Multiple staff from Insomniac Games have confirmed that Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart was made in a “completely crunch free” environment.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart enjoyed some seriously impressive review scores yesterday, and our own Tom Orry lauded the game, saying that “the PS5 has arrived” in our own Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart review.
More impressive than Insomniac’s latest critically-acclaimed game, though, is the confirmation that the developers managed to produce it in a studio that didn’t need to crunch in order to hit the release date.
“[Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart] is at 89 average score [on Metacritic], and I can’t speak for anyone on the team but myself, but I didn’t crunch once,” tweeted game designer Grant Parker. “40-hour weeks the whole time. It is possible to work on a great game without suffering.”
Another staffer on the game, Insomniac animator Lindsay Thompson, agreed. “I didn’t crunch once, entire production. A couple late nights here and there finishing something up, but completely crunch free. It is possible. Team wellness lets the creativity flow free.”
Finally, Insomniac narrative coordinator Justin Fennessy replied to Thompson, saying: “And those few late nights don’t even feel like work when you’re having so much fun making the damn thing.”
In an industry where crunch has been lambasted for its effects on employee mental health, it’s nice to see that a successful, critically-acclaimed game from a triple-A studio can manage this to pull out all the stops and keep its staff happy.
After controversies around the likes of Rockstar and CD Projekt Red when it comes to crunch, it’s refreshing to see a different, crunch-free path forward (something Respawn has also noted it’s aiming for in the future).