Crunching with CD Projekt Red on Cyberpunk 2077

by Brandon Pham
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Another crunching story…

CD Projekt Red has once again announced a delay of its blockbuster RPG Cyberpunk 2077 and it did so without informing the developers currently working on the game.

Shortly after the announcement hit social media, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier shared on Twitter that a source within CDPR cited a internal email being sent out the same time the news hit social media. This is piggy-backing off some audacious back pedaling in late 2019, that the management team will not be enforcing any crunching to finish the game. This of course, has changed over the course of the year, and the plans of not crunching was immediately put on hold as soon as crunching was indeed necessary to finish the game.

“We feel we have an amazing game on our hands, and are willing to make every decision, even the hardest ones, if it ultimately leads to you getting a video game you’ll fall in love with,” concludes today’s statement from CDPR studio head Adam Badowski and co-CEO Marcin Iwiński.

The internal email shared by Bloomberg states that the company started to mandate six-day workweeks in what was then thought to be the final stretch before launch.

“I know this is in direct opposition to what we’ve said about crunch,” reads Badowski’s comments in that leaked email last month. “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 has always been a sore spot for game developers ever since deadlines were given to creatives. Many believe that crunch has more to do with poor planning and sloppy execution and being a developer myself, I am still unsure if AAA quality games can be done without the need of this medieval practice. I will say, however, that if developers were all paid overtime for their extra hours we will definitely see an overall decrease of people required to be in the office after-hours. If this is true, then maybe management will shoulder more accountability and plan things better. What are your thoughts?

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