It hasn’t been an easy week for gaming news. Between allegations of industry legends being accused of abuse and respected developers losing their lives, it seems like a tragedy occurs every other day. In the midst of all this, Capcom offers some more optimistic news. The launch of the highly-anticipated Monster Hunter World: Iceborne may only be a few days away, but Capcom says it’s determined to avoid crunch and to maintain a healthy work-life balance for all developers.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Monster Hunter World director Kaname Fujioka described Capcom as being dedicated to providing a healthy work-life environment for its developers, even if crunch is nearly inevitable towards the end of development.
There’s always the tough periods at the end of development, in particular, where there’s a lot of work to do and not much time left to do it in, but as a company we do value people having core time: you come in the morning and you’ve got time to go home, you try to get the work done as much as possible in that time. Of course there’s always overtime and extra work to be done, and people are so passionate about the games they’re making that if you left them to their own devices, sometimes you’d have to tell them to go home because they really want to keep working on it and keep making it better. But overall, the company is really serious about people making sure they’re keeping their work-life balance in check, and as long as you’re getting the work done, nobody’s being tied to their chair.
-Kaname Fujioka, director, Monster Hunter World
While Capcom management generally tries to enforce these restrictions, Fujioka said it often comes down to personal responsibility. He said that “Everyone thinks ‘if I spent another hour on this, I could make it a bit better,’ but you have to draw the line somewhere, and part of our job as the heads of the development team is to make sure no-one’s overdoing it and causing themselves health issues or anything like that.”
These policies haven’t kept Capcom from stuffing Iceborne with a massive helping of content, including everything from quality of life improvements to new multiplayer enhancements to fan-favorite monsters making their long-awaited returns. Hunters won’t have long to wait, since the expansion launches on September 6 for PS4 and Xbox One, while it will also release on PC in January 2020.