CD Projekt backtracks on anti-crunch commitments ahead of Cyberpunk launch

Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has regained on its promise to avoid mandatory crunch on the long-gestating RPG.

Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has reneged on its promise to avoid mandatory crunch on the long-gestating RPG. Last year, the company told Kotaku it wouldn't force employees to work overtime, and was "committed" to treating its devs humanely. 

A recent email sent to workers and obtained by Bloomberg, however, shows the studio is now implementing mandatory six-day work weeks in a bid to polish Cyberpunk ahead of its November launch. 

"Starting today, the entire (development) studio is in overdrive," wrote studio head Adam Badowski, explaining how staff would be asked to work "your typical amount of work and one day of the weekend."

Badowski took full responsibility for the decision, which he acknowledged would be met with some backlash, but indicated there was no other option at this stage. 

"I know this is in direct opposition to what we've said about crunch," he 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."

In a follow-up comment posted on Twitter, the studio head added that "the majority of the team understands that push," and said the entire team will be "well compensated" for the overtime. 

"These last six weeks are our final sprint on a project we've all spent much of our lives on. Something we care for deeply. The majority of the team understands that push, especially in light of the fact that we've just send the game to cert and every day brings us visibly closer to shipping a game we want to be proud of," he said on social media. 

"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 percent of the annual profit our company generates in 2020 will be split directly among the team."

Back in January, CD Projekt joint-CEO Adam Kicinski said that delaying the game wouldn't necessarily negate the need for crunch, but insisted the studio would "try to be reasonable" with its demands. Those comments also came after CD Projekt had previously touted its "non-obligatory crunch policy."

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