Practice in the field of video game creation which consists of working excessively on a video game.
This may involve working outside of a company’s working hours, in the evenings, on weekends, for an extended period of time. Some crunches have indeed lasted for months or even years in some cases.
These are abusive practices of employers or managers on their employees, so that the video game comes out on a specific date, thus coinciding with a release of a console, a release of a movie or the end of the year holidays, for example.
During these excessive work periods, it is rare for employees to be paid by companies. Over the years, this practice has been denounced more and more and is less socially accepted.
Naturally, “crunch” a game has impacts on health, social life, the family of developers who agree to do it.