CD Projekt Red studio head Adam Badowski has issued a statement on Twitter in response to the recent report that the Cyberpunk 2077 developers have been forced into mandatory crunch during the last six weeks of development. You can read the statement for yourself below.
In an email that’s been sent to staff at CD Projekt Red, management have enforced mandatory crunch on the development of Cyberpunk 2077, just weeks away from the game’s launch. This move breaks a promise made by CD Projekt Red’s management last year that they would refuse to enforce crunch during the game’s development.
The email, which was reported on by Bloomberg, was sent to staff by Badowski, who told staff that “the entire [development] studio is in overdrive,” clarifying this to mean “your typical amount of work and one day of the weekend”. That being said, the source Bloomberg uses says that some staff have been working additional nights and weekends for over a year, though this wasn’t forced.
So How Does This Break A Promise?
Back in 2019, CD Projekt Red’s co-founder Marcin Iwiński conducted an interview with Kotaku where he stated that he’d like for the studio to “be known for treating developers with respect”. In order to accomplish this, they’d implement a “non-obligatory crunch policy” during Cyberpunk 2077’s development, in which staff members could work nights and weekends if they felt like it was necessary, but it wasn’t mandatory for them to do so.
Iwiński goes on to say: “We’ve been working toward it for some time already. We’ve been communicating clearly to people that of course there are certain moments where we need to work harder—like I think the E3 demo is a pretty good example—but we want to be more humane and treat people with respect. If they need to take time off, they can take time off. Nobody will be frowned upon if this will be requested.”
Badowski himself acknowledged the breaking of the promise in his email, stating that: “I take it upon myself to receive the full backlash for the decision. I know this is in direct opposition to what we’ve said about crunch. It’s also in direct opposition to what I personally grew to believe a while back — that crunch should never be the answer. But we’ve extended all other possible means of navigating the situation.”
So Is This Crunch Really Necessary?
It’s possible that it could be in order for Cyberpunk 2077 to be at the best quality possible before its November 19th release date. CD Projekt Red are looking to eliminate bugs and glitches in these final stages, as the game has been sent for certification at both PlayStation and Xbox.
However, the fact remains that this decision comes at the cost of a broken promise to both the developers and the playerbase. While it might not be the worst instance of forced crunch the industry has ever seen, it still goes against what CD Projekt Red set out to achieve last year.
Cyberpunk 2077 releases November 18th, 2020 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
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