Earlier today, French gaming outlet Pese sur Start published an interview with Gearbox Quebec leads Sébastien Caisse and Pierre-André Déry. Written by Raphael Lavoie, the interview covers a lot of ground that I certainly can’t read since I don’t know French. However, a helpful Reddit user offered a translation of a few key points in the interview, most importantly a claim from the two men on Gearbox Quebec’s stance on crunch.
According to Caisse and Déry, the work Gearbox Quebec has contributed to Borderlands 3 has been done without crunch. This developer has, as is also pointed out in the interview, a significant role in Borderlands 3. Collaborating with Gearbox proper in Texas, Gearbox Quebec has, for example, designed the game’s new vehicle systems. Clearly, Borderlands 3 will be a massive game, and an assertion that one of the development studios is not only claiming it hasn’t crunched, but also claims to be strongly anti-crunch, is not a minor detail.
Here’s a quote from Reddit user Shwaa4lyfe‘s translation:
“Another point of pride for the Gearbox Studio Québec’s management is to deliver a AAA game without imposing a “crunch” (or intensive work schedule) on their employees.” They also go on to say that they are deeply against the industry standard of crunch time and overtime, and that they work differently than other studios and value the “quality of life” of their employees.”
As anyone who has been paying attention is well aware, crunch has been one of the defining problems of the video game industry for as long as it has existed. Journalists have been particularly aggressive lately about reporting on the matter, as game development has only grown more expensive and demanding in recent years. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Mortal Kombat 11 have both had their launches punctuated with horror stories from current and former developers and adjacent employees.
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