- Author: Daniel Downey
- Date: October 30, 2020
With the recent announcement that Cyberpunk 2077 would once more be delayed, the internet has predictably been in something of an uproar. From people who took time off, to folks already angry about the extra hours some CDPR employees were putting in, there were many left feeling betrayed and upset by the announcement. Some ‘fans’ have lost all perspective — CDPR developer Anderzej Zawadzki recently tweeted about death threats he and other developers were receiving.
Amid all the furor, CD Projekt Red’s Adam Kiciński managed to add fuel to the fire with his recent statement on crunch that he made in a conference call to investors:
Regarding crunch; actually, it’s not that bad – and never was. Of course it’s a story that has been picked up by the media, and some people have been crunching heavily, but a large part of the team is not crunching at all since they have finished their work; it’s mostly about Q&A and engineers, programmers – but it’s not that heavy; of course, it will be extended a bit, but we have feedback from the team; they’re happy about the extra three weeks, so we don’t see any threats regarding crunch.
Kiciński’s statement, when taken at face value, suggests that things aren’t as bad as they seem at the CDPR studios, and that the team is happy to be working on finishing the game. However, this doesn’t align at all with what other sources are reporting; Jason Schreier claims a CDPR dev informed him that they’d been working 100 hour weeks in the lead up to launch.
In response to the immediate backlash Kiciński received thanks to his dismissive comments, he quickly apologized in an email to employees:
I had not wanted to comment on crunch, yet I still did, and I did it in a demeaning and harmful way. Truth be told, it’s only now, when the stress connected with the delay decision an the call itself is lifting, that I’m fulling realizing the extent of my words.
I have nothing to say in my defense. What I said was not even unfortunate, it was utterly bad. For that, please accept my most sincere and honest apologies.
Frankly, it’s hard to know who to believe in situations like this. This sort of apology is a standard PR move, and would only be notable if it was absent. Obviously the CDPR CEO has a vested interest in making his company look good — but people who make their living off of news have just as much of an interest in creating drama whenever possible.
In addition to the concerns surrounding crunch, the recent delay also sparked worries about the game still having issues. In the recent conference call to investors CDPR representatives suggested it was mainly issues with making the game compatible with the Xbox One and PS4 that were delaying launch, but how much of that is true remains to be seen.
We have yet to hear first-hand from anyone working on Cyberpunk 2077, so it is difficult to know just how much of the stories of suffering employees we are hearing are true. The safest move seems to be to reserve judgement until there are more facts available, but for some people the decision to purchase the game becomes more difficult with the possibility that CDPR employees are being treated poorly. Given that the game now releases December 10th, it doesn’t seem likely that we will learn anything concrete in the next month and a half.
Will you still buy Cyberpunk 2077 in December? What if it gets pushed back again, to 2021? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments!