Cyberpunk 2077 Boss Defends Final-Month Crunch

Cyberpunk 2077 is coming soon, but for the final mile CD Projekt has reportedly begun a mandatory crunch period with six-day workweeks. CD Projekt Red studio head Adam Badowski has now responded to the report. His statement isn’t a denial, instead seeming to confirm and justify the push.

“These last 6 weeks are our final sprint on a project we’ve all spent much of our lives on,” Badowski wrote on Twitter. “Something we care for 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. This is one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, 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.”

Badowski’s comment that the majority of the team understands it suggests that at least some employees aren’t pleased with the requirement. He also didn’t address another piece of the report that some employees have been crunching for the last year, before this final push.

The requirement was criticized, especially because it contradicted the studio’s prior public position on crunch as a practice that simply isn’t done at CDPR. He reportedly addressed this contradiction in the email to employees announcing the mandatory work.

“I know this is in direct opposition to what we’ve said about crunch,” he reportedly said. “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.”

Crunch–or the practice of working extra hours in the games industry, especially as a project nears completion–has received extra scrutiny in recent years as developers complain that it leads to physical and mental burnout. CDPR itself was accused of requiring heavy crunch for The Witcher 3 in 2014.

Cyberpunk 2077 releases on November 19. It will be available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X.

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