March 29, 2023

Arcade News

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The games industry just talked about outsourcing crunch and totally missed the point

A couple of months ago, we published a video for People Make Games that investigated working conditions at two outsourcing studios in Southeast Asia. These companies, Lemon Sky Studios from Malaysia and Brandoville Studios from Indonesia, are both routinely hired by AAA publishers to create huge amounts of art assets for some of the biggest video games in the business, from Gears of War 5 to The Last of Us 2.

And according to that investigation, these studios are also relying heavily on excessive overtime, or crunch, in order to get this work done. Based on the accounts of 19 current and former employees, the video details working environments in which artists have little choice but to volunteer for unpaid overtime in order to meet unrealistic deadlines.

“That’s the thing, the company never asked for it,” said one anonymous former Lemon Sky employee. “Therefore, they do not have to pay for our OT (overtime). But we weren’t given enough time to complete our task.”

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