Home Gaming Cyberpunk 2077 enters crunch mode, despite CDPR promising that it wouldn’t

Cyberpunk 2077 enters crunch mode, despite CDPR promising that it wouldn’t

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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.

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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

24 Comments

  1. Alien Emperor Trevor

    September 30, 2020 at 10:51

    This doesn’t sound particularly bad. It sounds like 7/8 extra Saturdays, at normal working hours for the day, and they’re being paid. Ideal? Maybe not, but certainly not bad. And it definitely sounds nothing like the abusive crunch, where people are forced to work unpaid overtime & extended hours, that gave rise to all this.

    Reply

    • Allykhat

      September 30, 2020 at 11:03

      Yeah I agree, there are a lot of ways this could be worse. I mean, it sucks being forced to work the extra days, but if you being fully compensated for it… then its not THAT bad.

      Reply

    • ConnorT

      September 30, 2020 at 11:28

      It’s doesn’t sound particularly bad no. For a little context… I’ve been working 11 hour days at 60% of my usually salary due to Covid. As for overtime? What’s that, can I eat it? I might get flak for this but when did the world get so damn whiny?

      Reply

  2. Splooshypooh

    September 30, 2020 at 11:03

    I must have permanent crunch at my job then?! Dont understand why people always moan about work

    Reply

  3. Iskape

    September 30, 2020 at 11:03

    Working hours? What are those. I’m on call 7 days a week, 24 hours a day! And I don’t get paid overtime – sometimes it sucks to be in a Management position!

    Reply

  4. MechMachine

    September 30, 2020 at 11:42

    Yeah, I know many who have lost jobs. People close to me have taken pay cuts. What makes these people so special that they have Journalists advocating for them when the world is in turmoil ? Who is advocating for those in real need ?

    Reply

    • Banana Jim

      September 30, 2020 at 12:21

      Exactly!

      Reply

  5. Original Heretic

    September 30, 2020 at 11:52

    One extra paid day a week, normal hours.
    That’s better than most job work hours.

    Reply

    • For the Emperor!

      September 30, 2020 at 12:12

      There are only 4 months of the year I currently don’t have guaranteed crunch without overtime pay. And those 4 months can still have things happen that cause unpaid overtime. Luckily only 19 more months until I can move on again.

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        September 30, 2020 at 12:28

        And I’m in the kind of job where if I don’t put overtime in, it gets frowned upon.

        Reply

        • For the Emperor!

          September 30, 2020 at 12:50

          My boss also looks a bit confused when one gets up to leave within 30 minutes of home time. Like he expects us to stay until he wants to leave. Eish man, these bosses

          Reply

          • Banana Jim

            September 30, 2020 at 13:16

            At a previous job, my office was near the head honcho’s and it always felt like she was just waiting for that crucial time between 15 or 30 minutes before home time, to stand in the corridor and then rope me in for a meeting. I learnt a lot from her, but man… oh man.. was it annoying.

          • For the Emperor!

            September 30, 2020 at 13:16

            Yeah that sucks. My boss currently sits 2m behind me. He likes to start chats at home time. Also likes saying “we just spent 2k worth of time on this” and others sorts of manipulative behaviour. *Or they wait till then to suddenly give an urgent task so you work later*

          • MechMachine

            September 30, 2020 at 18:12

            I always add an hour on to my day. As a rule. It saves me from that home time rush expectation I used to have when I was a little younger.

        • Banana Jim

          September 30, 2020 at 13:16

          Yeah, (at my last corporate job) I used to take advantage of flexi time, so I’d go in at 5h15, but then there would be this subtle and weird emotional manipulation to make me stay till much later in the day.

          Reply

          • For the Emperor!

            September 30, 2020 at 13:16

            Flexi is great. Allows one to hit the gym or get to the hobbies more often. But when they manipulate the system like that, then still expect you to take half day leave to go to the dentist for 2 hours after working 15 hours overtime during the week already…I need new Lotto numbers haha

      • HvR

        October 6, 2020 at 10:07

        Be careful of that though, dealt with that BS for 6 years always chasing that 20% illusive performance bonus and equity options. Eventually burnt out and just decided due to health reasons it was enough and cut my work hours back to 45hours/week (only got paid for 40).

