Cyberpunk 2077 has been a profitable disaster for developer CD Projekt, recouping its development cost in pre-orders and earning record-breaking profits for the company. This is despite the game’s infamously poor launch state, a lot of which can be chalked up to mismanagement — management who will nevertheless receive hefty bonuses.
A new report by Bloomberg, looking at the company’s latest earnings report, details that CEO Marcin Iwiński and co-CEO Adam Kiciński will take home some tidy bonuses of $US6.3 ($8) million each. Cyberpunk director Adam Badowski will get $US4.2 ($5) million.
Meanwhile, “Some employees told Bloomberg they will receive profit-sharing bonuses of about $US5,000 ($6,441) to about $US9,000 ($11,593), while other more senior employees said they will get closer to $US15,000 ($19,322) or $US20,000 ($25,762). Managers and directors will likely receive much higher bonuses.”
This is all part of the company’s standard bonus structure, which was uncoupled from the game’s review scores last year. 20% of the company’s annual earnings are devoted to bonuses, with half going to employees and half going to the board.
“Our compensation was always directly linked to net earnings — that’s the money the company earned,” Kiciński told investors on a call. “Higher net profit means higher bonuses; that’s been the case historically.”
It’s not all the grimmest news — an employee told Bloomberg that the studio “reevaluated salaries and increased wages for some of the lowest-paid positions, such as testing, to align them with video game industry standards.”
2020 was a banner year for video game companies making money, which is no surprise given that the pandemic has trapped a lot more people indoors. And the mind-bending global wealth gap isn’t news either, even if the economic effects of covid have made it more apparent than ever. But it’s wild to see the numbers laid out like this for Cyberpunk, a game that launched in such a state that Sony pulled it from the PlayStation store and has yet to put it back. The company’s top men still take home huge payouts, and even though it’s nice to see employees getting a share of the wealth, it’s still an astonishing gap.
If this year has made anything clear, it’s that regular people doing their best at work is no guarantee they’ll make a living wage or keep their jobs, and none of that has anything to do with whether their bosses get rich anyway. This just in: everything is busted, and Cyberpunk 2077 is just one more example.