The Polish video game company CD Projekt Red has backed down on their policy to avoid overworking their staff and recently ordered a six-day week before the upcoming launch of one of the most anticipated games of the year.
After a double delay, Cyberpunk 2077, starring Keanu Reeves, is now expected to be released on November 19th. CD Projekt Red Head of Studio, Adam Badowski has recently announced a mandatory ‘crunch’, so the developers hit their November deadline. A ‘crunch’ is a well-known term in the gaming field, describing extreme overworking of staff over long periods of time.
This was the case ahead of CD Projekt’s Witcher 3 release, with staff working nights and weekends for months. Last year, the Polish developer came forward to introduce a non-mandatory crunch policy and express their wish to show employees the same respect they show gamers and create a more humane work environment.
Yesterday, following a Bloomberg report on the imposed ‘crunch’, Adam Badowski took to Twitter to justify the company’s decision. He explained that most of their staff understand the push, that it was “one of the hardest decisions” he’s ever made and that every extra hour will be accounted and paid for. In the past, CD Projekt Red has made it clear that staff will be paid 150% for nights and 200% for weekends spent in the studios.
Other famous gaming companies have been accused of imposing inhumane working hours on their employees, with names like Electronic Arts and Epic Games being known for their repetitive ‘crunches’ ahead of games’ launches.
In a 2019 interview with Kotaku, the Polish video game developer’s co-CEO Marcin Iwiński said that the company was striving to “make it realistic and not make it a ginormous (sic) burden on the team.”
“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”, said CD Projekt Red’s Adam Badowski in his recent email imposing an extra workday.
Cyberpunk 2077 is reportedly ready, content-wise, and now the game developers are working hard to perfect it, trying to solve bugs and glitches within the game ahead of its November release.
Cyberpunk 2077 is scheduled to be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on November 19.
Words by Eliza Lita
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