Cyberpunk 2077, One of the most anticipated video games in the last decade, is already three times behind. Employees of CD Projekt Red, the Polish studio behind the game, are reported to be required to work long hours, including a six-day week, for more than a year. This practice is called “crunch” in the video game industry and is sadly too common.
It also said that it wouldn’t happen to the people that the leadership of CD Projekt Red is making. Cyberpunk 2077..
Video game developers rarely openly talk to the press about their labor practices, which was done by CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiński in May 2019. .. Long hours are allowed for those interested in those tasks, but crunches are not “required”. He called it a “non-mandatory crunch policy” and said it was something to be proud of.
“We are known for treating gamers with respect,” Iwiński told Kotaku last year. “And I actually [like] It has also become known for treating developers with respect. A month later, he doubled, but during the podcast he promised that no forced crunch would be forced on his employees.
Shortly thereafter, the signs began to appear. Cyberpunk 2077 The project was in trouble.
In January 2020, CD Projekt announced the first delay in the game. The release date has changed from April to September. Multiplayer components were also pushed at least in 2022.
“We need more time to finish the playtest, fix and polish,” said Iwiński and studio director Adam Badowski. “We want Cyberpunk 2077 It’s the best achievement of this generation, and by postponing the launch, you’ll get the precious months you need to perfect your game. “
That same day, during a public phone call with investors, CD Projekt revealed that a crunch would eventually be needed to get the game done on time. It is also required for at least some employees.
“Does the development team need to spend crunch time?” When Adam Kiciński, CEO of CD Projekt, asked investors, “To be honest, to some extent.”
“I try to limit crunches as much as possible,” continued Kitchinski. “But that’s the final stage. We try to be rational in this regard, but yes. Unfortunately.”
Six months later, the game was delayed for the second time — from September to November. Again, Iwiński and Badowski said they need to spend more time honing the final game. The COVID-19 pandemic was at least partially responsible.
“The last few months are always the biggest hurdles, so these are always the most important months,” they write. “And we know it from past experience. We’ve done it several times in the past, but of course this is the first time we’ve done it remotely, so we learn while learning, but that’s me. Can be said. “
In September, Bloomberg reiterated what CD Projekt leaders told investors a few months ago. The leaked email mandated six working weeks. Crunches were needed, and some developers worked “more than a year” on nights and weekends, according to anonymous employees.
In other words, delay does not mean worker relief. Often, that simply means working at the same tiring pace for a few more weeks or months.
But that’s not the only story. In October, CD Projekt announced: Cyberpunk 2077 I had “It became money“” Means that the near-final game code was sent to the major console manufacturers for authentication to run on the device.Then — a little over three weeks later — the game I was late again.. The game will start on December 10th, not November 19th.
This move undoubtedly further extended the crunch period required of CD Projekt workers.
There is no doubt that crunch practice is destructive. It’s true that people inside and outside the industry have recognized it for decades. Humans were not designed to work this kind of time, and the real cost of crunches can be measured in the physical and mental health of those who are forced to do so and also in their families. .. CD Projekt claims to be a progressive company, claiming that its employees will benefit from the success of the games they make.Badowski employees Share the benefits generated by CD Projekt In 2020.
But don’t sugar coat it: crunch is cruel. It’s the result of poor management and evidence of ignoring the people working to make the games we love to play.Crunch on this scale and cast shadows during this period Cyberpunk 2077 — And actively undermine some of the progressive and careful themes that definitely exist in the game itself.