The impact of COVID-19 has affected the game industry in major ways, including those which aren't yet being felt by consumers, and Remedy Entertainment - the studio behind last year's critically acclaimed action title, Control (opens in new tab) - has shed new light on what it's been like to work in interactive entertainment amidst a pandemic.
In a new interview with Edge Magazine (opens in new tab), which you can read in their latest issue #346 (opens in new tab), Remedy communications director Thomas Puha revealed that the Finnish studio began the transition to remote work as early as February, when their colleagues in Asia warned about the "need to take this seriously.’”
“After two weeks, people were like, ‘Oh, I think I’m only at like 70 or 80 per cent [productivity], is that a concern?’” Puha says. “And I’m like, that’s zero concern! Even if you’re at 20 per cent, because the family is at home or whatever, don’t worry about it.”
Some of the biggest challenges so far, explains Puha, have been working with huge amounts of data across a variety of internet speeds, especially for employees working from home with a family who are also using up their house bandwidth at the same time.
"When your build sizes are somewhere in the 50 to 60 gigabyte range on an internal company network, you can usually just throw computers at it, and it’s all right. But the amount of data you need to move... things that took minutes in the office take hours, or even a day. It’s about the amount of data we can push through our servers in the office.”
Remedy recently outlined its plans (opens in new tab) for the future beyond the Control DLC (opens in new tab) it's set to release later this year, with aims to launch several original new titles for next gen consoles the PS5 (opens in new tab) and Xbox Series X (opens in new tab). It sounds as though the studio has adjusted to remote working pretty well, albeit not without some hiccups along the way, so here's hoping those goals remain on track despite the ongoing spread of the virus.
To read more about Remedy's and other studio's response to creating games within global lockdown measures, be sure to subscribe to Edge Magazine (opens in new tab) now, where you can get every new issue delivered straight to your door.
For more, check out more upcoming PS4 games (opens in new tab) for 2020 and beyond.