Id Software Co-Founder John Carmack Discusses Video Game Crunch

Id Software Co-Founder John Carmack Discusses Video Game Crunch

Id Software co-founder John Carmack discusses crunch culture in the games industry.

In a new interview with Youtube channel PowerfulJRE, Id Software co-founder John Carmack discusses crunch in the games industry and why he thinks there should no laws against it.

“There’s some serious debate about it. Some people despise that about the industry, that no one should work that hard,” Carmack says. “And there are people that think there literally should be laws that prevent people from working that hard. I always have to argue against that. There is a power to obsession and being able to obsess over something – your life’s work. Instead of work-life balance, it’s your life’s balance.”

Over the past few years, crunch in the game’s industry has been a topic of controversy. From developers at Naughty Dog to Red Dead Redemption 2’s development, stories have come up about game developers working anywhere from 100 hours a week depending on what developer is talking about crunch. Additionally, The Outer Worlds’ Obsidian Entertainment has spoken about their commitment to not being a crunch studio.

“It doesn’t pay well, there’s less job security, and they work you a lot harder,” Carmack continues. He also mentions that he would work 13-hour workdays and he would lose momentum if he worked anymore than that. Additionally, he said he feels guilty if he works less than 60 hours a week.

“They [workers] have free will, they’ve chosen to do that, and if that’s what they think will get them closer to their goals, I’m not going to try and make that impossible for them,” Carmack concludes.

The full interview with John Carmack is available down below.