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"Bugsnax." Image: Young Horses

Bugsnax developer Young Horses is permanently altering its workweeks to only four days in an effort to create a healthier work-life balance at its studio.

Why it matters: The video game industry is known for intense crunch, but moving away from even 40-hour workweeks is proof that model doesn't need to be the norm.

  • The team of eight switched to four-day workweeks in July as part of a unanimously decided trial run, Young Horses co-founder and president Phil Tibitoski told Axios.
  • The team's production schedule was already set to an expected 35 hours per week for each full-time person; transitioning to 32 hours only meant a three-hour loss. "Might as well give people the peace of mind that they can relax doing their own thing on their own time than have someone feel guilty for doing it at work."
  • "We know what we have to get done and by when, or we're making our own schedule entirely and things get done when they get done."

Yes but: That transition is easier due to the team's size.

  • "It was easier for us to implement because to measure our small team's output is simple relative to those bigger studios, so our trial period and decision-making is faster than a studio who has to get buy-in from so many departments and investors."
  • A studio goal has always been to foster "a healthy, creatively fulfilling business that supports our lifestyles,'" Tibitoski said. "Those lifestyles being ones where growth of the studio is not very important and sustainability of the happiness of the people who work here is much more our focus."

Tibitoski told Axios that he believes a four-day workweek is possible at larger studios — "but you have to have buy-in from the top and their goals/processes/expectations have to be adapted to support the change."

  • There are "people who will always want more, who are never satisfied with what they have, and who will sacrifice the well-being of their employees to get there."

The bottom line: "If we're all happier to be at work because we're well-rested, I think we're going to be better off in the long run."

Go deeper

Dontnod shifts to permanent work-from-home policy

"Life Is Strange." Image: Dontnod Entertainment

Dontnod, the developer behind "Life Is Strange" and "Tell Me Why," will allow employees in its Paris and Montreal studios to decide if they'd like to work from the office or their homes.

Why it matters: Embracing remote work reduces industry gatekeeping and grants workers more control over their careers.

CBS launching new production studio led by Susan Zirinsky

CBS

CBS on Wednesday announced the creation of a new, internal content studio that will be led by former CBS News President Susan Zirinsky.

Why it matters: Zirinsky stepped down from her role at CBS News earlier this year. It was rumored that she would remain with CBS in a role that focused more heavily on content production over newsroom management.

9 mins ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."