Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most hyped games in history, and it looks like CD Projekt Red is buckling under the pressure as they enforce crunching despite swearing that they wouldn't, as Cyberpunk 2077 crunch is apparently a thing.
In a Bloomberg article, Jason Schreier reports that last year the co-CEO Marcin Iwinski stated that the company would be "avoiding mandatory crunch and was “committed” to allowing employees to work without overtime." This apparently has not been the truth, because a anonymous employee has stated that some staff have been putting in nights and weekends for over a year, while the rest of the studio is now entering crunch time as the November 19 release date looms.
While it isn't great, Polish overtime law states that Polish employees cannot work more than an average 48 hours a week, including overtime. An extra eight hours a week definitely isn't fun, but at least it's not the 100-hour weeks that those crunching on Red Dead Redemption 2 suffered through.
The release date won't be changed but due to the game needing bug fixes, employees are being asked to work six-day weeks until the game is released. This is in a stark contrast to last year, where Adam Badowski, the other co-CEO of CD Projekt Red, stated that the studio is known for treating gamers with respect, and that they would like to be known for "treating developers with respect."
This leads to Badowski's Twitter response to Jason Schrier's article:
These last 6 weeks are our final sprint on a project we've all spent much of our lives on. Something we care for deeply. The majority of the team understands that push, especially in light of the fact that we've just sent the game to cert and every day brings us visibly closer to shipping a game we want to be proud of. This is one of the hardest decisions I've had to make, but everyone is well compensated for every extra hour they put in. And, like in recent years, 10% of the annual profit our company generates in 2020 will be split directly among the team.
Cyberpunk 2077 will release on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 19, 2020. Stadia will release in Q2 2020, and the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X will release sometime in 2021.
They are probably caught between a rock and a hard place. They've already delayed the game a few times and I can imagine that their shareholders wouldn't especially care for another delay, especially in a post-covid world. I'm not excusing them as crunch is something that shouldn't be allowed in the gaming industry, but it's an option and CD Projekt Red is going to use it.
What do you think of the Cypberunk 2077 crunch? Does it surprise you that CD Projekt Red is resorting to crunch yet again? Is this a dealbreaker for you? Let us know in the comments!