Eidos Montreal, the studio currently working on Square Enix's Guardians of the Galaxy (opens in new tab) adaptation, has announced it's begun transitioning towards a four day working week.
The developer broke the news in a blog post (opens in new tab) today, revealing staff have already begun making the switch from a 40-hour work week to 32-hour weeks, closing studios on Fridays without any change in salaries. In a Q&A, the developer notes that it doesn't want to compress five days worth of work into four, instead hoping the transition forces the studio to better focus its time.
"The idea is not to condense the working hours into 4 days, but rather to review our ways of doing things and our quality time invested, with the aim of working better! Above all, we want to increase the productivity and well-being of our employees.
"Concretely, we want to reduce the time at work, but increase the quality of this time invested, whether it’s on a team-basis or for the studio as a whole. A promising right balance for everything!"
Four day work weeks have been a broader cultural issue for some time, only accelerated by the experience of the pandemic. A recent trial in Iceland found shorter work weeks to be an "overwhelming success" (opens in new tab), giving workers more time to themselves without sacrificing productivity. Shorter work weeks also help curb overwork and crunch, something the games industry is notoriously struggling with (opens in new tab).
Eidos isn't the first studio to try four-day work weeks. Bugsnax developer Young Horses recently made the move to shorter weeks (opens in new tab), alongside other smaller studios like Die Gute Fabrik and KO_OP. But Eidos Montreal is the first developer of its size to make the jump, and may be in the vanguard of a broader industry move to healthier work structures.
Unfortunately, reports from a Montreal-based indie developer suggest that this four-day week doesn't apply to QA at Eidos, who as contractors are technically not employees. I've reached out to Eidos Montreal for comment.
I am hearing from numerous folks in private that this naturally doesn't apply to the QA staff who are not technically Eidos Montreal employees despite working in the same building.October 7, 2021
Still, it's a step towards a more balanced work structure, and hopefully one that will help ensure Guardian's of the Galaxy's wonderfully terrible family holiday (opens in new tab) will be the best superhero bash it can possibly be.