Cyberpunk 2077 dev starts mandatory overtime to finish game claims report

CD Projekt Red promised they wouldn’t force employees into taking part in ‘the crunch’ to finish Cyberpunk 2077, but allegedly they are.

Cyberpunk 2077 may not be due any more delays but if it does make it out on time this year it’ll apparently be because developers were forced to take part in mandatory overtime.

An email sent to staff has been obtained by Bloomberg and allegedly confirms the practice, with an anonymous employee claiming that some staff have been working nights and weekends for more than a year.

The so-called crunch has been a hot topic in recent years, with companies ranging from Rockstar to Naughty Dog accused of overworking staff – often for no additional pay – during the final few months of a game’s development, as they race to complete it in time.

According to Bloomberg writer Jason Schreier the email from studio head Adam Badowski states that, ‘Starting today, the entire studio is in overdrive’.

This apparently means that everyone will be expected to do, ‘your typical amount of work and one day of the weekend.’

However, thanks to Polish labour laws the extra day will be paid, so in that sense CD Projekt employees are better off than many other developers.

‘I take it upon myself to receive the full backlash for the decision,’ wrote Badowski in the alleged email.

‘I know this is in direct opposition to what we’ve said about crunch. It’s also in direct opposition to what I personally grew to believe a while back – that crunch should never be the answer. But we’ve extended all other possible means of navigating the situation.’

Although Badowski seems to accept that resorting to mandatory overtime breaks an earlier promise the company’s stance on the issue has varied depending on who is asked and when.

While working at Kotaku in mid-2019, Schreier interviewed Joint-CEO Marcin Iwiński, who said that the company was ‘committed’ to avoiding mandatory overtime.

However, in January this year, Joint-CEO Adam Kiciński was asked during an investor Q&A whether crunch would be necessary and answered: ‘To some degree, yes – to be honest. We try to limit crunch as much as possible, but it is the final stage. We try to be reasonable in this regard, but yes. Unfortunately’.

Cyberpunk 2077 will be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on 19 November 2020. Dedicated Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 versions will be released sometime next year.

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