Xbox Game Studios director Matt Booty responds to Kotaku’s article about the crunch at Bethesda (during Fallout 76 development) and denies that it affects Starfield.
Crunch is one of the most common evils when we talk about video game development. It is not something new, but fortunately it is now a more visible and easier to detect problem than five, ten or fifteen years ago.
Many video game studios have suffered from it: ID Software, Naughty Dog or Bungie are just a few examples. Remember Kotaku’s article about Bethesda’s bad work habits in Fallout 76? Well, you have already received an answer.
Starfield – E3 2021 trailer and release date
First of all, Booty has denied that the development of Starfield (one of the great exclusives that will come to Xbox and Windows) has been affected by the crunch. From Microsoft there is full confidence in Bethesda and its work teams.
The director of Xbox Game Studios assures that he knows first-hand how they work at Bethesda, and assures that there is no hint of crunch… at least, of what he has been able to live.
”I know from talking to Bethesda leaders that we don’t have a situation where people are bad and we don’t have an atmosphere of intimidationI trust that”.
Matt Booty says they have to trust Bethesda and the human resources departments at Xbox. He insists that he doesn’t think there is crunch, although it leaves the door open for it to happen… with its respective consequencesSure.
This Microsoft executive has also referred to the Kotaku article on Fallout 76. He ensures that it is unfair to attribute it only to Bethesda, and that almost five years have passed since the release of the MMO. ”They look back, sometimes way back in time”.
Booty says that the crunch was part of the culture of the video game industry, and that practically all creatives have experienced it at some point.
”I’m not saying that to justify it, I’m just saying that it was part of the culture of the industry. I literally slept under my desk early in my career. And we saw it as a badge of honor”.
Starfield is the new game in development by Bethesda Game Studioswhich will arrive in first half of 2023 to the shops. This is the studio’s first original IP in 25 years, and it will be available on Xbox Series X|S, Windows, Game Pass, and Steam.