Last year, with concerns raising about the hours being worked by developers, CD Projekt RED told Kotaku that the Polish studio had implemented a "non-obligatory crunch policy" so employees wouldn't have to work extra hours if they weren't comfortable doing so. Co-founder Marcin Iwiński jumped on Kotaku Splitscreen after E3 2019, making multiple public promises to minimise as much pressure on their developers as possible.
In the Splitscreen interview, Iwiński said "we can never be 200% sure that there won't be some pressure". In a conference call today with investors, CD Projekt RED confirmed that pressure has arrived.
As Cyberpunk 2077 Development Intensifies, CD Projekt Red Pledges To Be 'More Humane' To Its Workers
Footage of the upcoming role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077 has blown away fans so far, but coupled with that hype is a burning question: Are workers at CD Projekt Red, the Polish studio behind the game, ruining their lives to make it?
Asked directly about whether the studio would be pulling supremely long hours - known as crunch in the games industry - Adam Kiciński, joint CEO of CD Projekt Red, confirmed they would be:
"To some degree yes, to be honest, but this is ... we're trying to limit crunch as much as possible. But you know it's the final stage. So we try to be reasonable in this regard, but yes, unfortunate."
Kiciński added that the team was also only informed of the delay "minutes" before the conference call. "We and our team – which was informed minutes ago – think that this was a good decision and that having an extra five months will enable us to deliver a perfect game," he said.
Comments from Iwiński, Kiciński and other CD Projekt RED board members during the call indicated the game was feature complete, and that the delay would be related to polish and bug fixing, rather than retooling any of the game's core systems or mechanics. The studio added that Cyberpunk 2077 would be sent out to age ratings agencies - which would include the Classification Board, although they weren't mentioned directly - in the very near future.
Cyberpunk 2077's delay to mid-September hasn't just affected when you'll be taking a week-long sickie. According to a teleconference call from CD Projekt Red, the studio confirmed that the much-awaited multiplayer mode would also be pushed way, way back.
Update: Clarified that the comments came from Adam Kiciński.