I don't believe that. This is no golden rule. Companies should change their methods and management in order to become more efficient. Shrugging your shoulders and putting it off as something that nobody can ever change is too easy of an excuse. Everything can become better if the people involved really want to.
In the article there are some things that the Rockstar employees themselves suggested as improvements, I remember better communication is one of those things. There are solutions to everything, you just have to work on them.
@Bold Easy for you to say and the main bottleneck is not studio communication, it's very clearly man power since game production is asset generation intensive ...
When the Rockstar employees are off hours and we're the ones on working hour offering goods or services is it OK that we screw them out of value for the money they are getting for when we suggested them to cut corners for their labour like we would for our own ? Is it somehow productive that all parties are providing less value for the money ?
People need to realize that productivity/value is a function of labour and it becomes dysfunctional when no value is offered ...
Poor management can also lead to employee turnover. When a company starts to bleed staff, the questions must be asked, why did they leave Rare? They could have left for reasons we wont know for sure however with most jobs, people leave for better money, better facilities, better treatment, better opportunities etc.
Example would be why did Rockstars lead Director leave to join MS? Why would he leave such a fantastic company with a huge branding name and a success rate not matched by many?
Humans have learnt how to make good things without the risks of human sacrifice. We don't need slave labour anymore to create amazing things. Invest in many man hours doesn't have to be 1 man does more hours but more men to do less hours but achieve the same goals. Rockstar isn't poor, they can afford to treat there staff better especially with there long term dead lines.
For the most part they hardly do and who cares if Rockstar's former lead director left them ? When in game development it's not about the superstar, it's about the team and a visionary is nothing without a good team when we take Itagaki as an example for pushing out trash like Devil's Third while his former studio returned to greatness by releasing Nioh. Why change the system when it worked in providing good value for the money ?
Human sacrifice is necessary and money is the contract between the producer and the consumer. Is producing sub-par products and not getting punished for it but instead is rewarded for it supposed to make the customers happy ? What happened to developers being only as good as their last game ?
The idea of pro-consumerism is not compatible with employee welfare since the former is about getting most value out of the latter rather than vice versa and this is something every social democrat needs to ponder about instead of showing duplicity about it ...
This is way too much hyperbole. Quality doesn't require excessive overtime, poor working conditions or expense of employee welfare. This exact quality game that's sitting on metacritic with a score of 97 could have released in fall 2019, potentially to an even better perception due to better execution of ideas from a well rested workforce and more efficient workforce- this is scientifically backed ;)
The question here is time... and time cost money. Not every game can afford significant delays (which is where I think the actual dilema arises-indie studios/studios that are struggling) but we know Read Dead and Rockstar can. Unfortunately such significant crunch and forced overtime is something they know they can get away with, so why delay when you can overwork your staff and save a 20m+ on employment costs even though you know the delay will only make a small dent in your overall profits.
Here's at least one studio doing something crazy ambitious and not employing a culture of "cruch"
Essentially their needs to a rebalancing between developer ambitions, publisher budgeting and scheduling. Unfortunately developers are being pushed in the arms race to outdo each other in scale and spectacle, whereas I think diversification is far more important for 90% of game studio.
A game like The Journey is higher "quality" in terms of reception and technical performance than the likes of Mass Effect Andromeda, quality can't simply be attributed to man hours.
@Bold Nearly every industry experts and professionals seems to think it does and the game was delayed twice already prior to releasing on top of being long in mass production. No you can't make a crap shoot proposal and claim that your idea is scientifically backed because it's simply not testable. What happens when reviewers raise higher expectations and the game suffers for it ? What happens to the developers that don't feel the competitive pressure to make a better product ?
As far as Rockstar is concerned, the game was delayed twice which was still far more productive than what Sony did in production with The Last Guardian ...
A game like "The Journey" has lower expectations and sales as well so your comparison with big projects like Mass Effect Andromeda is bunk ...
If guilty offenders of this so called "crunch culture" like Rockstar and Nintendo keep producing high quality software and customers keep buying them as well then the model will keep being recognized as being sustainable until the customers learn to boycott them ...