CD Projekt Red Is Enforcing Six-day Work Weeks In Order To Finish Up Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay header

Crunchtime is not the right time

Just when you thought that CD Projekt Red was about to cross the finish line and ready to say that Cyberpunk 2077 was ready to go, this happens. When I say this, I’m referring to the recent report from Bloomberg stating that the developer has ordered its employees to now work six days a week to finish development on Cyberpunk 2077.

Mind you, they had originally promised to make things more humane, in an interview between the co-founder of CD Project Red Marcin Iwiński, and Jason Schreier of Bloomberg (formerly of Kotaku). Forcing a mandatory six-day workweek does not sound humane to me.

According to Bloomberg,  the following state was sent out to employees from Adam Badowski, the game director of Cyberpunk 2077.

“Starting today, the entire (development) studio is in overdrive, your typical amount of work and one day of the weekend.” The extra work would be paid, as required by Polish labor laws. Many other video game studios don’t pay for overtime.
“I take it upon myself to receive the full backlash for the decision. 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.”

I just find it ironic that Badowski, while firmly believing crunch is bad, is now alleging himself to the idea that crunch is needed.

Now I know many will look at crunch as a necessary evil, especially when it comes to game development. Yet, at the same time, this can easily destroy morale and result in some repercussions. We’ve seen it time and time again. While I’m not a game developer, I also work in a very stressful and high demanding career, where crunch time and on-call has singlehandedly burnt out my coworkers. I’ve seen it first hand, and worse, I’ve experienced it, time and time again. It even got to the point where I’ve said to my managers on several occasions that I’d rather have my sanity and personal time, over monetary compensation. I’d imagine there are quite a few people who feel the same.

At the same time, I’m willing to bet money (no I’m not) that there are also quite a few to disagree with me and that’s their right. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and all that.

Frankly and with due respect, I find it disappointing that CDPR would even enact this during the time that we’re. A time where COVID-19 has already dashed the spirits of many across the world. A time where being connected and surrounded by family and friends is paramount. Asking your employees to work 6 days a week just so a game can cross the finish line, mind you a game that has been delayed several times now. Just delay it one more time. It’s that simple.

Now I get it, I really do. As a developer, CDPR wants to get this out, they want to show the world their masterpiece. And as a gamer, I want to play it, oh by the gaming gods I do. But not at the expense of running their creation staff ragged, both physically and mentally.

Please, CDRP, just delay the game. We can wait. Don’t force your employees to work longer than needed. Many of them have family they would love to spend their time with, while still staying gainfully employed.

Delay. The. Game

Now, you’ve heard my take on the subject, but we’d love to know what you think about this. Let us know in the comments!