Like many game studios, The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red are involved in crunch – forced overtime – especially in the weeks and months leading up to a title’s final release. CD Project recently announced to employees that everyone would be required to work six days a week until the Cyberpunk 2077 release date and then delay the game.
In comments during a recent investor call, co-CEO Adam Kiciński said that crunch on Cyberpunk 2077 is “not so bad – and never was”. Kiciński acknowledged that some parts of the team “have been crushed hard”, including testers, engineers and programmers, but said that “a large part of the team does not merge at all when they finish their work”
“It’s not that heavy. Of course it will be expanded a bit, but we have feedback from the team. They are happy with the extra three weeks, so we see no threats of crunch. ”
“I would like to apologize to everyone for what I said during Tuesday’s investor conference call,” Kiciński said in a new email to employees, of which Bloomberg News received a copy. “I had not wanted to comment on crunch, but I still did, and I did so in a degrading and harmful way.”
Kiciński adds that “I have nothing to say in my defense. What I said was not even unfortunate, it was completely bad. For that you must accept my most sincere and honest apologies. He concludes the email by inviting employees to speak directly with him.
Here is CD Project Red co-CEO Adam Kiciński talking to investors about crisis yesterday (left), and he apologizes to his staff for these comments today in an email received by Bloomberg News (right). Quite a turnaround pic.twitter.com/YaYNtPDphY
– Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) October 29, 2020
Crunch and forced overtime are bad no matter what industry you are in and no matter what financial incentives you receive to encourage you to stick through it. Two years ago, we published an article entitled ‘How can we be players in an industry that harms developers?’, Where we talked to industry advocates about what players can do to help developers forced into absurd hours.
The answer is not boycotts. Developers are still proud of their work and deserve support. But you can look forward to and enjoy Cyberpunk 2077 without downplaying the experience of crunchy developers or trying to sweep these issues under the rug.