Despite the numerous delays and a shortened campaign, it would seem that Cyberpunk 2077 will be unable to escape the inevitability of crunch. In a Bloomberg report, employees at CD Projekt Red were reportedly told that six-day work weeks will now be implemented. This will continue all the way until the November release of the game. The move contradicts previous promises that a Cyberpunk 2077 crunch would not happen.
The devs would be spending more time on troubleshooting bugs. An internal email from CD Projekt Red studio head Adam Badowski spelt it out pretty clear. Developers will work their normal hours, as well as an additional day on the weekend.
This undoubtedly unpopular move flies in the words of co-founder Marcin Iwiński. In 2019, it was shared that the studio would stick to a “non-obligatory crunch policy” when speaking to Kotaku. That did not mean that crunch would be entirely eliminated, and so it has proved. Co-CEO Adam Kiciński has also said that longer hours would be needed to spend on the game in a January conference call.
“I take it upon myself to receive the full backlash for the decision,” Badowski wrote in the internal email. “I know this is in direct opposition to what we’ve said about crunch. It’s also 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 Bloomberg report also pointed to an unnamed employee at the studio who revealed that a Cyberpunk 2077 crunch has already been happening over the year.
The increasing focus on crunch culture is not new. CD Projekt Red itself came under scrutiny for the development of The Witcher 3. The studio did promise to make things better, which could mean plenty of things. With this Cyberpunk 2077 crunch happening, we are just not sure what.