Path of Exile Director against crunch, Synthesis not making it into the game

Path of Exile expansion

As remarkable as Path of Exile may be, it's not without its problems. Apparently, the recent release of the Synthesis update wasn't flawless, and players let their voices heard. This prompted a reply from Grinding Gear Games Co-Founder and Path of Exile Director Chris Wilson.

Chris admits that Synthesis isn't Path of Exile's best league and isn't up to their usual standards, even if it was more work than expected. So, it isn't going to be merged with the core game for now, and there are no plans to do so in the future.

Chris goes on to detail the work that the team is up to, including the 4.0.0 mega-expansion that he sees as “critical because the next generation of Action RPGs is coming and we have to be ready.” It's clear that Grinding Gear Games has a lot at stake with this expansion.

Then there's the first ever ExileCon set for November 2019. This obviously takes a lot of work and will be used to announce 4.0.0 to the world. The South Korean launch is another worry, as the studio sees the release in this large market as “several years late” and is committed to launch alongside 3.7.0. There are a few other tasks that Grinding Gear Games has to work on simultaneously, such as improving Path of Exile's console features.

Clearly, Grinding Gear Games has a lot on its hands. Does this mean that the staff will have to work extra hours, also known as crunch, something that sadly other studios are very familiar with?

No, Chris says:

“A big topic in the gaming industry recently is development crunch. Some studios make their teams work 14 hour days to pack every patch full of the most fixes and improvements possible. […] I will not run this company that way. While there's inevitably a bit of optional paid overtime near league releases, the vast majority of a Path of Exile development cycle has great work/life balance. This is necessary to keep our developers happy and healthy for the long-term, but it does mean that some game improvements will take a while to be made.”

Bravo, I say.


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