Yesterday, it was reported that the developers over at CD Projekt Red are now in a mandatory “crunch” period in order to get Cyberpunk 2077 up to a standard quality before it officially releases, sparking lots of conversations around unethical workplace policies, especially after CDPR themselves stated that there would be a “non-obligatory crunch policy,” meaning it wouldn’t exactly be mandatory for employees.
As the release date for Cyberpunk 2077 gets closer and closer, the developers are now undertaking six-day work weeks in order to polish the game properly before launch, and the studio does not want to delay the game for a third time already. Since the allegations of the mandatory crunch period have come out though, Adam Badowski, the studio head of CDPR, wrote an official statement on the matter:
“These last six weeks are our final sprint on a project we've all spent much of our lives on,” he said. “Something we care for deeply. The majority of the team understands that push, especially in light of the fact 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.”
However, Badowski also claimed that whilst he made the decision, it wasn’t an easy one to make, and that all employees are well compensated financially at least:
“This is one of the hardest decisions I've had to make,” Badowski continued, “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.”
There was no mention whether the crunch was indeed mandatory though, which if it is, still poses a problem within the industry for developers potentially losing their jobs because they don’t want to work an extra day in the week. Hopefully everyone at the studio has agreed to the arrangement, as it sounds like they’re all really passionate for this project, but I hope no one there feels pressured about potentially losing their job.
What do you think? How do you feel about game development “crunch”? Is financial compensation enough? Should Cyberpunk 2077 just be delayed again? Let us know your thoughts!