Video games industry veteran and id Software co-founder, John Carmack, has spoken out against the idea of having laws to tackle crunch, and is of the view that developers should be allowed to “work hard.”
Appearing on a recent Joe Rogan podcast (via VICE), the former DOOM programmer acknowledged that game developers work long hours but doesn’t think that laws are the answer.
There’s some serious debate about it. Some people despise that about the industry, that no one should work that hard. And there are people that think there literally should be laws that prevent people from working that hard. I always have to argue against that. There is a power to obsession and being able to obsess over something—your life’s work. Instead of work-life balance, it’s your life’s work.
Carmack went on to admit that jobs within the games industry are not only punishing but they also often come without any kind of security or stability. However, he seems to think that games like Red Dead Redemption 2 require some grueling crunch to be able to ship.
“It allows products to exist that wouldn’t otherwise exist by people working at that level in a way that couldn’t be sustained in other industries,” he added. “Many of the greatest things that were made in gaming were only possibly by people throwing themselves at that level at it.”
Carmack acknowledged that he’s enjoyed a privileged career and hasn’t worked with industry giants that are often accused of forcing overtime, but his views largely remain the same.
“It’s possible that [their workers] have some valid criticism, but I still come down on…I think it’s great when they throw themselves at it, beyond the point that other people think is reasonable,” he continued.
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