Activision QA Tester Urges OSHA To Pay Attention To The Destructive History Of Crunch Culture Across The Industry

"Crunch ruins lives."

Anthony Jones
By Anthony Jones, News Editor September 30, 2022
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Activision QA Worker Crunch

Amber La Macchia, a senior QA tester at Activision and video game industry representative for the Communications Workers of America, has been at the Department of Labor's Workers' Voice Summit in Washington D.C. to advocate for efforts to make the industry healthier, safe, and crunch-free.

Throughout the three-day conference, she and others from the industry in attendance are educating OSHA on the health and safety risks concerning crunch culture. La Macchia hopes it sparks officials to pay attention to the undeniably crushing project timelines workers must battle while putting themselves at risk.

"There's this perception that crunch is necessary and unavoidable, or that complaining about crunch is odd in the face of other injustices - like it's an insignificant issue - but crunch ruins lives," La Macchia told Polygon. "This is something we don't have to face as a very young industry, and because it's a young industry, things are not locked in stone."

It's no secret that crunch culture in the video game industry is atrocious. We've seen the Xbox Game Studios Head deny Bethesda had terrible crunch culture despite allegations and learned the success of Fortnite was only possible due to endless crunch. La Macchia's approach to OSHA doesn't stare at one case over the other, instead charging the officials with regulating sweeping changes across the industry.

"Crunch not only affects the livelihood of workers, but also affects the quality of the product and culture of a company," she continues. "I don't see why anyone would object to trying to eliminate crunch, no matter where they sit."

Do you think crunch culture will ever go away or become not the norm?

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In this article: Activision, Activision Blizzard.

About the Author

Anthony Jones
Anthony Jones, News Editor
Anthony Jones is a gaming journalist and late 90s kid in love with retro games and the evolution of modern gaming. He started at Mega Visions as a news reporter covering the latest announcements, rumors, and fan-made projects. FFXIV has his heart in the MMORPGs scene, but he's always excited to analyze and lose hours to ambitious and ambiguous MMOs that gamers follow.

Discussion (1)

viper 1 month ago
Probably won't go away and if it did, it might not end the way they are expecting. Banning crunch (READ: overtime) in the west would raise the risk of publishers outsourcing development overseas. Think it's not on the table? Microsoft's second largest development center is in India. At 8000 employees (compared to Redmond's 50,000) I'm pretty sure that one is doing a lot more than localization.


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