The Outer Worlds developer Obsidian is “committed” to not being “a crunch studio”

Obsidian, the developer behind Fallout New Vegas and The Outer Worlds, doesn't do crunch.


One of the awful realities of developing videogames is the prospect of development crunch – where teams are forced to put in constant and extreme overtime in order to get a game out the door, or up to spec.

However, players and developers alike are beginning to get wise to this unpleasant practice, and there has been noticeable pushback against crunch – Warframe developer Digital Extremes previously confirmed that its teams don’t do crunch, for example. Now we can add another developer to the anti-crunch brigade – The Outer Worlds and Fallout: New Vegas developer Obsidian.

We spoke to The Outer Worlds senior designer Brian Hines, and he told us straight, “Obsidian is not a crunch studio, which is one of the things that keeps people staying there for a long time.” While Hines admits that occasionally developers can be ask to put in extra time “to meet a deadline for a week or so,” he confirms that “it’s always a request” and is up to the developers if they want to do that.

“There really hasn’t been a crunch or a death march or anything like that with the studio for quite a long time, as far as I can remember anyway,” says Hines. “That’s definitely one of the things that as a studio we’re very committed to, we’d rather cut something than try and get people to not have a life outside of the industry.”

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Crunch is certainly a hot-button issue in the gaming industry at the moment, with players becoming increasingly aware that the biggest games around are built off of the free time of developers – games such as The Witcher 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Black Ops 4 all had intense crunch periods.

The Outer Worlds is out later this year, and certainly doesn’t seem to be suffering with the lack of developer crunch time – we were greatly impressed by it in our recent hands-on. While it may not be as big as a Fallout game, it certainly seems just as exhilarating.