In the sprint leading up to its twice-delayed Nov. 19 launch date, developers at CD Projekt Red are being ordered to work six-day weeks to finish up Cyberpunk 2077. This likely isn't the beginning of crunch-time development on the game for many, nor will today's new milestone end that period, but today CD Projekt announced that Cyberpunk 2077 has gone gold.
This means that there's a version of Cyberpunk 2077 done, certified, and ready to be pressed to discs, but gold-status doesn't quite signal the end of development like it used to. With digital distribution and day-one patches being the norm now, it's not as though the mandated six-day weeks first reported on by Bloomberg are suddenly over. Even in his statement on the matter from last week, studio head Adam Badowski acknowledges that even though the team had "just sent the game to cert," there's still work to be done.
After an initial promise to not mandate overtime work on Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red's public stance on crunch has gradually slid away from that position. First delayed for five months to September 2020, and then again in the summer to November, the Cyberpunk 2077 team will have worked on the title pre-release for about seven extra months past its originally scheduled launch. All the way back in January, the company's joint-CEO Adam Kiciński said that although CD Projekt Red tries "to be reasonable in this regard," crunch was guaranteed to happen "to some degree" by that point in light of the delay.
It's worth noting, also, that while CD Projekt Red did go back on its word regarding mandatory overtime time, crunch often isn't formally enforced or compensated accordingly. The fact that Badowski even issued a statement regarding the overtime is a testament to the impact that developer outcry and reports on crunch have had on the industry.
When it launches next month, Cyberpunk 2077 will be available for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. With single-player expansions and the addition of multiplayer planned for the future, even launch day will be far from the end of Cyberpunk 2077's lengthy development cycle, but it should hopefully be a chance for its team to take a break and soak up players' feedback.