We’ve become conditioned to associate crunch with big-budget game development, so it’s a pleasant surprise to hear that according to some developers Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart was developed “completely crunch free.”
Multiple Ratchet and Clank developers took to Twitter today to say that Insomniac’s forthcoming PS5 exclusive was developed without crunch. While they were careful to note that it was strictly their experience, and that they didn’t speak for the whole team, they did praise what they considered a healthier work-life balance than could be found at many AAA studios.
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. https://t.co/Bf9C7BQLRn
— Lindsay Thompson (@Binzimation) June 8, 2021
Animator Lindsay Thompson wrote in a tweet, “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.”
Thompson was tweeting in support of designer Grant Parker, who said he worked the standard 40 hours throughout development. “It is possible to work on a great game [without] suffering,” Parker wrote.
Other Insomniac devs have continued to pipe up with their own testimonials.
[widget path=”global/article/imagegallery” parameters=”slug=ratchet-and-clank-rift-apart-photo-mode-screenshots&captions=true”]
Crunch is a common problem within the games industry. Naughty Dog reportedly had sustained crunch leading up to The Last of Us Part 2, and other studios including Rockstar and CD Projekt Red have been accused of similar practices. Crunch has been cited as a leading cause of burnout among game developers, with some reporting that they work more than 80 hours per week.
At least according to these devs, Insomniac appears to be bucking that trend with Ratchet and Clank. Its quality doesn’t appear to have suffered either. We called it a “stunner” in our review, calling it a fantastic experience to play. We’ll be able to see for ourselves when Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart launches on PS5 on June 11.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN.