Crunch mode caused a young Netmarble game developer’s death, Korean government says


South Korean MMO studio Netmarble is being criticized this week for contributing to the death of an overworked game developer in 2016.

The Korea Times is reporting that the government agency Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service has acknowledged that the Netmarble employee “died from a work-related cause” when he passed away from coronary arteriosclerosis (heart disease).

“The employee had been subject to irregular night-time work and excess duty in the 12 weeks before he developed the symptoms and it has been confirmed that the employee had worked 89 hours a week in seven weeks prior to developing symptoms,” the government documents state. “Considering the worker was in his 20s and that his health checkup did not show any underlying symptoms, the correlation between the worker’s death and work is recognized.”

The game developer’s family’s filing for compensation has consequently been approved. According to the paper, there were two other deaths the same year. As MMO Culture reports, Netmarble now forbids excessive overtime work in its substudios.

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