The Last of Us II development crunch, much more

Daily Gaming Update

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How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here from thegamingobserver.com and welcome back to your daily gaming news for Monday, March 15th.

Crunch culture at Naughty Dog and The Last of Us II

Naughty Dog is going to be releasing The Last of Us part II on May 29th, unfortunately the development of that game is highly troubled. Like many AAA studios, and in fact especially for Naughty Dog, crunch culture and overworked employees is the norm, not the exception. Most of the people working at the studio only do 12 hour or longer days, and often come in on weekends. This has resulted in a tremendous amount of turnover within the company with employees simply being burned out. Indeed, the last game Naughty Dog put out was Uncharted 4, which had 20 non-lead designers. Only 6 of them remain in the company. So this begs the questions of why and how does this happen? Well for starters, it’s largely a management issue. For example, when they are hiring, they make it very clear that they are looking for perfectionists and workaholics. They don’t force to people to go home at 5pm. They even provide dinner for the people who stick around. Another issues is a clogs in the piplines, which create a situation like this “There was the designer who couldn’t leave until they received feedback from the directors, who were tied up in meetings all day and couldn’t look at the build until 6 or 7 p.m.” And what happens after that is guilt, “You feel obligated to be there later, because everyone else is there later…If an animation needed to be put in and you weren’t there to help the animator… they may give you grief. It may not even be spoken—it may just be a look. ‘Man, you totally screwed me last night by not being here at 11 p.m.” Add on to the pile with the fact that they need to hire new untrained personnel on a frequent basis, they have no production department, and they have management who are constantly changing things without telling their designers. Put all that together, and you often you end up with an amazing game, but with burnt out workers. And as the article here says, how long will they stay? And how long can a culture like that last? Is it really worth the metacritic score?

Pokemon Go now lets you get more for less travelling

Good news to Pokemon Go players, with so many people now staying home, the game is much easier to play without moving. Distances to hatch eggs are decreased, PokeStops grant more rewards, and spawn rates are increased, allowing you to get more stuff by travelling less. Very important. They have also cancelled their March community day event, with all future ones being postponed until future notice. But hey, at least you can hopefully play the game like you always have without having to worry about going out for too long.

CS:GO hits over 1 million concurrent players on Steam

Here’s a crazy statistic, CS:GO has just hit over one million concurrent players for the first time ever. They’ve been hitting a few records in the past few months, but this is obviously a milestone. They’re coming close to Dota 2’s all time record at 1.2 million, but is nowhere near the PUBG record, which is over 3 million concurrents on Steam alone. Steam itself also hit a record, getting close to 20 million players at once, which is about 1 million better than the previous record.

First Control expansion arrives March 24th

Hey, if you were a fan of the game Control, from Remedy Entertainment it came out last year, the first expansion of the game is going to be coming later this month, on March 26th. Its called The Foundation, and it seems like the story will stay pretty in-line with the base game. The second expansion comes later this year, and you are able to purchase them both seperately or with a season pass.

Alright, thank you very much for joining me here today, and thank you to M Lewendowski for leaving me a 5-star review on Amazon. I will be back tomorrow with the news, as I am every Monday through Friday, and until then, Happy Gaming everyone.