Callisto Protocol director appears to glorify crunch culture, then walks it back

Glen Schofield
(Image credit: PUBG Corp)

Striking Distance CEO and The Callisto Protocol director Glen Schofield has walked back a tweet appearing to glorify crunch culture after it received backlash online.

It's since been deleted, but was screenshotted and uploaded to Twitter by Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier. "We are working 6-7 days a week, nobody's forcing us. Exhaustion, tired, Covid but we're working," Schofield's tweet read. "Bugs, glitches, perf fixes. 1 last pass through audio. 12-15hr days. This is gaming. Hard work. Lunch, dinner working. You do it 'cause you love it."

Schreier pointed out how the whole thing stank like crunch, calling it "weaponised passion" and adding "this is why people burn out of gaming." Other industry figures chimed in too: Firaxis narrative lead Cat Manning called crunch "a failure of project management," while Metal: Hellsinger creator David Goldfarb remarked how it's "sad that this shit continues even now."

The backlash was enough to make Schofield delete his tweet and issue a sort-of apology in a follow-up. "Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about the people I work with," he said. "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."

It's a real bummer to know The Callisto Protocol is being made in such conditions—after all, I was really impressed with what I saw of it at Gamescom, quickly becoming one of my most anticipated releases. Unsustainable work hours and an environment ripe for burnout do sour those feelings rather a lot.

Just this year alone we've seen the impact crunch can have on the people working hard to push a game out. Reports for both Fallout: 76 and Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga were published this year detailing the gruelling culture staff were put through. Some studios are trying to learn from their past mistakes, like CDPR's desire for a crunchless development on the new Witcher game, but it remains a sad reality for too many developers at the coalface.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.