Is anyone actually surprised that severe crunch is necessary to get Cyberpunk 2077 out of the front door? Easily the most anticipated game of the year, developer CD Projekt Red made it clear last year that it would not be requiring employees to break themselves to finish the game. Speaking to Kotaku last year, studio co-founder Marcin Iwiński said that the company was sticking with a “non-obligatory crunch policy” to ensure employees were treated humanely and with respect. Yet now that the game is on the verge of release, that promise has been forgotten as CDPR has implemented mandatory crunch for all developers.
Which… is really not all that surprising. Crunch is such a prevalent issue in the video game industry that getting a game the size of Cyberpunk out into the wild without any crunch would have been a miracle. I suppose what sucks about it is that clearly, CDPR wasn’t all that committed to its promise in the first place. According to an email sent out to the company (that Bloomberg managed to get a hold of, those cheeky sausages) employees will be expected to work full hours, six days a week. Fortunately, everyone will be paid overtime for those Saturdays they toil away on. So at least there’s that, right? Studio Head Adam Badowski wrote in the email:
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.
This sucks for everyone, moreover for those employees who don’t have a say in the matter at all. It’s not a great look for CDPR to break their pledge and force overtime on employees, propagating what has become a wildly problematic sphere of the industry.
At least they’re paying overtime for all the crunch, which is more than plenty of other developers can say…
Last Updated: September 30, 2020