The upcoming role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077 has blown away fans with its stunning early gameplay release. Behind this is an enormous amount of hard work and dedication of the workers at CD Projekt Red. But is the polish studio ruining their workers’ lives? The Witcher series studio is known for a ‘crunch’ culture. They ask their employees to work nights and weekends for weeks or months at a time. Lately, the studio management also felt the need to improve their work-life balance.
In a recent interview, Marcin Iwiński, CD Projekt co-founder emphasised that they treat their gamers with respect. Moreover, he insisted that they also want to treat their developers with respect. For this, they implemented the ‘non-obligatory crunch policy’, which says that it is not mandatory to work on nights and weekends even when the studio asks them to. The company wants to be more humane and treat its people with respect.
However, Iwiński did not promise to limit crunch to a certain number, instead, he emphasised on the fact that making this public statement would help CD Projekt Red employees feel more comfortable while refusing their manager’s demand for extra hours. Crunch is omnipresent in the video game industry.
Apart from this, Iwiński and Badowski dismissed the rumours of financial trouble surging within the company. When asked regarding the limited vacation period for their employees. They replied that the studio is trying to organise the vacations better. Although, in case of any special occasion, the studio would certainly take care of those people. However, since this is the last year of the five year production time, special rules ought to be implemented, they added.
CD Projekt Red announced Cyberpunk 2077 in 2013. But, the game development did not start until 2015. Initially, they faced a few difficulties during the pre-production of the game. It was a difficult period for the company as they were unclear concerning the turnover and direction.
The demo of the game which featured in the E3 2018 helped them crystalise their vision.
The amount of workload actually depends on the department like the QA (testing), audio and tech teams. Different departments have different workloads. The workload is at its peak just before the E3. Although, CD Projekt Red pays its staff for overtime, unlike other studios. They provide 150% for nights and 200% for weekends.
CD Projekt is likely getting ready for this year’s E3, which is scheduled on June 11-13. The studio stated in March that the 2019 event will be its “most important one ever.”