MAPPA to officially recruit and train new employees instead of fully relying on freelancers for Chainsaw man and other future projects

Neither of those really encapsulates Naughty Dog’s work culture though. It’s fairly well known in the industry that Naughty Dog does have a crunch culture, but it’s not one that’s really enforced by anyone - they just offer unlimited overtime, and artists and other employees go, “Damn, more money to polish this artwork or feature I’ve put my time into? Hell yeah.”

There are absolutely employees at ND that just go to work and get off at a normal time. They aren’t forced to work those hours and there’s no hidden expectation of doing so under the threat of expulsion. A friend of a friend made $160k last year working remote, and this year got full authorization to work from home permanently.

I don’t really see that as crunch. Sometimes in your early years in the industry, you’re gung-ho for working as many hours as you can to make a mark on it. So long as you’re not forced to work long hours and you’re paid if you choose to, that’s fine.

The reality is that crunch as we know it will always happen in the game industry, and most of the time it’s a result of poor management and a lack of forthought in pre-production. Studios will not crunch for months or years and then, oh god, they showed off a trailer at E3 and now we find out what we’re working on and now have to spend a year playing catch-up and put out a rushed product - all because of poor planning or vision on the part of leadership. But Naughty Dog’s case isn’t that.

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