The Covid-19 pandemic may not be over, but 3 years later, it seems society is ready to pretend it’s over. But with Riot recently courting criticism from eliminating vaccine and mask requirements as it asked developers to go back to the office (and Activision quickly reversing their own plans to end vaccine requirements), Bungie has decided that there’s actually no good reason why video games can’t be made remotely.
Last night, the Destiny developer announced that most current and future features will be available remotely or in a hybrid form, as long as you live in what he calls “Bungie-approved remote locations.”
Bungie is going digital first. Most current and future roles will be fully qualified remotely in these states, with more coming soon! https://t.co/5Jv3FZRv28 pic.twitter.com/Ot43z9tgZmApril 12, 2022
working on a reply, Bungie’s Matt Purcell explained that state restrictions are largely due to tax and labor laws, things that take “time and effort to set up state by state”. That said, it is possible that over time the selection will expand, and a handful of functions in Bungie job board are now available remotely from anywhere in the US.
It’s a welcome contrast to broader social movements to force workers back into the office, both in and out of games, and a reminder that there’s nothing inherent in games that requires them to be played in a crowded building. Over the past 2-3 years, developers and publishers have struggled to adjust, and many games have suffered massive delays – but they haven’t stopped coming out altogether.
More than just working under Covid, remote access opens up access to developers who may not live near expensive cities or who may not be able to work onsite for various reasons. Bungie isn’t the first studio to do this, although it’s definitely one of the biggest, and we hope to encourage more in that direction.