Life is Strange developer Dontnod Entertainment has announced that it plans to offer its developers the choice to either work from home permanently, or work on-site with an annual allotment of remote working days. According to a statement from Dontnod HR Director Matthieu Hoffman – shared by gamesindustry.biz – Dontnod had been discussing the option before the pandemic began:
"Although some thought had been given prior to the health crisis, we realized that working from home is a work mode that is more suitable for some people, as it offers a work-life balance adapted to their needs," explains Hoffman. "So, we designed the FROG (Fully Remote Organization) program to offer the best working conditions, regardless of the preferred mode."
Dontnod has also claimed that adopting the FROG model will allow the developer to be more diverse when hiring for new roles. Dontnod's Montreal office will now hire people from anywhere within Quebec and Dontnod's office in Paris will now hire anyone applying from within France. It sounds like a win-win for pretty much every party involved.
The pandemic has inarguably made game development difficult over the past year, with many developers having to quickly adapt to remote work on mass. Some studios haven't adapted quite well, Atlus being one of them. The developer confirmed earlier this year that voice lines for Persona 5 Strikers had to be recorded remotely, and Ann Takamaki voice actress Erika Harlacher explained that the game's Western release was delayed due to these complications.
Thankfully, it seems like Dontnod Entertainment has embraced the work at home model, and more options for developers is always a good thing. The fact that Dontnod was potentially preparing for remote work is maybe one reason the developer doesn't seem to be as affected as the rest of the industry, but it's proof that developers working remotely is a realistic option.
For now, Dontnod's next project is getting ever closer to release. Life is Strange: True Colors is still expected to launch on September 10 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Google Stadia, with a Switch version planned for later this year. You can learn more about the game in our preview here, or you can wait for the full review which should be dropping in the next couple of days.