This is a pretty major milestone in AAA video game development: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy developer Eidos-Montreal and Eidos-Sherbrooke have announced a shift to a four-day workweek, meaning 4 days of 8 hours each for a 32-hour workweek. It is not four days of 10 hours each, and work conditions and employee salaries will not change. Head of Studio David Anfossi explained that the shift to a 4-day workweek at Eidos-Montreal and Eidos-Sherbrooke is “another step towards the embodiment of the studio’s values, building a healthy, creative, and sustainable work environment for our employees.” Starting within the next few weeks, employees will work Monday through Thursday.
A Q&A with Anfossi outlines the goals of increasing collaboration and productivity within the smaller 4-day workweek window, and he explains that the move was in part inspired by what Eidos-Montreal and Sherbrooke had seen with regard to remote work amid COVID. “With remote working which has transformed the way we collaborate, we had already started an important cultural transition with the implementation of a rest period, access to a personal financial advisor, access to a telemedicine platform, reimbursement of mental health care and physical activity costs,” said Anfossi in a sentence that is very clearly a marketing pitch to recruit more talent.
Speaking of which, while there’s no denying the benevolence of this change, it is also most definitely motivated by a desire to stay competitive in luring more talent to the studios. Montreal has fast become an enormous hotbed of game development, with numerous AAA and indie developers. As Anfossi himself says, “The studio aspires to an optimal attraction and retention of its talents, effective recruitment, a reduction in the rate of absenteeism and the rate of sickness, (and) better management of stress and anxiety related to professional performance, while improving the quality of deliverables made by the Eidossians of both studios.”