Image: CD PROJEKT RED

Yesterday, Bloomberg published a report alleging that CD PROJEKT RED would be forcing its employees to work overtime (i.e., “crunch”) so Cyberpunk 2077 could make its November 19 release date. The story has brewed significant controversy, being that CD PROJEKT RED executives had allegedly promised not to subject employees to extra, excessive hours.

“…an account from a CD Projekt Red employee recently as well as an email to staff earlier this week indicate that the company hasn’t lived up to its word,” Bloomberg wrote. “The employee, who asked not to be named discussing private information, said some staff had already been putting in nights and weekends for more than a year.”

In a tweet this morning, studio head Adam Badowski confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077’s developers would be working longer hours. “This is one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make,” Badowski admitted. But he also pointed out that his employees are going to be well compensated for the trouble.

“These last 6 weeks are our final sprint on a project we’ve all spent much of our lives on,” Badowski wrote. “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.”

Debates are now raging as to whether overtime in the video games industry is as severe as reporters like to claim. While nobody likes being away from their families longer than they have to, proponents argue that they’re getting paid handsomely (in this case, at least) for a bit of extra work. Also, the contracts that they willfully signed probably mentioned overtime somewhere.

Recent Posts

Join the Conversation

19 Comments

  1. There are so many occupations that have mandatory overtime, this is not
    some earth shattering headline.

    I have mandatory on call and work some weekends. I routinely put in 5 to 10 hours of overtime with more being commonplace. This complaint smacks of someone being butt hurt over CDProjekt Red having to move into a mandatory crunch time that it otherwise wanted to avoid. It doesn’t want to have further delays on the game which has already been delayed twice. Furthermore, I’m sure that has a lot to do with getting it ready for the release of the new consoles as well as PC’s this holiday season.

    It’s a business decision and if the employees are being paid overtime, then I don’t see the problem. But there is always one person who will always complain.

    1. I mean, just bc overtime is common, doesn’t mean it should be. So many studies have shown that people do less quality work after 30hrs a week, and many companies are now experimenting with shorter work weeks.

      Some jobs it cannot be helped, jobs that are important like the medical field, utility workers, etc.. but ppl shouldn’t have to work overtime for a videogame. Better pay, less hours, everywhere.

  2. I have mandatory on call and work some weekends. I routinely put in 5 to 10 hours of overtime with more being commonplace. This complaint smacks of someone being butt hurt over CDProjekt Red having to move into a mandatory crunch time that it otherwise wanted to avoid. It doesn’t want to have further delays on the game which has already been delayed twice. Furthermore, I’m sure that has a lot to do with getting it ready for the release of the new consoles as well as PC’s this holiday season.

    It’s a business decision and if the employees are being paid overtime, then I don’t see the problem. But there is always one person who will always complain.

    That’s how I feel. It’s getting close to release for one of the most anticipated games to release since RDR2 and somebody was hungry for attention.

    To my knowledge CDPR employees are FTE, and Polish law only allows for up to 8 hours more overtime per week. You have to be a real snowflake to complain about a single extra day of work for a temporary 6-week period. I’m sure there are a good number of us in the tech field who have had to literally live in our offices temporarily to get a project done.

    1. The difference is you work overtime for 5 – 10 hours. Crunch is much more then this. These people will work 6 days a week at most likely 10-12 hour days. That turns into 60-72 hours a week. That doesn’t include the all nighters and the 7 day work weeks that will happen. Your comparing it to your work bit is you job known for a toxic work environment where the industry is trying for a union? Crunch and overtime isn’t the same thing. Most overtime is optional and some mandatory but none are like the gaming industry.

      You are really sticking up for CDPR when they literally came out to say crunch wouldn’t happen when many companies were proven guilty of doing crunch, just to go back on their word. This attitude is a huge part of the problem in the gaming industry.

      1. Exactly, crunch is much more then this. Which is why the extra 8 hours work day imposed by CDPR shouldnt even be called crunch. With the extra hours included, CDPR employees will work 48 hours per week spread on 6 days, which is 8 hours per day.

        The real problem is calling it crunch, when it really isnt because of how different polish (and EU in general) labour laws are. Everyone outraged by this news is just not doing their research to actually see for themselves.

  3. I could use some overtime at my work…. Haven’t had any available in about 4 years or longer.
    If it was unpaid labor… Or always mandatory overtime year round ( which would be useless productivity wise) then… Ok
  4. I work in TV. Editing and studio engineering work. We ALL knew that certain times of the year OT was expected of us. We also knew that there would be slow periods that would have barely enough work to keep us busy. I loved those Overtime checks. That’s how I could afford to take my daughter to Disneyworld during my slow times.
  5. I don’t get how people are defending CDPR. Why? Crunch has been a huge eyesore on the gaming industry. Articles, interviews, videos, and etc have come out showing how bad it is. People here saying oh I work 5-10 hours overtime is nothing compared to what these people do. These people work 12 hour days for 7 days a week. Not just working an extra 8 hours per pay. There has been people saying how crunch affected them. Some had mental exhaustion. Other have physical exhaustion. Missed family and relationships ended because of the strain. Yet people are acting like CDPR is amazing and can do no wrong.

