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GCG Feature: 'Working Without Crunch'

Relentless Software (Buzz! series) takes a strong stand on preventing crunch time, and director Andrew Eades, spoke at the Game Career Fair in London recently
Relentless Software is one of only a few game studios to make a hard and fast company policy against crunch time. Andrew Eades, director of Relentless, spoke at the Game Career Fair in London recently about how Relentless has built a quality-of-life issues into its company philosophy. GameCareerGuide.com, Gamasutra.com's sister web site, attended the event and has a new feature article covering its highlights. “The company started with a mere 12 employees in 2003, and it didn't begin to really accumulate steam until it secured some publisher funding from Sony. The first title to come out of the relationship was Buzz!: The Music Quiz, a social interactive quiz game for the PlayStation 2. Relentless has since established a franchise of other Buzz! games, allowing the company to find a steady source of income and work flow. The Buzz! titles have done well enough to be continued through to this day; in October, the company released Buzz!: The Hollywood Quiz. Nowadays, with steady projects and a confident source of income, the company has grown to more than 65 employees. While it may not be churning out next-gen console games with high-end graphics for high-definition televisions, the company takes pride in the fact that, in total, the Buzz! games have sold millions of units -- without the employees working obscene over time. 'When I was in Dundee,' Eades says reminiscing, 'I was working on a game called Lemmings, and it was in real trouble,' with the team working drastic overtime on weekends. 'We eventually shipped it, months and months late -- but it shipped. And there was a launch party. And we all got a brown envelope full of cash,' he says. 800 British pounds, to be exact. 'I felt great until the boss of the company turned up in this,' he says, showing a picture of an Italian sports car. 'I felt like I got slightly short-changed there. And that kind of encapsulates the industry's problems ... Some people get cash, and some people get Ferraris.' What's worse is that Eades and his co-workers were the ones who put in the overtime, stretching themselves and sacrificing their personal lives to ship the game on time and in good form, and yet the executive, more of a nine-to-five guy, was the one who got the car. The £800 bonus was suddenly put into sharp focus.” You can now read the full article on GameCareerGuide.com.

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