The final battle in Marvel’s Spider-Man was originally supposed to feature a much bigger fight against the villainous Doc Ock… but it was reduced in size.
Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price has revealed that Marvel’s Spider-Man rethought its finale in order to avoid forcing its employees into crunch.
“Originally, we were going to have a boss battle that took you all over New York City, and it was way out of scope,” he said (via GamesIndustry). “The temptation is to just brute force it, put our heads down and run through the brick wall. But the team took a step back and thought about what was important to the players, and that was the breakdown of the relationship between Peter and his former mentor, Doctor Octavius.”
By reducing the size and scope of the fight, Insomniac was able to reduce the workload on its team while also making the ending a more personal affair.
“They rethought the fight and realised they didn’t need to destroy half of New York to pay off the relationship,” he explained. “In fact, it would have worked against what we were going for. As a result, the final battle is much more up close and personal and has a far bigger emotional impact than planned — and it fit within the time we had.”
“This permission to be creative within restraints needs to come from the leaders, who set the tone for the project,” he added. “When we all repeat the message, that it’s okay to try new things that fail, it gets repeated and becomes part of the culture. I see this in action, and it’s incredible when it works, but it takes constant repetition because I think we default to old habits.”
“Achieving a balance between excellence and wellbeing is a crucial goal,” he said.
Of course, Insomniac has previously spoken out about crunch culture in video games, claiming that their hit PS5 exclusive Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was made without crunch.
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