When it arrived back in 2004, EA Spouse felt like a wakeup call. But now it’s easy to mark how long it has been since that infamous posting, and Game Workers Unite UK chair Austin Kelmore has noted that not only has it been 15 years, but not all that much has changed in the game industry. Crunch is still here, even if companies say they don’t crunch; let’s not forget when Rockstar was actively bragging about its crunch period. Even last year, in a retrospective on the landmark diatribe, a producer in EA claimed that crunch was a path to greatness.
Kelmore goes on to note that while many things have stayed the same, there is at least more general awareness and public conversation happening about crunch and the culture surrounding it. Erin Hoffman, the eponymous Spouse herself, has gone on record saying that she doesn’t feel that EA gets enough credit for the changes that the company actually has made to quality of life. Kelmore’s big takeaway, though, is that after 15 years the industry still has a long way to go in terms of truly eliminating and moving beyond crunch as a concept.
Yesterday marked fifteen years since the infamous ea_spouse post was published. Fifteen years, yet it reads like it could have been written about working practices that exist today. https://t.co/LOFuihiFi0 pic.twitter.com/04vHhSKcfS
— Austin Kelmore (@AustinKelmore) November 11, 2019