Cyberpunk 2077 Studio Lead Responds to Report About Mandatory Crunch

CD Projekt Red will reportedly be instituting a period of mandatory crunch time to wrap up the development of Cyberpunk 2077 as the game’s release date draws nearer, a report that CD Projekt Red’s studio lead has now responded to. Studio head Adam Badowski addressed the report on social media by saying it as one of the hardest decisions he’s ever had to make and that those affected by the decision are “well compensated for every hour they put in.”

The report from Bloomberg about the mandatory crunch cited an internal CD Projekt Red email sent to employees to inform them of the decision. Badowski acknowledged in the email that the decision was “in direct opposition” to the plans CD Projekt Red outlined before.

In his public statement about the matter, Badowski expanded on the reasoning behind the decision as the team enters the final stretch before the game’s release.

“These last 6 weeks are our final sprint on a project we’ve all spent much of our lives on,” Badowski said. “Something we care for deeply. The majority of the team understands that push, especially in light of the fact that we’ve just sent the game to cert and every day brings us visibly closer to shipping a game we want to be proud of. 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% of the annual profit our company generates in 2020 will be split directly among the team.”

While crunch is no new concept within video game development and is still an exceptionally controversial one whenever talks of crunch surface, particularly around big-name games, part of the frustration this time stems from CD Projekt Red doing the exact opposite of what it said it would do. As mentioned in the tweet from Jason Schreier quoted in Badowski’s response, CD Projekt Red said last year that they would be avoiding a period of mandatory crunch, but that commitment’s now been walked back.

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“I take it upon myself to receive the full backlash for the decision,” Badowski said in the internal email. “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.”

Cyberpunk 2077 is scheduled to release on November 19th.