After enjoying years of positive press and coverage, the final stretch for Cyberpunk 2077 has been rather bumpy. Following news of mandatory crunch for employees of developer CD Projekt Red and an additional release date delay for the game, CD Projekt co-CEO Adam Kiciński made a call to investors to assuage fears and uncertainty about the project. On this call, he said crunch at the studio is "not that bad—and never was." Predictably, this statement did not go over well at the studio and with many eager fans of Cyberpunk 2077.
According to Jason Schreier, Kiciński wrote an email to employees apologizing for some of the things he said during the investor call. In the message, Kiciński wrote, "I had not wanted to comment on crunch, yet I still did, and I did it in a demeaning and harmful way... What I said was not even unfortunate, it was utterly bad." The investor call in question was the same one where it was revealed that struggles with the current-generation console versions of Cyberpunk 2077 were to blame for the most recent delay.
Something surreal about the fact that fans and pundits continue to insist that the crunch wasn't so bad when the company's co-CEO felt obliged to apologize to his staff for saying the crunch wasn't so bad— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) October 29, 2020
Employee crunch at game studios has been a hot button topic in the industry for many years. Mismanagement of time and project scope can lead to unrealistic demands of those who work passionately to make video games and can cause mental and physical health issues. The top brass at CD Projekt Red will likely be doing damage control up until the release of Cyberpunk 2077 on December 10.