Aggrieved Steam reviewers are likely enough indication that The Callisto Protocol has been having a pretty painful opening week. However, if you couldn’t tell from the choral cries of unplayable PC performance and console bugs, game director and Striking Distance Studios CEO Glen Schofield confirms it himself in a series of Twitter replies. Yes, his aspiration to blow his iconic Dead Space series out of the sky had some holes in it, some stuttering and crashing, but he maintains that those issues come from “a damn clerical error.”
“A wrong file was patched,” Schofield clarifies in another Twitter reply. “Just freakin error by someone rushing.”
Being fixed. A wrong file was patched. Any minute. Just freakin error by someone rushing.
— Glen A. Schofield (@GlenSchofield) December 2, 2022
“Rushing” brings to mind Schofield’s previous admission about him and his team working extreme overtime — “Exhaustion, tired, Covid but we’re working,” he said. “Lunch, dinner working. U do it cause ya luv it.” — about which he later apologised to employees for glorifying such practices. Yet Schofield’s Twitter trolls seem to be calling for more of it, demanding fast fixes and their money back. Striking Distance did not immediately return Kotaku’s request for comment.
They could end up being satisfied, sort of. Striking Distance Studios released patches aiming to improve PC stuttering, and framerate issues on Xbox Series X/S, and while fans are still disgruntled with ray tracing, they can at least rest assured that they have developers, once again, in overtime.
“I’ll take vacation when it’s fixed,” Schofield said on Twitter. “The fans are my priority.”
Game development crunch can be a chicken or an egg in this way, either borne from pressure or from responding to it. Both developers and fans want perfect games fast, but time, money, and a day’s 24 hour upper limit make achieving that goal difficult or unhealthy. I don’t know how we change cultural expectations both in the workplace and as consumers, but I do know that, while complaining about it, you should at least be kind and calm while Striking Distance works on delivering even more week-one patches.
“Being mean, cynical and acting like you know me isn’t making it go any quicker,” Schofield said. “I’d ask for patience and understanding as we fix this issue. We aren’t happy about it either.”