Yesterday afternoon, a new report emerged saying CD Projekt Red was instituting mandatory six-day work weeks leading up to the launch of Cyberpunk 2077. This morning, the studio head responded.
A Bloomberg report details an email sent out to the Cyberpunk 2077 studio by its head Adam Badowski, saying that employees would have to start working six days a week on finishing the sprawling RPG. Badowski's statement this morning doesn't refute this, saying the six weeks leading up to launch are a "final sprint" for a project the team cares about "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," Badowski says. "This is one of the hardest decisions I've had to make, but everyone is well compensated for every extra hour they put in."
Badowski also notes that 10% of annual company profits for 2020 will be split directly among the team, "like in recent years."
As Bloomberg's Jason Schreier notes in his report, this runs counter to what he was told by CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiński last year. "We're known—let me be humble for a moment here—we are known for treating gamers with respect," said Iwiński. "This is what we've been working hard toward. And I actually would [like] for us to also be known for treating developers with respect." The company also released a brief statement to Bloomberg, with CFO Piotr Nielubowicz saying Cyberpunk 2077's Nov. 19 release date won't change and that CD Projekt Red is working to eliminate bugs "at the last straight."
Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed several times, and crunch at the studio making it has often come up around those delays. Both Bloomberg's report and other accounts indicate crunch has continued at the studio for some time, outside just this recent issue. And has been shown over and over, time and again, that mandatory overtime may or may not result in a good game—at a long-term cost to the creators who make it.