Crunch culture is becoming a worrying norm in the gaming industry, despite most people agreeing that this is a bad way to treat employees. Amy Hennig, who directed the first three Uncharted games, recently slammed the culture for making workers miss life events and making them miserable.
Hennig appeared in the Idle Thumbs podcast (via GamesIndustry.biz), where she talked about the struggles these developers go through. The gaming director pointed out how most of these developers miss birthdays, holidays, and end up in a worse place than when they started.
As soon as she got into the industry, Hennig knew that it would take a toll on her but accepted that fate since she chose not to have children. However, the Uncharted co-creator pointed out how other developers aren’t so lucky and they should be treated better, given the sacrifices they’ve made.
“When I was making sacrifices, did it affect my family? Yes, but it was primarily affecting me and I could make that choice. But when I look at other people, I mean, my health really declined, and I had to take care of myself, because it was, like, bad,” Hennig reveals. “And there were people who, y'know, collapsed, or had to go and check themselves in somewhere when one of these games were done. Or they got divorced. That's not okay, any of that. None of this is worth that."
These comments from Hennig are pretty relevant since 2023 was a year where acclaimed games were released and the people who made them were fired. Epic Games, Naughty Dog, Telltale, and, most recently, Bungie, are only some of the major game companies that have laid off employees for bad decisions their higher-ups made.
Currently, Hennig is working on a new AAA game for Marvel, where players will control both Captain America and Black Panther. Unlike the upcoming Black Panther solo games, this title will seemingly feature T’Challa’s father T’Chaka, who will team up with Steve Rogers in WW2. She won’t be working on Uncharted anytime soon, though her games are readily available in an HD collection.