The Callisto Protocol proves that crunch is dumb and doesn't work - The Thursday Nite Rant
Middling scores, poor user reviews, and myriad technical issues: did those 15 hour days really pay off?
The Callisto Protocol, the spiritual successor to Dead Space directed by veteran studio head Glen Schofield, has left a lot of horror fans wanting. Specifically, it has left them wanting the official Dead Space remake, which will land at the end of the month, because Callisto just didn’t hit the mark: the consensus is that while it’s clearly been put together by a talented team, the frustrating, under-designed combat and the various performance issues make it a slog, and the content within – though perfectly alright – just isn’t good enough to justify wading through the bad stuff.
Which is a shame, not just for users who are desperate for another Dead Space, but for the people who put their blood, sweat, and tears into this game only to see it met with such a lukewarm response. But it’s particularly galling in light of Glen Schofield’s comments early last year regarding crunch, a concept he seems broadly in favour of, although in fairness he walked the comments back after a lot of people rightly took issue with them.
But this goes beyond an ill-advised tweet from a studio head: the issue of workers rights, or lack thereof, has reached a critical stage in the games industry as hundreds of teams around the world pursue unionisation in a bid, among other things, to end crunch culture once and for all. And as the UK entered its umpteenth month of crippling strikes by public sector workers seeking to preserve their precarious living standards, in the face of a hostile government which has a clear agenda against working people, myself, Sherif, and Connor gathered in a Zoom call to ask: in a world where hard work doesn’t even pay off any more, why should anyone crunch?