Even the studio behind Pokémon comes in on the 4-day work week

Pokémon and their trainers welcome more free.

Picture: Play Freak / Pokémon Company

The study behind Pokémon goes over to an optional four-day work week. Game Freak on Tuesday announced the new “progressive” work policy, citing a desire to give employees more flexibility. The move is coming while other studies are implementing similar policiesand is at odds with fans’ perception of a studio that is constantly grinding away to quickly release new games like Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

“Balance between work and private life has always been a priority for us, and since the beginning of our study we have empowered our teams to find the right balance between their professional and private lives based on their unique needs thanks to unlimited vacations, hybrid work and no fixed working hours, ”wrote Game Freak in his messagevia a translation of VGC.

The policy allows staff to apply for an extra day off each week, specifically for the purpose of giving them more time to care for young children or elderly family members. However, the deadline is not paid. Employees who choose the four-day work week will see their home pay fall by 20%. It is also unclear whether the program is intended to be used at any time or only occasionally. Study as Bugsnax maker Young horses and Guardians of the Galaxy maker Eidos Montreal has also implemented a four-day work week but without cutting wages.

In February, Game Freak unveiled a new generation of Pokémon games called red and Violet coming to Switch before the end of the year. Coming so soon after January’s extensive open world-inspired Arceus and the 2021 remakes Brilliant diamond and shiny pearl, fans began to wonder about the working conditions of the company, and whether the employees were in the process of finding so many new games. The core team that worked on Sword and Shieldwas for example about 200 peoplebut there were another 800 contributors through partner studies, outsourcing, contractors, localization and other roles.

While some fans were no doubt concerned about the welfare of the creators of their favorite franchise, for others it was clearly part of the rage against the series’ semi-annualization, when certain vocal players would prefer Game Freak to take several years “free” in-between new posts. Arceus was good, but it could have been groundbreaking with twice as long in development, the thought sounds. Of course, actual game development is far more complicated than that.

It’s unclear how long Game Freak has been working on red and Violet, how many developers are involved, or whether work-life balance remains a priority on the way into the game’s holiday 2022 release. From what the study has shown so far, they seem to shape up nicely.