A new report by Jason Schreier for Bloomberg states that, in its final stretch of development, Cyberpunk 2077 will have a mandatory crunch period, with workers expected to work six days a week.
The policy goes against the statement made by the head of the CD Projekt RED studio in May 2019 to Schreier – when the journalist was still on the Kotaku website -, who at the time stated that the project would not have a mandatory overtime charge for its employees.
The report of Schreier cites both an employee testimony and an email sent by studio head Adam Badowski to the rest of the team after the certification process with Microsoft and Sony, stating that extra work should be done to correct the major number of bugs and problems until the game’s release on November 19.
“Starting today, the entire (development) studio is in overdrive,” Badowski said, elaborating that employees must dedicate their “typical amount of work and one day of the weekend.”
“I take it upon myself to receive the full backlash for the decision,” Badowski 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 topic of crunch and the pace of abusive work in the games industry has taken hold in recent years, especially after a report on Red Dead Redemption 2 and Rockstar Games’ work culture.
In 2020, another of the main releases of the year, The Last of Us Part II, was criticized for Naughty Dog’s crunch and tiring work environment.
Cyberpunk 2077 will have versions for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S and release on November 19.