The Blackbird Interactive Studio (Hardspace: Shipbreaker) goes to the four-day week

The four-day week how kindly to impose itself as a major argument for studios wishing to keep their strengths and to attract new ones. Blackbird Interactive – Vancouver-based Studio and Head of Titles As Hardspace: Shipbreaker, Crossfire: Legion and Current Work on HomeWorld 3 \ – has just announced its intention to put it in place in April of This year.

Hardspace: Shipbreaker Webseries | Ep 1 - The Approach
“_Sans our team, we are nothing. They are the most important asset of our studio and their mental health is the most important thing for them and so for us. Professional exhaustion in our sector is real and is a common problem. Worse still, it is a problem that can not be treated effectively, but only prevented “begins by explaining Rob Cunningham, CEO of the studio and one of its three founders. It continues: “We have therefore tested a four-day work week with several project teams and collected all possible data before and after: code and content submissions, task estimates compared to actual figures, surveys on the Mental health, verbal comments, interviews, and closely followed the results. The results were staggering. Productivity has not dropped and everything else has improved literally: quality, efficiency, efficiency, moral, interpersonal relationships, etc. There was a superabundance of positivity. Make the four-day week our new policy to move forward was an absolute evidence. “.

Blackbird Interactive is not the first studio to choose the four-day week to ensure the well-being of its employees. Eidos Montreal and Sherbrooke had also announced the implementation of this new work organization in October of last year. Four days for 32 hours of work, instead of the 40 hours in force so far: the measure, discussed at the national level in some countries, is here implemented by the companies themselves. At Blackbird Interactive, this decision was made after being tested during a test period in situ: “We are an agile company and, in the space of a few weeks, we have set up a project pilot project. Four days for two of our projects. We are aware that we need to create systems that provide some flexibility to our employees so that they can flourish both professionally and personnel._ “tells Pam Lee, responsible for human resources within the company.

The idea of ​​the four-day week is literally from our employees. When we asked our employees to give us their opinion on loyalty ideas, the four-day week was by far the most popular.

PAM Lee, Human Resources Manager at Blackbird Interactive

The studio further explains that this reflection was initiated during the confinement period, which puts its teams on the test of a huge stress by seriously complicating the task: “Our team was subject to enormous pressure and at the time. Edge of the professional exhaustion due to the nature of home work during a critical period of production, with the additional stress of COVID. Once the test is complete, it was obvious that the four-day week has saved us. I do not think we could have happened where we are today without her._ “explains Jessica Klyne, main producer on Hardspace: Shipbreaker .

Of course, this choice is not completely selfless. On the one hand, it responds to an issue of retention of the talents used by society, the maintenance of their well-being and therefore their productivity. But also the recruitment of new developers in an increasingly competitive environment where promises to fulfill work and balance between personal and professional lives are increasingly highlighted by companies in the sector. Blackbird do not hide but nevertheless evokes its wish to see this form of organization generalize in the future: “ The arrangements that respect the balance between professional and private life will absolutely constitute a competitive advantage for Blackbird, but It is also important to share what we have learned. We would be very happy to see other studios join us in this healthier and more efficient way to create games.


Hardspace: ShipBreaker – Gameplay presentation