Epic Games Giving Employees a Two-Week Summer Holiday
Fortnite developer Epic Games made a quiet, but somewhat unprecedented, announcement in a new blog post recently: its employees are receiving a two-week holiday from June 24 to July 8. A fortnight off.
The news was tucked at the bottom of a short post about Week 10 of Fortnite's World Cup. However, the team assured readers that any problems they may experience during this time can still be addressed, and two additional content updates are planned during this period as well.
PC Gamer's Ian Boudreau notes that Epic employees previously only received this kind of vacation over the winter holidays, making it the first time Epic has offered a summer break.
Epic didn't give a rationale for the decision, but it isn't too difficult to see where the choice came from. Polygon exposed the toxic and high-pressured crunch culture Epic created for its Fortnite team back in April, and since then, the conversation around crunch in the games industry has grown louder and more strident.
Nintendo made headlines during E3 for the opposite reason. Three separate, high-profile Nintendo employees — Senior Product Marketing Manager Bill Trinen, Deputy General Manager Eiji Aounuma, and NoA President Doug Bowser — said games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Breath of the Wild 2, and Luigi's Mansion 3 were either delayed or not given firm release dates to avoid pressuring employees too much.
This new summer holiday could be Epic's way of responding to the crunch problem by showing that it does take care of its employees. On its company profile pages, Epic notes paid vacation is unlimited for employees — but it requires approval. The summer break looks to be available for all employees and presumably, it's paid as well.
Whether companies granting extra — paid — time off for all employees will be a new trend, only time will tell. For now, at least it's a step in the right direction for Epic Games.