You really should see the comments to the story about, “Rockstar developers speak out about 100-hours work week comment”. The universal sentiment is intense work hours is a problem in the video game software development arena. You will also find that situation in other software development situations besides those involving video games. The hours can be intense and the burnout can be quick and chastening. I looked through the comments and I could relate so well to many of them that I experienced not shock but humor. Everyone’s favorite was mine too in which the person quoted that the extra time was due to the immense pride a person takes in their work and not outside pressure and such obligation to quality can be a powerful motivator. The author of that comment then responds to that quote in which he lays out that certainly the commitment to avoid being replaced by others pushing hard to get into the video game industry can’t be the true motivator can it?
Yes, there is a company named Rockstar that make video games. However, the term “Rockstar developer” is widespread in software development. True, people do criticize them and others avoid them like the plague and in many instances, they are overused and under-resourced but on balance, people who are legitimately in this category provide a valuable input to the process. Also known as 10x developers, these are persons who, in the best circumstances, can greatly enhance a team. However, in less optimal situations they are a mixed blessing. On the one hand, they can be a much needed bandage but on the other, they become a crutch that serves as a barrier to overall team growth. In many cases, the cost is burn out as described in the article, ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ Raises Questions of Dev Burnout. Again, although that article lays out the concern in the context of video games, it is not limited to that arena but is present in other types of software development as well.