Back in 2018, Kotaku published a detailed report on Rockstar’s culture of crunch. Now, a new report shines the spotlight on the studio again. This time though, it’s for positive reasons.
According to Kotaku writer Jason Schreier’s new report, Rockstar has been working on improving the working experience for its employees. An internal email from executive Jennifer Kolbe mentioned upcoming plans such as “flexible schedules”, “management and leadership training”, “anonymous” feedback surveys, and more.
The studio was also said to be working on reducing overtime. Some steps include “improving their technology pipelines and planning out more of the game’s beats in advance” for their next big project, and starting “with a moderately sized release… that is then expanded with regular updates over time” for the next Grand Theft Auto game.
The report notes that the studio’s employees still see the process of improvement as a slow one, with much of the optimism being tinged with caution. However, Rockstar’s efforts to improve can be seen at least. For example, the studio has been telling employees, who are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that it is alright to not be productive and to focus on health and family during this time.
Considering how even CD Projekt Red couldn’t avoid crunch when it came to making Cyberpunk 2077, things might still get tough at Rockstar once development on their next big title ratchets up. For now, it’s good to know that Rockstar is at least trying to change, and that their efforts, while still in the early stages, can be seen.