Insomniac Fights Crunch by Asking Employees To Take Time Off In Presentation

An Insomniac Games presentation slide leaked showing the studio battling crunch by asking employees to use PTO, and we've got the image and details here!
Marvels Spider Man Fighting Rhino
Image: Insomniac Games

A leaked Insomniac Games presentation slide shows how highly the company values time off. It’s on the same slide as Wolverine art, so that’s really cool to look at, too. Take it with a grain of salt, as with all leaks, but it looks pretty legitimate.

As shown in ResetEra, In the same slide where they advise keeping the game running (likely to test for bugs that come over the game running processes for too long) and playing the game (to see the quality), they instruct their employees to take time off. That may seem small, but it’s a big way to fight crunch, which we rarely hear about from Insomniac.

PRODUCTION EXPECTATIONS

For Everyone:

Keep it stable: Always keep the game running, fix A’s

Play the game

Take time off: Don’t burnout, take some PTO”

Production Expectations Slide Wolverine With Claws
Image: ResetEra user chris-1515

We may think of fighting crunch as a “nice thing” to have in the industry, but crunch doesn’t help as much as you think it does. We look at crunch as a necessity, but even in writing, I’ve seen journalistic quality downgrade from someone being tired. I can tell because I’ve seen it before and fought to give my writers a break. Yes, you get more done, but you arguably are hurt more in the long run due to quality and worker retention.

If you don’t believe me, you can ask a studio that had multiple winning movies in a row, Pixar. During the production of Toy Story 2, Pixar had a life-threatening situation caused by crunch. It is detailed in Creativity Inc., but the author and founder of Pixar, Ed Catmul, explained that crunch rarely helps a studio out. He said that after the movie was completed, he implemented a rule that no one could work longer than 40 hours, which remained in effect for many movies and may still be in effect today.

He said that quality and work environment actually improved from the rule, and that was only Pixar’s third movie at the time. They’ve made a lot of great ones since then. Insomniac also pushes taking breaks, and they’ve made exceptional games.

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar, also known as Aggy, is the current Assigning Editor.

He started his career as an esports, influencer, and streaming writer for Sportskeeda. He then moved to GFinity Esports to cover streaming, games, guides, and news before moving to the Social team where he ended his time as the Lead of Social Content.

He also worked a writer and editor for both Pro Game Guides and Dot Esports, and as a writer for PC Invasion, Attack of the Fanboy, and Android Police. Aggy is the former Managing Editor and Operations Overseer of N4G Unlocked and a former Gaming editor for WePC.

Throughout his time in the industry, he's trained over 100 writers, written thousands of articles on multiple sites, written more reviews than he cares to count, and edited tens of thousands of articles. He has also written some games published by Tales, some books, and a comic sold to Telus International.

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