UPDATE, April 15: The original source of this news has, since the original time of writng, retracted his statement on the death of Miguel Parra. "i got some details of what happened during IJ2 wrong, and i apologize for that," said the Twitter account.
The source had access to limited information and, though the crunch culture does exist and is - from the sound of it - quite prominent at Netherrealm, we now know for certain that it's not quite as menacing as the original source would have had us believe. With that, the original statement of this article is also being retracted.
Original Text: Injustice 2 was, as fans will recall, released in dedication to a certain Miguel Parra - a senior software engineer at NetherRealm who also worked as a developer on the game. The truth, however, might be much direr than just that.
Netherrealm crunch death may have happened during the development of Injustice 2, according to sources, and this death was that of none other than Miguel Parra himself. It goes without saying that, if true, this paints the game's dedication to Parra in a grim light.
This story broke thanks to the Jiminy Snackmouth Twitter, which is maintained by a former NetherRealm employee. Speaking on the matter of crunch in video game industry - which has already been established as a serious issue - the user had a fair few words to share about Parra and his tragic demise.
"I forgot to mention Miguel, who just died. at his desk, during crunch. this was after I left, on mkx I think. there's no doubt in my mind he'd be alive if it weren't for this absolutely insane practice," they said, correcting their statement to say that it was Injustice 2 that Parra was working on in a later Tweet. According to them, the tendency to crunch dev time only grew worse over the years since they left. Not that it was milk and honey while they were still there: "working at NetherRealm on MK9 nearly killed me. I didn't sleep more than 4 hours for months. from january to april 2011 i was at work more than half of the time."
The user discussed crunch culture at large, too: "i didn't get the surprise about 100 hour weeks at rockstar, because no shit?". If all of this is true, then it shines even more light onto the problematic game dev workloads and work-hours. Is unionization the next step in game industry? We suppose only time will tell.