Videogame review aggregation website OpenCritic has revealed that it might be introducing a new feature. It would reflect devs’ views about what games’ development processes might have been like for the people working to bring them to life. The site has taken to Twitter to float their new idea for a “crunch meter”.
The tweet says the site is “considering implementing a ‘crunch meter’ on OpenCritic, similar to Glassdoor. The idea is that devs could anonymously report work/life balance during development of a game. We’d try to work in some sort of verification process (perhaps verified LinkedIn work email)”, asking the community “Thoughts?”
Given that crunch culture in the videogame industry is a pretty big topic at the moment, with developers and players discussing questions around whether the practice is ethical and necessary, it’s perhaps not surprising that sites like OpenCritic are thinking about ways to reflect that. In the last year or so, some devs have announced that they won’t endorse crunch culture, highlighting how embedded or widespread it seems to have become in the industry.
It looks like OpenCritic’s idea has received a generally positive response, judging by the comments the tweet has received from users so far. Some have said it’s a “great” and “fantastic” idea, though with others suggesting that its success would rely on secure verification and not laying the meter open to abuse. Preserving anonymity for developers is another key aspect for some users. There are a few voices concerned that the system could be mis-used, however.
Considering implementing a "crunch meter" on OpenCritic, similar to Glassdoor.
The idea is that devs could anonymously report work/life balance during development of a game. We'd try to work in some sort of verification process (perhaps verified LinkedIn work email).
— OpenCritic (@Open_Critic) June 27, 2019
Given that the site has thrown open the question to its Twitter community, and quite a few of the responses have been positive, perhaps we could see the “crunch meter” become a fixture on their site in the future.
We’ll just have to wait and see – but if it does, it could be a useful tool to let players know a bit more about the work/life conditions for workers behind their favourite titles.