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UK studio Chucklefish boosts wages to help offset cost of living crisis

"We don't need to grind ourselves into dust to create art."

Chris Kerr

September 7, 2022

2 Min Read
A smiling Chucklefish plush

UK developer Chucklefish is increasing wages by £4,000 ($4,500) to help employees cope with the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Chucklefish comms manager Alexis Trust broke the news on Twitter, and said the wage bump is a company-wide initiative that follows a 10 percent wage increase that was issued in April 2022.

The move aims to (partially) offset the soaring cost of living in the UK, with surging energy prices, rising inflation, bumper food bills, and stagnating pay leaving many struggling to make ends meet.

Offering more background on the current makeup of Chucklefish, Trust explained the company is a majority women studio -- with women currently accounting for around 60 percent of all workers -- that pivoted to a four-day work week with no pay decrease almost a year ago.

Trust said the switch to a four-day week has been "incredibly successful," which tracks with what we heard last year when we spoke to a number of developers about the impact of shorter weeks, and that Chucklefish also has a "no-crunch policy."

"I only share this partially as a humble(ish)brag, but mostly because I've seen it work, I know it's possible, and I know we don't need to grind ourselves into dust to create art," said Trust. "This team is talented and passionate. Don't let some fossil tell you that you need to crunch to care."

Those comments comes just days after The Callisto Protocol director appeared to promote crunch on social media, before swiftly backtracking.

Although it seems like Chucklefish is in a good place at the moment, the studio has previously been accused of using unpaid labor when working on Starbound.

The UK company is perhaps best know, however, for its work on Stardew Valley, which came to an end in March this year when Chucklefish handed back the majority of publishing duties over to developer ConcernedApe.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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