An email that was sent out to CD Projekt Red staff from management reveals that the Cyberpunk 2077 developers will be required to enter “crunch” ahead of the game’s release. This mandatory, extra-work shirks a promise Marcin Iwinksi made last year to avoid said overtime.
On September 29, 2020, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reported on emails from within CD Projekt Red that stated employees would be required to work a six-day week. This decision, made by management, goes against promises Marcin Iwinkski made to Kotaku on two separate occasions that stated the company was committed to no crunch.
Schreier’s story goes on to tell of employees who have already been working overtime, nights and weekends, for over a year. Despite this, the email, sent out by studio head Adam Badowski, lays out that the entire studio is in overdrive fixing bugs and glitches, and that employees would be required to do their usual work and one day on the weekend.
Badowski goes on to comment that he will take the full backlash of this decision. He alleged that this mandate is in direct opposition to what the company promised and Badowski's previous beliefs about crunch. And yet, the developers will indeed crunch.
There is one silver lining in this promise-breaking storm cloud. As Schreier writes, “The extra work would be paid, as required by Polish labor laws.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time CD Projekt Red has been in hot water over the studio’s history of crunch. It’s not even the first time the topic of crunch and Cyberpunk 2077 have been discussed. Just at the beginning of 2020, it was revealed that the developers would be crunching to get Cyberpunk 2077 ready for September (this was prior to one of the game’s delays).
This latest news of crunch occurring at CD Projekt Red is certainly disheartening. While releasing a game before the end of year holiday season is typical business practice, it’s not worth it at the expense of your employees’ health.