According to an expose published by Polygon, the work expectations at Epic Games are causing employees massive amounts of stress as they work long hours.
The game industry has a crunch problem. “Crunch” is the term given to a group of employees who need to work long hours in order to finish a task.
In video game development, crunch is usually common in the month leading up the release of a game.
But in the Epic Games’ studios in Cary, North Carolina, Crunch has become a common occurrence.
Polygon is a leading site in games journalism and they talked with various former and current Epic employees about the work culture at the studio.
Here are some of the choice quotes from the article:
“I work an average 70 hours a week,” said one employee. “There’s probably at least 50 or even 100 other people at Epic working those hours. I know people who pull 100-hour weeks. The company gives us unlimited time off, but it’s almost impossible to take the time. If I take time off, the workload falls on other people, and no one wants to be that guy.
“The executives keep reacting and changing things,” said the source. “Everything has to be done immediately. We’re not allowed to spend time on anything. If something breaks — a weapon, say — then we can’t just turn it off and fix it with the next patch. It has to be fixed immediately, and all the while, we’re still working on next week’s patch. It’s brutal.”
And the punishment for not working the supposedly optional hours was swift:
“I know some people who just refused to work weekends, and then we missed a deadline because their part of the package wasn’t completed, and they were fired,” said another source. “People are losing their jobs because they don’t want to work these hours.”
With all the money Epic was making, some of that went back to the producers which helped them endure, but there’s only so many back-t-to-back weeks people can work:
“It is a hard, grindy, crunchy life,” said one source. “Everyone understands. You are being paid more money than most people will ever make in their careers anywhere else. Your time is bought and accounted for; shut up, keep your head down, and do the work.
Those weekly patches that keep Fortnite fresh put an absurd amount of pressure on developers. How do you think the community would react if they came out every two weeks instead?
“As Fortnite Battle Royale became popular, it changed to having to get a feature done, with hardly any notice, and then having people stay until that feature was ready. So we went from having a month to prepare, to sometimes having as little as a day. A lot of it was mandatory staying at work with no notice until the job was done. Marketing had made a promise, and so we were told that it had to be done.”
There are tons more interesting points made in the article so check it out if this is interesting to you. They also cover responses from Epic spokespeople to bring the other side of the story.
Fortnite Galactus event: Nexus War start date and time
The exact date and time for the Nexus War finale in Fortnite has been confirmed, and there is little time to prepare for the Galactus event.
The event, which will bring Chapter 2, Season 4 to a climax, as Galactus – aka the Devourer of Worlds – is bombing towards the map to, presumably, destroy it all.
The countdown to the event appeared in-game on November 21, and Epic have now confirmed the exact date and time when the Nexus War will commence.
“It was only a matter of time.” Epic say in their blog post. “Galactus is closing in on the Island and the fate of all Reality lies in the balance. Join the ultimate fight against Galactus in the one-time-only Nexus War finale event.”
When is the Galactus event in Fortnite?
The Nexus War finale event will start on December 1 at 1PM PT / 4PM ET / 9PM GMT.
To make sure you don’t miss out, Epic has given some tips to be prepared for the event:
- DOWNLOAD THE LATEST UPDATE
If you haven’t already downloaded the 14.60 update, load the game on your preferred device and download today.
- DOWNLOAD HOUSEPARTY
Fortnite’s new integration with Houseparty means you can have live video chat in Fortnite (PC, PS4/PS5) while attending the event.
- GET IN EARLY
We’ve taken measures to ensure more people can attend the event, but we still recommend everyone log into Fortnite at least 60 minutes prior to the event start. The event playlist is expected to go live 30 minutes prior to the start time.
Of course, even if you can’t play the game yourself at the time, you’ll still be able to catch the action on Twitch and YouTube streams from content creators.
As Epic confirms, this is a one-time-only event, so there won’t be any reruns unlike previous end of season events.
Fortnite nominated for best ongoing game & 2 more Game Awards
Fortnite has been nominated for Best Ongoing Game, Best Community Support, and Best Esports Game at the Game Awards 2020.
The ongoing pandemic may have put a damper on 2020, with video games being the primary escape for many around the world. Fortnite continued to push boundaries this year, bringing players new ways to experience their favorite game.
The Game Awards is an annual awards show that highlights new games, evolving titles, and standout members of the gaming community. Despite the restrictions, the game awards will continue as planned on December 10.
Three years after the game’s release, Fortnite brought home three nominations in this year’s Game Awards: Best Ongoing Game, Best Community Support, and Best Esports Game.
Fortnite has been nominated alongside Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, Destiny 2. and No Man’s Sky in the category of Best Ongoing Game. We think it’s deserving of a win, here, after all that they’ve done in 2020.
Fortnite brought us to a whole new map late last year and continued to develop their new island over the course of 2020. Now, after over a year of development, we’re experiencing what might be the most ambitious crossover in the history of gaming in Season 4 – not to mention that this season feels like a return to form for the game.
What’s even more exciting is the upcoming event that should take place just before the Game Awards kick-off. By all accounts, the next season-ending event will be the biggest in the game’s history – a history that’s full of massive live events.
Fortnite was also nominated for Best Community Support and Best Esports Game. The former would have been laughable at the beginning of the year, but Epic have begun communicating with the community, again.
- Read More: New feature brings video chat to Fortnite
Best Esports Game seems like a long-shot for Fortnite. It’s in the category alongside games like Valorant, League of Legends, and CS:GO – all some of the strongest esports titles in gaming.
Fortnite has a strong competitive scene, but not nearly as strong as CS:GO and League, at least. Valorant is still young but that game looks to be taking esports very seriously as well. Tournaments like the FNCS have always felt like an afterthought to Epic Games.
The Game Awards will stream live to viewers on December 10 – only a few days after the event that’s set to close Season 4. We’ll have to wait and see if this has any impact on the fandom of the game.
Until then, make sure to follow us on Twitter @FortniteINTEL so you never miss out on all of the latest Fortnite news.
New feature brings video chat to Fortnite
Epic and Houseparty have joined forces to bring video chatting to Fortnite.
Epic Games have partnered with the Houseparty app to bring video calls to Fortnite during a time where face-to-face connection is more difficult to come by.
The new feature came with the v14.60 patch, and will allow players on all platforms to video chat with one another while playing their favorite Battle Royale.
To video chat with your friends, you’ll first need to download the House Party app on mobile devices. From there, you can link your Epic and House Party accounts, jump into a game, and video chat while you play.
Houseparty video chat will appear as a bar on the left-hand side of the screen. It will take away a bit of your horizontal field-of-view but it isn’t too intrusive. The primary interface will be on your mobile device.
The app even gives players a Fortnite-themed background so you don’t have to worry about what’s behind you
. Players who link their accounts will also receive the free Rainbow Fog wrap, which is one of the cooler exclusive apps we’ve seen.
Of course, Epic have added some parental controls and safety settings to their new video chat feature. You can access these through the Settings > Parental Controls tab. Epic answered some FAQs and addressed other safety concerns on their official announcement blog.
Players who are unable or uninterested in the new feature will still be able to earn the free wrap by playing with a friend between November 20 and December 4. It’s time to connect with friends in Fortnite like never before!
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