Ubisoft says "massive crunch" wasn't needed to develop Assassin's Creed Odyssey


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In an interview with Gamasutra, Ubisoft Quebec managing director Patrick Klaus says that despite the huge size and scope of Odyssey, the company never made its staff work mandatory overtime.

"While we can always do better, I can tell you hand on heart that [Assassin's Creed Odyssey] hasn't required a massive crunch, like maybe some of the triple-As from five or ten years ago," said Klaus.

"We can still always do better, but we have managed pretty well to succeed in delivering a game of huge magnitude which is hitting a good quality [level], while making sure that our teams are not burnt out and disgusted with working in games."

Rockstar came under fire after company co-founder Dan Houser made a remark about staff at the studio working 100-hour weeks. He later explained that it was a reference to a three-week time frame involving himself and senior RDR2 writers, but some current and former employees said they often worked well over 50- and 60-hour weeks.

Rockstar has now said that overtime at its UK Q&A studio is now optional, but the PR damage had already been done, which is perhaps why Ubisoft took the opportunity to reveal it doesn’t embrace crunch culture—at least not anymore.

“It’s something we were very, very bad at 15 years ago, but as the industry is maturing, we are becoming better at managing our teams, managing our scope,” said assassin's Creed Odyssey's Senior Producer Marc-Alexis Côté. “Not every studio will grow in that way, not every team will grow in that way, but it’s one of the commitments we made to our team when we started: that we would manage the scope of the game, that it was super-ambitious, but that every two weeks we would reassess it with them to always make sure that it is doable.”

Ubisoft’s executives said there were times when devs did put in extra hours over Odyssey’s three-year development, but doing so was a team decision and those that did overtime were encouraged to slow down once it was over. "They have a brilliant idea, they want to implement it, so they'll push for a couple of weeks and then rest a little bit," said Côté.

While working an excessive number of hours is associated with many professions, video game development has long been considered one of the worst. It’s unlikely that many gamers would refuse to buy a title because of its maker’s reputation for overworking its staff, but the bad publicity and the fact it could discourage people from entering the game industry mean more studios are addressing the problem.

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Black Slasher

Posts: 30   +26
And the game on PC does a ridiculous gpu memory schedule that eats a lot of CPU, always based on the speed of your hard drive/ssd. The faster, the hunger. -_-
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Posts: 972   +425
Not surprising considering Ubisoft churns out the same games over & over & over & over & over & over...
I agree... Remember when AC first came out? It was going to be a 3 Part game... That was about 10 Years ago 8 Versions before.
When you have a hit, why stop making it over & over & over when people will buy it. CoD found that out years ago. So did BF.


Posts: 972   +425
One of the more real questions should be are they getting paid for that overtime? I know in the past reports had come out that some employees weren't even being paid even though they put in 60-80 hr work weeks.
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Posts: 349   +162
At least rockstar games can make a game that is actually optimized "halfway" decently for the most part for the pc.

cant even hold 60 fps in odyssey @ 1080p w/ lowest settings but I can max gta 5 mostly @ 1080p and hold above 60 forever. doesn't matter what year the game came out. I can compare countless ubisoft games to others that look way better and or better optimized. ubisoft is trash when it comes to performance optimization. don't expect an ubisoft game to run @ full blast settings when it's new unless you have one of the latest iterations of what is considered a flagship graphics card at the time.


Posts: 1,282   +606
Guys, I tried all of AC games. I abandoned all of them after an hour of playing except black flag and odyssey. I highly re commend odyssey, no it is nothing like everyone's favorite witchher 3 but it is a worthy clone of ubi.