CD Projekt RED head of studio releases statement on crunch time

Adam Badowski has made an official statement regarding mandatory crunch and the compensation Cyberpunk 2077 developers receive.


After news circulated that the developers at CD Projekt RED would be undergoing mandatory crunch, head of studio Adam Badowski has made an official statement on the matter.

Posted on Twitter on September 30, 2020, Adam Badowski addressed the recent news that the team would be working longer hours and a mandatory sixth day every week in the lead-up to the release of Cyberpunk 2077.

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.

In this statement, Badowski describes these last weeks before the release as a “final sprint” on a project the team has spent at least eight years working on. The decision to force crunch on the developers is, as Badowski describes, “one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make”.

cd projekt red crunch and compensation
The team developing CD Projekt RED have been crunching longer than the upcoming six weeks.

In an attempt to ease the bitter reality that is crunch, Badowski highlights the compensation developers receive for their efforts. Not only does the team receive compensation, but 10% of the annual profit of 2020 will be split among the team.

According to a TechPowerup piece from April 2020, CD Projekt RED made $125 million in profits in 2019. If what Adam Badowski says is correct, then the team split $12.5 million between them. A TweakTown article from 2019 states that the team size behind Cyberpunk 2077 totals roughly 400 employees. This would suggest that each employee took home an estimated $30,000 bonus, not including any compensation paid. This is, of course, assuming there are only 400 employees and everyone receives an equal share. The reality could be much different. Take this with a grain of salt considering it's based on some unofficial numbers.

This all leads to a lot of questions and opinions. The team is well-compensated for their time but it’s also mandatory. Badowski says that the majority understands which suggests there are a minority that do not. It’s doubtful this will be the last conversation we all have about crunch, but at least it gives us a better insight into what’s going on during Cyberpunk 2077’s development cycle.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 30, 2020 8:50 PM

    Sam Chandler posted a new article, CD Projekt RED head of studio releases statement on crunch time

    • reply
      September 30, 2020 9:18 PM

      Man even $3k would be a heck of a bonus for some developers in gaming, I imagine, let alone 10x that.
      That's pretty legit, sounds like a good place to work.

      • reply
        September 30, 2020 9:48 PM

        are game developers so impoverished that 3k is a heck of a bonus?

        • reply
          September 30, 2020 11:40 PM

          Are you really going to turn your nose at a 3k bonus? It's 'instant free cash' I think it's cool.

          They're very rare over here (and to be honest, the way the US uses them is kinda disgusting - keep your wage low, promise you a MAYBE bonus - can always say no, then you realise your base wage is actually shit)

        • reply
          October 1, 2020 1:29 AM

          3k goes a long way in Poland!

        • reply
          October 1, 2020 10:22 AM

          The answer is yes fu Jim and your fancy rich engineering job

    • reply
      September 30, 2020 9:30 PM

      if its giving up saturdays for 6 weeks and the days are normal 8-9 hour days, i can live with that.

      the 14 hour days and then coming in on the weekend for months is what killed me back in the day

      • reply
        September 30, 2020 9:46 PM

        Some devs have been crunching for weeks, months, and even years, already.

    • reply
      September 30, 2020 10:18 PM

      I'd gladly give up 6 Saturdays for 30k. Hell it might even be much more if 2019, a year in which they released nothing, netted that kind of profit. Imagine what they'll be looking at with cp2077 out the gates.

    • reply
      September 30, 2020 11:24 PM

      If true that profit sharing seems pretty nice, I assume most big devs don't have any

    • reply
      October 1, 2020 10:53 AM

      If the devs are okay with it, then...I guess it's okay. As long as it isn't baked into the culture and that it's "just the way we do things," then...I guess I can live with that. But the devs should be the ones to decide that.

Hello, Meet Lola