Atomic Heart developer Mundfish reportedly crunched and mistreated employees

Another unfortunate instance of a studio overworking their employees.

Image via Mundfish

In a revealing message published on the ResetEra forum, user Messofanego has shined a light on the inhumane and unethical working conditions that developer Mundfish had in place during the development of their game called Atomic Heart. The report, which is based on a post from Balancy CTO Andrey Apanasik, noted that “there were a lot of landmarks and dates but they were all too optimistic,” referring to the development process of the game which often promised unrealistic goals and premature dates.

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According to the additional statements referenced in the forum post, the time crunches that were experienced throughout the creation of Atomic Heart were mainly caused by investors wanting to see a build of the product every three months. Although the builds were successfully shown, reworks would frequently be demanded instead of allowing the developers to work on the foundation.

This pressure that the development team often experienced was also exacerbated by the constant and unnecessary work evaluations conducted by upper management upon reaching a certain date. These “performance reviews” would then be followed by mass layoffs and, subsequently, a wave of new hires. The report additionally noted that, “sometimes people were fired in one day to give their piece of iron to new employees.”

Based on the statements made, Mundfish employees were also unfairly compensated, even though many of the employees worked more than eight hours a day. This fact was further corroborated by an image that was included in the post, which showed a message from upper management stating that they would “change pay for weekend work from 1.5x to 1x.”

Even though Atomic Heart is set to release in early 2023, it seems that the constant reworks, atrocious working conditions, and lack of a clear development plan will make this a less than ideal release for those at Mundfish.