A new Cyberpunk 2077 report indicates that the majority of CD Projekt RED opted to add another workday rather than delay the game again.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a few weeks for CD Projekt RED as the studio gets closer to the global launch of its highly anticipated action-rpg, Cyberpunk 2077. In addition to the highs of announcing that the game has finally gone gold, the studio has received plenty of criticism for its decision to institute a mandatory six day work week for its staff in order to reach the finish line in time. While many pinned the blame on management, new reports indicate that it may have been the staff that made the call instead.
The latest report comes from Liana Ruppert from The Game Informer Show who revealed that after speaking with a few members of the studio, the majority agreed to the six day work week rather than delay the game again for a third time. This point runs counter to the initial belief that the decision came down from leadership figures such as Adam Badowski, who seemed to confirm as much in his statement on the situation at the studio.
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Ruppert went on to clarify that while she doesn’t advocate for studio crunch, having been part of similar situations in her career, many of the people she spoke with didn’t view the bigger Cyberpunk 2077 work week as actual crunch. The reason for this is the mindset of the Polish work culture as well as the compensation they get for it. Not only from the profit kickback that CD Projekt RED has in place with its employees, but various worker laws established by the Polish government.
I’m really glad we talked about the discussion of crunch in here. There is a lot of nuance missing when talking about the recent Cyberpunk 2077 conversation (video starts at time marker): https://t.co/oqqAg7uP5g
— Liana Ruppert (@DirtyEffinHippy) October 8, 2020
Interestingly enough, Ruppert also indicates that at least some people at the studio are disappointed that the conversation around Cyberpunk 2077 has become incredibly negative due to the crunch discussion. Many at the studio were excited to share the news that the game has gone gold, but when the discussion seemingly reverted back to the topic of crunch at the studio, at least a few developers didn’t want to talk about the news and show how proud they were for fear of crunch backlash.
A Game Informer podcast recently suggested that my reporting on Cyberpunk 2077’s crunch is incorrect. Nevermind that I’ve interviewed nearly a dozen CDPR devs. Here’s an email from studio head Adam Badowski in June 2020 apologizing to the developers’ partners for all the overtime pic.twitter.com/MFCnpfQdQ8
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) October 9, 2020
It’s clear that this topic for CD Projekt RED is more complex than initial reports indicated. The initial reporter, Jason Schreier, has responded to this latest report and provides a completely different counter argument indicating that the people he spoke with never had a conversation about the six day work week. Instead, they were sent an email indicating that this was the new direction, never given an option or choice in the matter.
Regardless of which side is ultimately right in this debate, development crunch in the industry is an unfortunate reality that many studios employ for various reasons. As fans have seen countless times over the years, crunch tends to throw off the work/life balance for employees leading to burnout in many cases. Some studios have found ways to get around crunch, but it looks like a situation that won’t be fully solved anytime soon.
Cyberpunk 2077 releases November 19 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with dedicated releases on PS5, Stadia, and Xbox Series X/S planned.
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