Striking Distance CEO Glen Schofield Praises Crunch Culture, Walks Back Controversial Comments

The founder and current Chief Executive Officer at Striking Distance Studios Glen Schofield recently attracted ire from the development community for apparently praising crunch culture. Schofield has enjoyed a long career in the games industry as an artist, designer, director, and producer. The developer was a key figure behind the survival horror game Dead Space and is currently working on The Callisto Protocol.

“I only talk about the game during an event,” Schofield said earlier today on Twitter in reference to The Callisto Protocol. “We’re working six to seven days a week, nobody’s forcing us. Exhausted, tired, covid. But we’re working. Bugs, glitches, performance fixes, one last pass through audio. 12 to 15 hour days. This is gaming. Hard work. Lunch, dinner spent working. You do it because you love it.”

Schofield went on to delete the tweet in question following a backlash. “This from a studio head is crunch culture defined,” Reporter at Bloomberg Jason Schreier for example remarked on Twitter. The journalist noted that “of course nobody is 'forced' to work insane hours. But imagine the reduced bonuses and lack of promotion opportunities if you don’t? 'You do it because you love it.’ Weaponized passion. This is why people burn out of gaming.”

"Such a weird coincidence how the guy bragging about how his team works six to seven days a week for 12 to 15 hours a day because they love it also happens to be the guy who controls all their salaries, titles, and current employment status," Schreier further criticized.

The developer later apologized after deleting the controversial tweet. “Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about the people I work with,” Schofield pointed out. “Earlier, I tweeted how proud I was of the effort and hours the team was putting in. That was wrong. We value passion and creativity, not long hours. I’m sorry to the team for coming across like this.”

The comments made by Schofield come in the context of an ongoing conversation concerning crunch culture. While most companies have at least declared the intention of putting a stop to the practice, crunch culture remains a problem in the games industry, sometimes resulting in severe burnout or worse from overwork. The more progressive studios have implemented measures like four day work weeks and extra paid time off.

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