    Had this been Ubisoft people would have been burning torches and getting their pitchforks. Especially since people are getting up in arms over a trailer by Ubisoft. Had EA or Activision or Epic did this the comments would be filled with hate towards those companies. But somehow CDPR going back on their word and making a statement frees them of all wrong doing.

    People put CDPR on a way to high of a pedestal. CDPR has been cocky since Witcher 3, which is funny because Witcher 3 was their only true big hit. Games released since then bombed. CDPR holding demos back, CDPR and Poundsmith trying to say first person perspective is immersive and 3rd person isn’t, and now the crunch shows CDPR doesn’t deserve all this praise. Cyberpunk 2077 needs to come out and have a metacritic of 6s or 7s. Just to show people and CDPR that they ain’t all that.

    1. They dont work 12 hours per day. The extra "crunch" adds an 8 hour work day each week, bringing the total hours of work from 40 per week to 48. Its also worth saying that the extra hours are being paid more.

      This isnt even worth calling crunch.

  6. The difference is you work overtime for 5 – 10 hours. Crunch is much more then this. These people will work 6 days a week at most likely 10-12 hour days. That turns into 60-72 hours a week. That doesn’t include the all nighters and the 7 day work weeks that will happen. Your comparing it to your work bit is you job known for a toxic work environment where the industry is trying for a union? Crunch and overtime isn’t the same thing. Most overtime is optional and some mandatory but none are like the gaming industry.

    You are really sticking up for CDPR when they literally came out to say crunch wouldn’t happen when many companies were proven guilty of doing crunch, just to go back on their word. This attitude is a huge part of the problem in the gaming industry.

    Polish labor laws are different than US or even EU laws. And this is nothing compared to what companies like EA do to their naïve, college graduated, minimum wage programmer farms.

  7. You whine to much. Try 7-12s in blistering heat. You sit in front of computer screens with air conditioning. You get paid well to do a job you are passionate about. At least you do not have to maintain your creature comforts through rigorous labor outside. At this time there are numerous people who’d gladly work overtime in blistering heat. Think of the people starving in Africa.

  8. You whine to much. Try 7-12s in blistering heat. You sit in front of computer screens with air conditioning. You get paid well to do a job you are passionate about. At least you do not have to maintain your creature comforts through rigorous labor outside. At this time there are numerous people who’d gladly work overtime in blistering heat. Think of the people starving in Africa.

    Im sorry, I have to agree with you…
    Im for proper treatment of workers and proper pay and benefits, but its hard to muster ‘ feelings’ about programers and crunch whatever. I have worked literal and real 80 hrs a week in jobs where my body needs to be present and accounted for working. I sustained it for a year when young, I know for a fact I could not now. I also know I could for some weeks, perhaps a few month if I have flexibility in my time (there is no such thing in my job though)
    So i question.. How many of these crunch hours are from home? How many if these hours include a break whenever you feel like it? Yeah, no. Game programers have not discovered hard work, and it borders on insulting.
    But yeah, they should create union and solve all this bull.

  9. That’s cute. I’ve been working outside 11 and 12 hours a day this week. Already at 45 hours and that doesn’t include what I’ll work today or tomorrow.
  10. Before getting outraged at CDPR for "overworking their employees" realize that, with the extra "crunch" included, they will have to work 8 hours per day, for 6 day each week, amounting to 48 hours per week. Extra hours also being payed more then usual.
  11. That’s how I feel. It’s getting close to release for one of the most anticipated games to release since RDR2 and somebody was hungry for attention.

    To my knowledge CDPR employees are FTE, and Polish law only allows for up to 8 hours more overtime per week. You have to be a real snowflake to complain about a single extra day of work for a temporary 6-week period. I’m sure there are a good number of us in the tech field who have had to literally live in our offices temporarily to get a project done.

    We have the same max 8 hour overtime / week law here in Hungary, but it is ignored by corpos. You still do the overtime but only get paid later because they can’t put more than 32 hours of overtime on the books for any given month.

  12. Crunch happens. If you work in the games industry it’s a matter of when, not if.

    Stuff can happen at any job that requires overtime effort (with or without pay). We had an emergency at my job and my entire department has been doing 10-12 hours days nonstop for 2 weeks now. But then again, this is from my home working remotely, not digging ditches. We are exempt employees so we won’t be paid extra for this. Just kinda how it goes sometimes.

  13. I work in the advertising industry and the demand on my time has been significant over the years. 60 hours a week has been commonplace for me and my colleagues. I knew going in to my career that I would likely work some crazy hours and that has proven to be true. That said, I imagine the tech and gaming industries maintain similar demands. Anyone who wants to work in the field of game development is likely aware of the sacrifices. That doesn’t make it easy when crunch time happens, but that’s the price you pay to be in an innovative and fast-paced industry.
Leave a comment