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"Best Friend Forever," Image: Starcolt

Game developers face more post-release work than ever before, a trend resulting in unrealistic expectations for ongoing support, said Starcolt studio and creative director Lucy Morris during a recent GDC session.

Why it matters: Development has shifted away from the idea that a game’s release is the end of work.

  • "It plunges us straight into this games as continual service cycle that feels like a hangover after the already intense period of development," said Morris during her talk, "Launch Day: The Emotional Cost of Releasing a Game."
  • "We were glad it was out, but it wasn't done," Morris said of the team's game, "Best Friend Forever." "We pushed the button and released, but it's never done."

Starcolt had to delay its game three times due to complicated factors like the pandemic. But this stretched out that development cycle for the team.

  • "As developers you understand that a delay just means a longer time until the path of release," Morris said. "It means a long time working on the same project and a longer time before you see the revenue generation from the game, which is, you know, as a studio owner is an extra stressor."
  • "Post-launch on top of pre-production is painful," she said. "It's not just about releasing a game, while you're knee deep in this pool of love that is post-launch. You also have to have the brain space to be directing pre-production on the next thing."

What's next: "We obviously need to create a more sustainable system where we can work on these things, hopefully, and not create such unrealistic expectations for ourselves," Morris said.

  • "I think it can't be understated that we're creating emotional work at a large emotional cost to ourselves, which may not be immediately apparent."

Go deeper

"Aeon Must Die!" stirs up controversy amid release

Image courtesy of Limestone Games

Beat 'em up "Aeon Must Die!"'s release on Thursday stirred up controversy around accusations from former employees that the game was created under toxic work conditions and ultimately stolen from its creators.

Driving the news: Former Limestone Games developers, now working under a new studio called Mishura Games, published a lengthy statement calling on Limestone and publisher Focus Entertainment to "complete their legal responsibilities."

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.

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