According to a new report, Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has introduced mandatory overtime in the weeks heading into the game’s launch. Developers will now be required to work six-day weeks leading up to launch – in addition to the nights and weekends many developers have already been putting in voluntarily.
In an email sent to employees earlier this week, obtained by Bloomberg, studio head Adam Badowski said that “Starting today, the entire studio is in overdrive.” Employees will be required to put in “your typical amount of work and one day of the weekend”. As Bloomberg notes, in accordance with Polish labour laws, employees will be paid overtime – not a given in the game industry.
In 2019, Badowski and CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiński said the studio wanted to reduce crunch on Cyberpunk 2077 compared with The Witcher 3. “I think we can promise that it’ll be better than The Witcher’s finishing period,” Badowski said of the final stretch of development. Earlier this year, joint-CEO Adam Kicinski told investors that devs were required to put in crunch hours “to some degree”.
In the email to employees, Badowski says the new crunch policy is “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.”
Since the news broke, CD Projekt Red studio head Adam Badowski took to Twitter to explain that the Cyberpunk 2077 team “understands” the push towards release. He also says that the decision to enforce six-day working weeks is “one of the hardest decisions” he’s had to make, but that everyone will be “well compensated”. In this case, that means 10% of the company’s profit share will be split among the team. You can see the Tweet below:
— Adam Badowski (@AdamBadowski) September 30, 2020
The Cyberpunk 2077 release date is set for November 19, after multiple delays. After the most recent delay, CD Projekt insisted that “it’s the right decision for the game” while apologising to players for “making you wait longer”. Personally, I’d much rather that release date promise gets broken than the studio’s commitment to its employee’s health.
If Cyberpunk 2077 needs more development time, please just delay it again.