus. Gematsu reports it’s due in both Europe and North America in May, via the 3DS eShop. The trailer below […]

  • Bloodborne stamina recovery rate affected by equip weight

    Bloodborne players have unearthed an important gameplay detail not mentioned in the game’s menus or manual. In Bloodborne, players need to manage their stamina carefully for best results. A far more aggressively-tuned affair than past Souls games, Bloodborne does away with equip weight limits, and items have no listed weight details. As far as players […]

  • Street Fighter’s Ryu, Fire Emblem’s Roy spotted in Super Smash Bros. patch – rumour

    Street Fighter’s Ryu is rumoured for future Super Smash bros DLC following datamining of the latest patch. Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U were updated recently, and hacker shinyquagsire23 claims to have found some interesting files while poking around in the 3DS patch data. As detailed on Reddit, the audio files included a new […]

  • Suikoden 3 PEGI rating suggests PS2 Classic re-release

    Suikoden. Suikoden 2. And now: Suikoden 3. Suikoden 3 has been rated by PEGI for PlayStation 3, presumably ahead of an upcoming re-release. Gematsu turned up the rating, and although we have no further information at this time, it’s not much a leap to assume the RPG will turn up as a PS2 Classic on […]