Legendary game auteur Suda51 reiterates he doesn’t need “unnecessary overtime.” The head of Grasshopper Manufacture specified he wants his people to “relax.”
Suda51, whose full name is Goichi Suda, talks about his philosophy of running his studio. As the creator of legendary games like Killer7 and No More Heroes, he knows a thing or two in the matter. In his NoClip documentary, he notes how he encourages a healthy work-life balance.
Workplace crunch a common thing in the games industry
The games industry is not new to the idea of workplace crunch. The “crunch,” in industry terms, is the time where people do overtime to beat a deadline. Similarly, this environment is a common problem across the entire industry as a whole.
Above all, it can be criminal to do extensive crunch in other industries. Even then, the video game industry normalized it to a heavy degree.
Many companies are also trying to cut this down with longer dev cycles. For example, Ubisoft was proud of the fact that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey had little crunch. The GM of Criterion, the studio for Need for Speed, condemned the practice altogether.
If anyone knows how painful crunch can be, it’s Suda and his Grasshopper Manufacture. Japanese dev studios are notorious for a ton of overtime at work. In some cases, it is even a merited detail in Japan for employees to work overtime.
Suda is trying to change that mindset within his company. Furthermore, the auteur is doing his best to give his employees the work-life balance they deserve.
Suda likes to warn overworking employees
According to the NoClip documentary, Suda51 warns employees who overwork. He notes that the demands placed on employees are not the same as other devs.
“Unnecessary overtime is simply not allowed at all,” Suda says in the documentary. “If you work too much overtime, first you get a warning saying, ‘hey, chill a bit. Be sure to take off Saturday and Sunday, and go home on time and everything’.
“So, you know, we have a set schedule, set working hours, and it sort of makes it easier to automatically hit that work-life balance.”
Suda is currently in cahoots with Hidetaka Suehiro creating a game called Hotel Barcelona. “Swery65” Suehiro is famous for titles like Deadly Premonition and The Missing. Their new game is a Lynchian horror like full of gore and suspense.
Fans who are curious about Suda51 and his studio can find the NoClip documentary here. The team at NoClip is in-charge of game industry documentaries. Their other documentary includes the 20th anniversary for Arkane Studios.
Featured image courtesy of NoClip/Youtube Screenshot