As studios around the world struggle to find ways to manage austerity, the founders and some owners of Path of Exile developer Grinding Gear Games have publicized the studio's response to feedback and why extended work hours do not solve the problem.
This open letter is a response to the recent frustration of the Path of Exile community, especially for the state of the existing integrated alliance launched in early March. Chris Wilson, founder and part owner of the New Zealand developer, explained that Synthesis's game prototypes and POE Currency existed more than expected, which affected the time and time allowed for testing and balancing before the release.
In most cases, developers either postpone the release of the alliance or try to solve all problems through processing. Wilson acknowledged this and said that developers often feel pressure from the Path of Exile community to work overtime when they see responses to patch descriptions and development updates.
“An important topic inside the gaming industry recently may be the austerity,” Wilson wrote. “Some studios get their team working 14 hours daily to package each patch, containing the most patches and improvements. Sometimes whenever we read our personal Patch Notes thread and community feedback, the world thinks we are being motivated to do the ditto."
“I will not run this company in this way. Although there will inevitably be overtime issues around the league release cycle, most Path of Exile development cycles have a good balance between work and life. This is necessary to keep the developer happy and healthy. On the other hand, it also shows that some game improvements take a while to complete."
Wilson did not specify the length or amount of optional overtime pay, although the company will soon respond to public responses.
However, he does outline some of the difficulties New Zealand developers face when community feedback comes in. Developers have two main difficulties. If they choose to respond directly to the community through the proposed solution, then bringing the team together to develop a solution often destroys other important projects.
Or, Grinding Gears can choose to consider feedback, but choose to handle it in the future. The problem is that it makes the community feel that their concerns have not been heard,mainly because Path of Exile developers are particularly active, releasing daily and weekly updates ,making more players unsatisfied, and even sales with POE Currency are falling.
"We believe that our internal emphasis on long-term improvements to Path of Exile has caused some damage to the relationship with the community in the short term," Wilson said.
But at the very least for the time being in the helm of Wilson, they won't adopt this mandatory austerity. This does not mean the studio will never eventually collapse anyway, along with studio staff is talking about culture, and also the optional overtime is not truly optional. But no less than in public, Grinding Gear Games takes a position.
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