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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Avoided This One Major Problem

"Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart" is fast approaching as one of the few true PlayStation 5 exclusives and more information about the game is coming to light. After some overwhelming positive critical reviews for the game dropped, multiple developers from Insomniac Games took to Twitter to celebrate not only the praise the game was receiving, but the development process behind it.

On Twitter, game designer Grant Parker wrote, "I'd appreciate ppl sharing this positive. Because it's important. #RatchetPS5 is at 89 avg score & I can't speak for anyone on the team but myself, but I didn't crunch once. 40h weeks the whole time. It is possible to work on a great game w/o suffering."

This sentiment was backed up by other Insomniac developers on the title, including Lindsay Thompson and Jeff Weidner. All of these developers said that they personally never experienced crunch or even felt compelled to crunch while working on "Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart." Weidner claimed, "If I put in [e]xtra hours, it was my choice because I had something I was really xcited about & wanted it to look STELLAR. But I was actively encouraged by my leads and mgmt to keep my life in balance. And I did!"

The issue of crunch

Insomniac has been one of PlayStation's more prolific first-party studios, releasing multiple AAA games in the amount of time it takes some studios to release one. In the past eight months alone, Insomniac has released "Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart," "Spider-Man: Miles Morales," and "Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered." The fact that the studio was able to accomplish this task with minimal crunch, according to the developers, is impressive.

Crunch is a pressing issue within game development, with developers like Rockstar and Sony's own Naughty Dog coming under fire for having massive issues with crunch. The people at those studios were put under massive pressure to work significant overtime in order to finish the product, with some people reportedly working over 80 hours in a single week.

The Insomniac developers were not simply after bragging rights when sharing the high praise "Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart" received without crunch. It seems they want to show both consumers and other developers in the industry that great games can be made without forcing people to work under horrible conditions. Hopefully other developers out there can learn from Insomniac's example, and can find ways to create great games without sacrificing the health and well-being of designers and programmers.