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Crunch and 'extended hours' both down in latest IGDA dev satisfaction survey

The IGDA reports inspiring shifts in several common areas of concern, noting positive changes in crunch and diversity from 2017 to 2019.

Workplace conditions throughout the game industry look to have seen some improvement in recent years, at least according to those polled for the 2019 edition of the International Game Developers Association’s Developer Satisfaction Survey.

Those improvements include a decrease both in crunch and the expectation of crunch, as well as a rise in how many teams have adopted workplace anti-discrimination policies (though respondents still say that enforcement of those policies could still stand to improve.)

The full report chronicles the current state of the game industry from the perspective of game developers, offering up looks at working conditions, factors that affect the perception of game development, demographic information, and more. This latest report contains feedback from 1116 developers and was conducted in early 2019. That data can be compared against past reports which, excluding 2018, have been released annually since 2014.

Looking at the 2019 Developer Satisfaction Survey, 41 percent of those polled say their job involves crunch, down 10 percent from 2017’s report, while 35 percent say they work “long or extended hours not classified as crunch,” down 9 percent from 2017.

Expectations of crunch, likewise, saw a decrease from report to report, with 42 percent saying crunch is expected at their workplace, down from 53 percent in 2017.

Respondents also had favorable feelings about how workplaces viewed diversity in 2019, with 83 percent of those polled telling the IGDA that they felt diversity in the workplace was either very important or somewhat important, while 85 percent said the same about diversity in the industry as a whole.

Most say their place of employment has non-discrimination policies in place—including a general non-discrimination policy (71 percent), equal opportunity hiring policy (61 percent), and sexual harassment policy (64 percent)—though only 59 percent say they believed those policies to be ‘adequately enforced.’ More detailed data on those categories and more can be found in the full report.

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