Please don’t do this
[Update: Neocore’s community manager has tweeted several times within the past hour explaining that the original post was a joke meant to convey that the studio will be working very hard. The wording of the original post on the game’s Steam page has been edited to remove mention of the 90-hour weeks.]
Delays can be a bummer, but they’re common enough to be mostly-accepted as a part of the video game development process. It’s very hard to make a game that has widespread appeal, so of course there might be some bumps in the road. Most people hold this mindset regarding delays: Take as much time as you need, because it’s better to wait for a more polished game than to get an inferior product now.
The developer of Warhammer 40k: Inquisitor – Martyr, NeocoreGames, is taking this to illogical extremes. Neocore just announced a slight delay for Martyr‘s release — from May 11 to June 5. The holdup has to do with one console version (PS4 or Xbox One) not being quite ready to pass certification, and a publishing agreement that mandates PC and consoles launch simultaneously. So, this Diablo-like action RPG styled in the Warhammer universe will have to stay in Early Access just a little bit longer.
In an update on the game’s Steam page, Martyr producer Zoltán Pozsonyi assures that this spare time won’t be wasted. “This means that the PC version gets three extra weeks of polishing, which is never a bad thing. This also means that the game will be in a much better shape at release,” Pozsonyi says. However, he also states “In return, we promise we’ll push this extra three weeks in 90+ hours per week so it’ll be very-very useful for Martyr.”
That’s unhealthy! Very-very unhealthy! That’s more than half of the hours in a full seven-day week spent developing a video game. And that promise stretches for many consecutive weeks. (For what it’s worth, Neocore is based in Hungary — a country whose working culture is similar to the United States’ where 40 hours per week is considered standard full-time employment.)
For the sake of the Martyr team, let’s hope that Pozsonyi was being hyperbolic in his statement. Maybe it was just a misguided way of emphasizing “We’re really dedicated to this game, and we’re pouring our hearts and souls into it.” But if it’s literal, crunching this hard will only contribute to burnout. These developers’ personal and professional lives shouldn’t be jeopardized in the name of some extra polish.