Next-gen kicks off this November. That means there are a ton of developers out there busting their butts off to get launch games out on time — and Ryse: Son of Rome, an Xbox One exclusive developed by Crytek, is no different.
Today, the Ryse Twitter account boasted about feeding the developers working on the game through "crunch" — a term that refers to the practice of working long, sometimes gruelling hours to ship a product:
The thing about crunch is, while it does result in many of the games we know and love, it's also kind of unhealthy. Crunch can get in the way of relationships, it can burn developers out and mess with their quality of life. Despite being a known problem, crunch is still around.
To generalize, there are people in three camps when it comes to crunch: there are those that view crunch as a testament to passion and work ethic, those who hate the practice and wish the industry would develop better practices, and those that see it as a necessary evil for the industry to continue working the way it does. But needless to say, people feel strongly about the subject...which is why it's not so surprising that people responded strongly to the Ryse tweet. In fact, the hashtag included in the original Tweet has been taken over by mostly sarcastic or incisive comments about crunch culture, or Ryse itself:
The divorce of my parents eventually led me to a life of crime but, man, that launch game was REALLY polished.
#RyseFacts Facilitate the subjugation of countless peoples and the rise of Western European genocide, imperialism, and slavery
You have to perform a QTE to eat dinner during crunch.
(To contextualize, some of these tweets riff off the fact that you can mash to mastery in Ryse.)
#RyseFacts Stockholm syndrome can take many fun forms, like being proud of working 120 hours a week on QTE sequences.
#RyseFacts Help I'm trapped inside a game dev factory. Have not seen sun in 3 months. Send rescue. Miss loved ones. Sarah, I'm sorry
#RyseFacts It's not worth sacrificing your personal life to ship a launch game. You should take time each day to appreciate your loved ones!
@RyseGame That is disgusting. A well-managed studio wouldn't need to be crunching in the first place. Do not take pride in this fact.
Great to see our overtime as a marketing achievement. Disgusting. #RyseFacts
Ryse wasn't crunched in a day #Rysefacts
We've contacted Crytek to ask about about the tweet and will update if they comment. For now, you can view all the tweets under the #RyseFacts hashtag here.