Elden Ring : crunch, low salaries… hell at FromSoftware?

Elden Ring : crunch, low salaries... hell at FromSoftware?

After several months of trying to get answers, our colleagues from GamesIndustry managed to get some testimonials. A handful of FromSoftware employees who have worked on Elden Ring finally spoke up, remaining anonymous. All is not rosy, of course, but obviously, all is not sad for all that at FromSoftware.

Some openly criticize the firm while others are visibly rather satisfied to work for such an important box.

Crunch and small salaries for developersElden Ring

Among the big hassles pointed out, developers talk about salaries much lower than the industry average, which makes life particularly difficult in a Tokyo where everything is overpriced. While other studios like Altus (which is of equivalent size) offers an average of 5.2 million (36,150 euros) annually, working at FromSoftware would only allow you to earn around 3.7 million yen (a little less than €24,000). Lower wages than the competition therefore, while the firm is located in the heart of Tokyo where housing and living literally costs an arm and a leg

As a bonus, the studio behind Elden Ring wouldn’t pay overtime very well. Although relatively rare according to employees, the crunch and hours outside traditional hours can happen. An employee, for example, declares having already worked “very early in the morning and late in the evening” for 2 to 3 months before the release of the game. Hours that exceed the 8 daily hours normally requested, but “which are part of the initial salary” according to GamesIndustry sources.
One of the developers also points out that the hours worked after midnight are still paid extra, but at only half the basic hourly rate, which is well below Japanese standards.

But a studio where life is good?

Even if the witnesses speak of a weaker crunch than what we have seen in other companies such as Naughty Dog or Rockstar, the pressure is still present. However, this does not seem to be a usual and widespread attitude within Fromsoftware. Other employees who have testified claim to be particularly happy to work for the studio, with one even comparing the few crunch periods to “Dark Souls bosses that are difficult to beat, but give great satisfaction when defeated” . Others don’t go with the back of the spoon and speak frankly of a “great experience” and a “chance to be able to work on quality AAA with talented and passionate colleagues”.

All is not rosy in the premises of FromSoftware and the salaries are a bit low, but some seem to find their account and the overall atmosphere of the company seems rather good. Moreover, following the great success ofElden RingBandai and FromSoftware said that all employees would quickly be entitled to a permanent salary increase of around 50,000 yen (347 euros) monthly.

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