In the company’s annual report, Sega has stated that it has taken steps to reduce development crunch. This is noteworthy after much recent news surrounding the topic of how video game studios overwork their employees. This includes the recent revelation that Rockstar employees were spending over 100 hours per week at times developing Red Dead Redemption 2.
In Sega’s annual report for 2018, the company revealed that has been committed to this effort as early as 2013. The most noteworthy statistic that the report has disclosed is that it has reduced the number of employees working over 80 hours per month by 80 to 90 percent. Sega has hit this milestone through various measures.
For instance, it now enforces punching-in to reduce the number of employees self-imposing excessive overtime. A measure that puts less onus on the employee that Sega is using is various reports on employees hours. Upper management will now get monthly reports on how many hours their employees are doing. Another action Sega has taken is the “Adjustment of work volumes, streamlining of meetings, revision of operational flow, etc.” This means that the company itself is trying to change how much pressure is put on its developers and employees. Sega has also introduced days where overtime is not permitted.
This course of action by Sega is extremely important for health and rights of its workers. As previously mentioned, it was revealed that Rockstar has been making its employees work 100-hour weeks on Red Dead Redemption 2. This is especially egregious since the studio came under fire for overworking its employees back in 2010.
The recently closed Telltale Games was also notorious for continuous crunch. This type of workflow made the studio burn out a good portion of its talent. Sega’s move is a step in the right direction to keep its workers happy and could hopefully be a standard for other publishers and developers in the future.