        The amount of flack I received for that was unbelievable since the moronic KPA system showed now that I’m being 40% less productive and was recommended to be put on a “productivity enhancement program”. Decided to tell them to go shove it, now in much better paying job (if you ignore that COVID pay and workday cut) doing again what I love to do. And my old employer as gone the way of the dodo when COVID was the last nail in the coffin of the unsustainable business plan.

        Reply

        • For the Emperor!

          October 6, 2020 at 11:12

          Janee, the contract is also structured in ways I do not believe are strictly legal, but due to Covid I had no choice but to sign as all the lined up interviews (some of which would have been mere formalities) dried up as posts were frozen. But litterally just waiting for the initial dodgy 2 years to pass then I am out. Boss keeps adding stuff and making more pressure on “nice to haves”, meanwhile the business critical stuff get left to number 99. Not sustainable and I actually jist told him “this is why the system looks the way it does. I can see where people gave up doing the right thing and just rushed”. But this guy literally think people steel from him if they don’t get projects done. One of those “devil says it with a smile while actually beating you with a stick” kinda guys who actually believes he is being a good boss/leader.

          19 more months MAX

          Reply

  6. Banana Jim

    September 30, 2020 at 12:21

    It’s almost like Jason Schreier has become the agony aunt for game developers who like to cry and moan about their working hours. Here’s the thing that’s starting to annoy me about his and these sort of articles. The crunch time is obviously a very stressful time, but the hours they’re asked to work isn’t that much different to what most professionals do EVEN DURING NON-CRUNCH periods.

    Am I missing something here? It’s like Schreier is just stirring …. Your average town engineer, doctor, paramedic, nurse, executive, lawyer, disaster manager, etc. are on call 24/7. When something happens they have to come in to work. If there’s a crisis, it really doesn’t matter if they have the day off. And, if you know any friends or family who are doctors, or who work in trauma, they’re constantly walking around with black patches under their eyes.

    Could it be that what we’re seeing is just a bunch of millenials who are so oblivious to the real world that they don’t realise how privileged they are? Sure, I don’t discount the fact that many of them are overworked, but this isn’t anything new. It’s not even that rare. And their crunch periods are limited.

    What a bunch of whining old women….

    Reply

    • Insomnia is fun

      September 30, 2020 at 22:43

      In my days the coal mines gave zero breaks

      Reply

    • cloudzn

      October 5, 2020 at 14:23

      Schreier is a pot strirrer , i honestly don’t think it’s a big deal as he is making but the little shit loves to include himself is everything these days & Btw he blocked me on Twitter ???

      Reply

      • Banana Jim

        October 5, 2020 at 15:32

        The only positive about him is that unlike 99% of “game journalists”, he’s actually a real journalist. When he dusts off his degree, and put what he learnt in practice, you have to give him a thumbs up. There are few who can top him, but then you also have to take into account that in an industry full of bloggers, wannabes and enthusiasts, a trained journalist (even a below-average one) would look like a king.

        The guy is also such a pathetic blowhard; it’s really hard to take him seriously.

        Reply

        • cloudzn

          October 5, 2020 at 22:24

          He has done a few good investigative gaming pieces, i will give him that but it seriously went to his head and the dude thinks way too much of himself now but I do love that the 2 biggest gaming news pieces that came out this year came out without his involvement and he couldn’t handle it, kept giving info from “his contacts” lol

          Reply

        • cloudzn

          October 5, 2020 at 22:24

          He has done a few good investigative gaming pieces, i will give him that but it seriously went to his head and the dude thinks way too much of himself now but I do love that the 2 biggest gaming news pieces that came out this year came out without his involvement and he couldn’t handle it, kept giving info from “his contacts” lol

          Reply

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