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Bandai Namco Mobile trials a four-day working week

"This model has shown significant mental health improvements."

Bandai Namco Mobile is trialling a four-day working week.

As part of its "very flat, open, and collaborative culture" in Barcelona, the team says it is "excited to challenge and push for this innovation in both our new IPs and how we operate as a studio".

"Work-life balance has always been a priority for us and since the beginning of our studio, we have empowered our teams to strike the right balance between their professional and private life based on their unique needs thanks to unlimited holidays, hybrid working, and no set working hours," a statement, posted on Medium and LinkedIn, explains.

"Trialling the move to the four-day workweek is the next logical step for us to continue striving to reduce stress, increase creativity and enable our teams to do their very best work. This model has shown significant mental health improvements and a reduction of mental health days off by employees, as an industry that has close links with burn-out, wellbeing is a top priority for us and has been a key factor in us adopting this change."

As part of a six-month trial, which kicked off earlier this month, Fridays will be a designated "non-working day" for all Bandai Namco employees. All salaries and benefits will remain the same.

"Coupled with an extra day of rest, we are confident that we will have the same (or more!) output in fewer working hours," the team says, confirming that it will "share [its] findings" with us once the trial is up.

The trial comes after numerous reports of crunch and poor working conditions continue to haunt the games industry. In January, a new report detailed a long-term culture of crunch at TT Games, the developer behind the main Lego series of licensed titles. More than 20 TT Games staff - past and present - described working for bosses who reportedly expected their teams to crunch as part and parcel of game production, ever since the studio's founding in 2005.

In a more positive report about crunch, however, Guerrilla Games confirmed it chose to delay the release of Horizon Forbidden West in part to avoid its employees having to crunch.

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Vikki Blake

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When​ ​her friends​ ​were falling in love with soap stars, Vikki was falling in love with​ ​video games. She's a survival horror survivalist​ ​with a penchant for​ ​Yorkshire Tea, men dressed up as doctors and sweary words. She struggles to juggle a fair-to-middling Destiny/Halo addiction​ ​and her kill/death ratio is terrible.

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