The online shooter Fortnite is still as popular as no other game. For Epic Games, the title is a goldmine that makes those involved happy. But not all employees speak highly about Fortnite. On the contrary, some developers are now making serious allegations against Epic and the working conditions there.
The third-person shooter was a blessing for Epic Games, especially the free F2P Battle Royale versions brings them lots of revenue. One might think that the game studio is investing part of the enormous revenue in new staff, but this does not seem to be the case, or at least only partially.
Because according to a report by the renowned gaming blog Polygon, the working conditions at Epic Games are really disastrous. The blog based its report, mind you, not on the statements of a few disappointed (ex-) employees, but on information collected after a dozen interviews conducted in a period of several months and these paint a fairly clear picture.
Current and former employees report that 70-hour weeks are the norm, and some even talk about 100-hour weeks (one week has 168 hours). All this is officially “voluntary” and the overtime is also paid. However, this voluntariness is expected by employees. Employees in quality assurance and customer service spoke of a “stressful and hostile” work environment.
Developers reported that workplaces are dominated by anxiety and that they suffer from health problems due to the constant 70-hour weeks. A developer said: “I work an average 70 hours a week,” said one employee. “There’s probably at least 50 or even 100 other people at Epic working those hours. I know people who pull 100-hour weeks. The company gives us unlimited time off, but it’s almost impossible to take the time. If I take time off, the workload falls on other people, and no one wants to be that guy.”
The problem stems primarily from the “constant patches” – the people in charge are focused on keeping Fortnite popular as long as possible, “especially with all the new competition that’s coming in”. Epic has not denied the report per se and admitted that 100-hour weeks existed, but are “incredibly rare”. If this happens, then they immediately take countermeasures to prevent a recurrence.