Adam Kiciński, joint CEO of CD Projekt admitted to shareholders that the development team is actually crunching ahead of the launch of Cyberpunk 2077.
Is important to mention that the CEO affirmed to Kotaku that the studio will be avoiding mandatory crunch. The unapologetic executive justifies his mismanagement by stating that “it’s not that bad”, and affirms that only a small part of the team is crunching.
“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.”
In late September, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reported that CD Projekt had entered in a state of full crunch to meet the previous November 19 launch date for Cyberpunk 2077. According to the information received by anonymous employees, some have been forced to work late at night and even weekends for over a year.
A leaked email from from the company explains the situation to the employees:
“Starting today, the entire (development) studio is in overdrive,” Badowski wrote, elaborating that this meant “your typical amount of work and one day of the weekend.” The extra work would be paid, as required by Polish labor laws. Many other video game studios don’t pay for overtime.
“I take it upon myself to receive the full backlash for the decision,” he wrote. “I know this is in direct opposition to what we’ve said about crunch. 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.”
The reason behind the crunch is perhaps ambitious promises made for shareholders, this was suggested by the official letter of both Kiciński and Iwinski where it’s explained that initially, Cyberpunk 2077 was somehow pushed to be a PS5 and Xbox Series X|S launch title.