After reports of crunch time overwork and gender discrimination, NetherRealm Studios has started investigating the concerns brought up by employees.
The studio has also cut back on overtime hours, according to a source who spoke with Variety. The studio gave employees the weekend off, and have let everyone leave after a normal work day.
The current employee, who has asked to remain anonymous, said that a studio-wide meeting was held on Thursday following the aftermath of last week, when employees and contractors spoke out about their experiences working for NetherRealm. Reports of crunch (mandatory overtime) and a toxic work environment, including gender discrimination and harassment, surfaced last week at the studio, which is the developer behind the “Mortal Kombat” and “Injustice” games.
During the studio-wide meeting, employees were informed of how the studio will move forward with addressing concerns.
“HR will be sending out a survey for employees to fill out,” the employee wrote in an email to Variety. “These will then be sent out to WB [“Warner Bros.” the parent company of NetherRealm] for use in creating smaller focus groups among departments to further discuss the problems and concerns/complaints we have.”
It is not clear at this point if the survey is being filled out by both full-time and contract employees of NetherRealm.
Variety’s source maintained that the comparatively “lax” hours of the last few days, which have functioned more like traditional work hours, will not continue as NetherRealm has a major patch coming up for Mortal Kombat 11 which will require crunch hours to return.
While it’s nice to know the studio is looking into things, and has cut back on the mandatory overtime, if things go back to crunch for every update there won’t be much progress. Mortal Kombat 11, like many live games, requires near constant updating.