Fortnite has been a huge success for Epic, earning the company billions of dollars, and allowing it to launch its own storefront full of exclusives. But to make Fortnite the success it is, and to maintain that success, has required the team to work constantly to keep it updated and fleshed out with new features. That endless work is taking a toll on its team.
Speaking anonymously to Polygon, Epic Games staff claimed that as many as 100 developers who have been working at least 70 hours a week in the office since the game launched. In some cases people are working even more, putting in 100 hour weeks.
To give a sense of how much time in the office that is, 70 hours a week works out as 14 hours a day in the office, Monday to Friday. You would come in at 9am and not leave until 11pm that evening. That's assuming these workers are getting their weekends, but sources told Polygon the work was eating into their weekends, too. In the UK, the maximum weekly hours are supposed to be 48 hours a week.
"People are working very hard on Fortnite and other Epic efforts," an official Epic spokesperson told Polygon. "Extreme situations such as 100-hour work weeks are incredibly rare, and in those instances, we seek to immediately remedy them to avoid recurrence."
The full report is eye-opening and I recommend giving it a read. It conveys the human cost of games as a service. Crunch periods, where game developers work extremely long hours, have been a part of the game industry for many years. Especially as a studio is pushing to get a game ready for release, staff may stay in later and later to fix bugs and finish features. But, with games as a service, like Fortnite, Destiny, and Path of Exile, games that are always being updated by developers, it means there is a constant pressure to produce to deadlines.Are you surprised the game industry still hasn't managed to fix crunch? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Epic Games