CD Projekt recently hosted an emergency meeting with shareholders to discuss the delay of Cyberpunk 2077, CEO Adam Kiciński, admitted that the development team is actually crunching and also added: “is not that bad”.
Here is what Adam Kiciński said at the meeting:
“Regarding crunch; actually, it’s not that bad –and never was. Of course, it’s a story that has been picked up by the media, and some people have been crunching heavily, but a large part of the team is not crunching at all since they have finished their work; it’s mostly about Q&A and engineers, programmers –but it’s not that heavy; of course, it will be extended a bit, but we have feedback from the team; they’re happy about the extra three weeks, so we don’t see any threats regarding crunch.”
Crunch is a sensitive topic in the videogames industry, and it’s often caused by bad management from the executives, the practice is detrimental to the mental and physical health of the employees, CD Projekt denied in 2019 that it would avoid mandatory crunch for Cyberpunk 2077, but as the game became a launch title for Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5, the development team needed more time to adjust some details and eliminate some bugs in the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game.
Certainly, CEO Adam Kiciński’s role is to give shareholders an image of strong leadership and give them confidence that the project is right on track, even if means to blame developers and stress them out with long hours. Forced to apologize to his team, Kiciński has sent a letter apologizing for the situation.
“From the bottom of my heart, I would like to apologize to everyone for what I said during Tuesday’s investor conference call,” Kicinski wrote in an internal email.
“I had not wanted to comment on crunch, yet I still did, and I did it in a demeaning and harmful way. Truth be told, it’s only now, when the stress connected with the delay decision and the call itself is lifting, that I’m fully realising the true extent of my words.
“I have nothing to say in my defense. What I said was not even unfortunate, it was utterly bad. For that, please accept my most sincere and honest apologies. I always was, and am still, proud of the heart and soul you put into what you do every day.”
From a business perspective, it’s understandable that Adam Kiciński had to say “it’s not that bad” while referring to the developers’ crunch, however, from a humanistic perspective, the management should have avoided the crunch and not set a random deadline and force 15 hours of allegedly continuous work for some employees.
Source: Jason Schreier