Industry veteran Amy Hennig has spoken up to criticize the nature of triple-A development, specifically calling out the periods of "crunch" that can exist on a project. Crunch is the industry term for when a team works extended hours at the end of a project to finish it.
"We've all joined this industry with the hope of affecting people, touching them in some way," he said at the time. "Which is why we work so hard, sometimes to destructive outcomes. So in this game, I really wanted to explore that. To kind of use the pulp action-adventure story as a backdrop, but it's all kind of a metaphor for our life's pursuit."
Looking back on her time at Naughty Dog, Hennig said she wouldn't do anything differently knowing what she knows now. However, that experience seems to have changed her outlook on triple-A development. Asked if working on triple-A games was worth it, from the perspective of the toll it can take on a person's life, she said, "I don't think so."
She added that some people working in the triple-A space "never go home and see their families."
"They have children who are growing up without seeing them," she said. "I didn't have my own kids. I chose my career in lots of ways, and I could be single-minded like that. When I was making sacrifices, did it affect my family? Yes, but it was primarily affecting me and I could make that choice. But when I look at other people...I mean, my health really declined, and I had to take care of myself, because it was, like, bad. And there were people who, y'know, collapsed, or had to go and check themselves in somewhere when one of these games were done. Or they got divorced. That's not OK, any of that. None of this is worth that."
She added: "We have to get our act figured out as an industry, and the problem is that the ante keeps getting upped...It's an arms race that is unwinnable and is destroying people."
"They have to work together and they have to be cleverer than their enemies," she said. "Therefore, how do you turn that into gameplay? How do you take that idea and then deconstruct it as mechanics, sequences, that then play to that core principle? That's the challenge of making these kinds of things."