CD Projekt Red Institutes Mandatory Crunch on Cyberpunk 2077 Developers, Violating Earlier Pledge

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Cyberpunk 2077 developers will have to work six days each week as the studio rushes to squash bugs in advance of the game's release. | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has instituted mandatory six-day work weeks on developers ahead of the game's November release date, violating a promise made earlier in the game's development to avoid forced overtime, per a report published Tuesday by Bloomberg. The developer confirmed the report Wednesday.

CD Projekt Red is owned by CD Projekt SA. That company's co-CEO Marcin Iwiński told Kotaku in June 2019 that Red was committed to avoiding crunch. Iwiński explicitly committed to that promise. But in an email sent to staff at the studio, Red studio head Adam Badowski told employees they would be forced to work six days each week to squash bugs in the run up to Cyberpunk 2077's Nov. 19 release.

"Starting today, the entire (development) studio is in overdrive," Badowski wrote.

"I take it upon myself to receive the full backlash for the decision. I know this is 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 extra work time will be paid, as required under Polish labor laws.

Badowski responded to Bloomberg's story via Twitter.

"This is one of the hardest decisions I've had to make in recent years, 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," he wrote.

Crunch as an industry-wide phenomenon is reportedly responsible for a high attrition rate among developers, with dozens of reports revealing cultures of burnout and anxiety among developers.