The Sims 4's Grant Rodiek: "we see crunch as a sign of failure"

The Sims 4's Grant Rodiek:
Jake Tucker

By Jake Tucker

December 5th 2017 at 9:43AM

"I've been in the industry for 12 years and I would say that for five or six years, our leadership has made not crunching a priority.

"Another thing I'm super proud of is that we don't crunch, we don't kill ourselves working on the game, we have a pretty healthy culture. It's been a good project."

That's The Sims 4 lead producer Grant Rodiek in an interview with PCGamesInsider.biz, talking about how EA's team for The Sims 4 has shifted to keep up a cadence of regular content updates.

"We effectively have four or five live teams at once," said Rodiek. "We have monthly patches or even quicker than that and monthly free content. I'm on the expansion team and I oversee the game pack team. We have a lead producer on the stuff pack team, we have a lead producer on the console team and all of those have different groups and engineers, but then we need to think about how they can work together - getting one engineer make one feature that works in two places. We have to talk all the time about what bugs we have to fix, who is going to do this bug, bringing in extra staff to help us out with toddlers that we can then use for pets. It's a logistical challenge."

Rodiek says he's amazed crunch still exists in the industry. "I've been in the industry for 12 years and I would say that for five or six years, our leadership has made not crunching a priority. We see crunch as a sign of failure."

"Every now and again if we do have to do it, we talk about it and figure out how to not do it again. We take crunch pretty seriously and that it's a thing we shouldn't do. We do all the products we've just talked about and mostly we leave on time and have a healthy work-life balance. It's really important. It's hard for us to make stuff that's funny and weird if we are all too tired to see straight."