A recent feature over on Polygon has highlighted the “stressful” work environment at Epic Games, due to the popularity of its free-to-play battle royale game Fortnite.

Due to the explosive growth of the multi-platform title, dozens of current and former employees and contractors have reportedly worked “in excess of 70-hour weeks” – with some even reaching the 100-hour mark to maintain the game and develop future updates. Although working overtime was voluntary, long hours were supposedly expected of employees. For contractors, it was a paid deal but one that was fueled on fear.

A number of employees Polygon spoke to – who wished to remain anonymous – described the pressures of the work environment:

“I work an average 70 hours a week. 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 biggest problem is that we’re patching all the time. The executives are focused on keeping Fortnite popular for as long as possible, especially with all the new competition that’s coming in.”

An Epic representative said these “100-hour work weeks” were “incredibly rare” and would “immediately remedy them to avoid recurrence”. According to other sources, Epic employees and contractors operate on an “implicit understanding that working crunch” is expected. Another anonymous source provided the following statement:

“I know some people who just refused to work weekends, and then we missed a deadline because their part of the package wasn’t completed, and they were fired. People are losing their jobs because they don’t want to work these hours.”

To read the full story, click here.

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