Crunch is a 20th century relic says Harrison

Service model should make crunch a thing of the past

The former boss of Sony Worldwide Studios, Phil Harrison reckons that the increasing view of games as services should eliminate the need for excessive crunch time on games.

Speaking on a panel at this year's Develop Conference with Elite co-creator David Braben and FreeStyleGames Chris Lee, Harrison called crunch a relic of last century and said that a new service model and the considered use of middleware should consign crunch to the history books.

Harrison explained: "Crunch is a relic of the 20th Century. Products have crunch, services have a constant hum. If you're building products for Blu-ray or DVD or a particular release date, we always talk about 'finishing' them with a crescendo of energy and activity. But a service is when you launch, it's when you start. Services have their own updates and crunch therefore should disappear in the future."

He continued: "I think it's a huge part of it. When Spielberg goes to make a new film he doesn't reinvent the Panavision camera. With the exception of special effects, the traditional craft of making films hasn't really changed in the past 50 years. We throw away the Panavision camera every time we start a new game. It's getting better, the fact that middleware is more accepted way of deploying and building high-end products, if I was building a game for a major console release I would think very hard about building my own tech. I would almost certainly licence something."


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