Xbox Exec Claims Crunch At Bethesda Is A Thing Of The Past

In a new Kotaku report, the outlet has shared details of a recent all-hands meeting featuring Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty. He touched on various aspects of the Xbox business, including the continued handling of its studios and how the company is working on integration with the likes of Bethesda and other big teams.

According to the report (which claims to have seen video evidence of the meeting), the Xbox exec spoke about crunch culture, particularly at Bethesda, and how he believes it's changing as time goes by.

"Crunch culture is…if you go back 10 years ago, it’s a little unfair to put that on one studio [...] It was just part of the industry. I don’t say that to justify it, I’m just saying it was part of the culture of the industry. I literally slept under my desk early in my career. And we looked at that like a badge of honor."

"I know from talking to Bethesda leadership that we do not have a situation where people are crunching and we’ve got this bullying atmosphere…I’m confident about that."

Starfield's delay should be a good sign that the teams are being given the time they need to finish up on Xbox projects these days, compared to a recent report that suggested developers were crunching on Fallout 76 back in 2018.

Booty also spoke broadly about conditions at Xbox Games Studios, assuring employees that "there’s avenues for them to report that [employee concerns] anonymously back to us that goes through HR".