Rockstar Games
In a recent interview with Vulture, Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser said that at times, the Red Dead Redemption 2 team were "working 100-hour weeks" on the game. This naturally caused quite a bit of an uproar across social media and a number of gaming sites. Rightfully so, I might add.

"Crunch" as it's commonly referred to, sees employees going to extremes to hit particular milestones. These are common prior to a game shipping in order to meet launch deadlines. The industry hates it. Developers hate it. Consumers don't feel comfortable supporting studios that push it. And yet here we are. Crunch is still very much prevalent in the gaming industry and it serves as one of the biggest forces in pushing developers to unionize.

So when Houser said that the Red Dead team was hitting 100-hour weeks, people took notice. Today, Houser offered up a clarification on what he meant. He issued a statement to Kotaku.
"There seems to be some confusion arising from my interview with Harold Goldberg. The point I was trying to make in the article was related to how the narrative and dialogue in the game was crafted, which was mostly what we talked about, not about the different processes of the wider team. After working on the game for seven years, the senior writing team, which consists of four people, Mike Unsworth, Rupert Humphries, Lazlow and myself, had, as we always do, three weeks of intense work when we wrapped everything up. Three weeks, not years. We have all worked together for at least 12 years now, and feel we need this to get everything finished. After so many years of getting things organized and ready on this project, we needed this to check and finalize everything.

"More importantly, we obviously don't expect anyone else to work this way. Across the whole company, we have some senior people who work very hard purely because they're passionate about a project, or their particular work, and we believe that passion shows in the games we release. But that additional effort is a choice, and we don't ask or expect anyone to work anything like this. Lots of other senior people work in an entirely different way and are just as productive - I'm just not one of them! No one, senior or junior, is ever forced to work hard. I believe we go to great lengths to run a business that cares about its people, and to make the company a great place for them to work."

While it may be true that nobody is ever pushed to work extended hours, many employees may feel as though they are required to in order to succeed within a company. This applies not just to a development studio, but to every company. It's kind of a "wink wink, nudge nudge" deal. You don't have to work those extra hours, but maybe upper management won't notice you come promotion time if you don't. I'm not saying this is what happens at Rockstar, but it is very possible that this is how some employees may see things.

For instance, Adam Boyes shares his previous job experience when first starting in the gaming industry. I suggest clicking through and reading through his short Twitter thread for his story. The first tweet in his story can be found below. Boyes currently works at Iron Galaxy and notes how that studio has a decidedly different approach to balancing work and life.