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Gaming Studios are Hosting More ‘Digital Detox’ Retreats to Combat ‘Crunch Culture’

Gaming Studios are Hosting More ‘Digital Detox’ Retreats to Combat ‘Crunch Culture’
14 March 2023 Samantha Anderson

Gaming companies are ahead of the curve in their mobilisation to promote staff wellbeing through company-wide ‘digital detox’ getaways, reports Center Parcs’ Conferences and Events.

A popular haven for employees to unplug and reset, the short-break outdoor adventure destination offers corporate away-days and retreats to suit the needs of all businesses. Since re-opening its doors last year, demand for tech-free excursions from video game developers has exploded.

Center Parcs’ Conferences and Events has seen a 72% increase in corporate getaway enquiries from IT companies between 2019 and 2023, with the average value of bookings doubling across the same period. In 2023 alone, Woburn Forest received over 130 enquiries from tech companies, making IT the largest enquiring sector for this location and accounting for 23% of all confirmed revenue.

Among the plethora of delegates to have enjoyed the newly refurbished conferences and events facility The Venue are gaming companies, Space Ape Games and FuturLab. Seeking innovative measures to carve out a healthier work/life balance for their workforce and prevent burnout, gaming companies are increasingly organising nature-rich escapes to retain their best talent and reward hard work.

‘Crunch culture’ continues to permeate the gaming industry, with many professionals working overtime at 65-80 hours per week during the development of a new game – sacrificing nights and weekends in the lead up to its release.

The negative impact of this mode of work on the health and wellbeing of game developers is non-negligeable, and businesses industry-wide are acutely aware of the adverse consequences of spending extended amounts of time in front of a screen.

With hundreds of acres of woodland to walk through, Center Parcs’ Woburn Forest location is the ideal destination for colleagues to reconnect and recharge in the great outdoors, and benefit from first class facilities and sleep amidst the trees in treehouse lodges.

Tucked away among the pines is the unique award-winning Aqua Sana spa, where delegates can go enjoy back revival massages, sleep sessions, herbal inhalation baths, hydrotherapy showers and multi-sensory meditation experiences – perfect for the over-worked, fatigued and stiff desk-workers. Away from the distraction of technology, unforgettable memories are made at Center Parcs; it’s a venue that delegates will want to rush back to and tell their family and friends about.

Julia Green, Sales & Commercial Manager at Center Parcs’ Conferences & Events said, “Video games played a major role in helping millions stay connected with friends and colleagues during the pandemic – and we’re seeing the product of a booming industry through the number of enquiries we’re receiving for developers to rest and recharge in the natural world. It’s amazing to see an industry that revolves around technology recognise the importance of switching-off and reconnecting with the outdoors, and what better place to do that than at the heart of Woburn Forest.”

Jess Green, Marketing Coordinator at FuturLab, said, “As a thank you to the team for pouring their time and talent into PowerWash Simulator, we decided to spirit everyone away to Center Parcs in Woburn Forest for a weekend of friends, fun and nature. We wanted the team to treat this as their own break as well as a chance to bond with colleagues, so we chose a relaxed itinerary which allowed delegates to enjoy the activities on offer at their own leisure. FuturLab is focusing on employee wellbeing as a top priority for the studio, and this trip was organised by the recently appointed Studio Welfare Manager, Hayley Blundy.”

Cat Bird, National Sales Manager at Center Parcs’ Conferences & Events, said: “The demand for wellness-oriented corporate events where colleagues can connect and bond has increased across all industries, since the onset of the pandemic and new hybrid working models. When Space Ape Games were at Woburn Forest, we organised Hello Fresh boxes to be delivered to the lodges for delegates to take-part in a ‘cook-off, as well as a sunrise yoga session at the heart of the forest. Wholesome activities like group cooking classes, kickboxing and meditation sessions and are in high-demand right now, as businesses place mental health and wellbeing high up on the list of priorities.”


Notes to editors:

Julia Green and Cat Bird are available for interview which Rooster will coordinate.

For further press information, please contact:
Arabella Halfhide | Tiffany Huret | Sam Davis
T: +44 (0)203 440 8930
E: [email protected]

About Center Parcs’ conference and events offering:
Center Parcs Conference and Events offers a unique, nature-rich escape to suit the needs of all types of corporate events, including conferences, team building and away days, product launches and galas.

Its two high-quality dedicated conference centres are located at two of its sought-after short break destinations in the UK: Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire and Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.
Each set within hundreds of acres of woodland, Center Parcs is the ideal place for colleagues to reconnect and recharge.

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