The upcoming Project_Hel DLC for cyberpunk parkour game Ghostrunner was meant to come out on January 27th. Today, the team announced that it would need to be delayed to March 3rd, owing to the need to focus on the "health and safety" of the team, and making "worthwhile improvements".
Although we can only speculate as to the reasons behind the delay, focusing on "health and safety" is often shorthand for avoiding crunch — the controversial topic of game studios pushing their employees to work overtime and weekends to get a game finished on time, often leading to burnout, poor mental health, and even workers being fired for not agreeing to crunch in the first place.
Crunching — and its negative effects — has been documented at many major studios, from Metroid Prime's Retro Studios to Fortnite's Epic, so presumably All In Games are delaying the Ghostrunner DLC in order to not have to crunch to meet the January deadline.
Project_Hel has players step into the shoes of Hel, one of the bosses from the game, in a more combat-oriented take on the parkour gameplay. With six fresh new tracks, new enemies, new bosses, and Hel's own skill progression system, the developers describe it as a "full-blown Ghostrunner experience".
Have you been looking forward to the Ghostrunner DLC? What's your take on game dev crunch? Let us know in the comments!