During an investor call in the wake of Cyberpunk 2077's recent 5-month delay to September of this year, Adam Kiciński, joint CEO of CD Projekt Red, has confirmed the developers working on the game will be subject to "some degree" of crunch in the run-up to the CP 2077's release.
CDPR came under fire in the wake of the release of 2015's The Witcher 3 when stories of developer crunch surfaced, with the studio itself eventually putting out a statement admitting to "inhumane" workloads being placed upon developers.
"They try to limit crunch as much as possible, but it is the final stage," said Kiciński. "We try to be reasonable in this regard, but yes. Unfortunately the team will be required to crunch."
Crunch itself has become a hot topic in the industry in the last few years, particularly since developers have become more open about potentially troubling work conditions. Devs at various studios have spoken of inhumane workloads, 100+ hour working weeks, and having breaks and holiday time denied all in favour of getting the game released to a tight deadline. This understandably takes a tough toll on the employee psyche, with all sorts of horror stories emerging from the likes of Rockstar and Red Dead Redemption 2, right on back to the infamous EA spouses letter.
In the statement released to announce the delay of Cyberpunk 2077, CDPR stated it was due to a desire for the game to be their "crowning achievement for this generation", and the studio had previously confirmed it would be taking steps to avoid developers being subject to the same level of crunch they faced on The Witcher III. It's currently unclear though whether these two things are connected, such as whether CP2077 was delayed to considerably reduce crunch, nor was it revealed the extent to which the development team will be subject to crunch.
Needless to say, a quick visit to anonymous employer ratings site Glassdoor tells us that poor work/life balance, too much pressure and "no life" are some common complaints. Let's just hope they take all the time they need for CP2077.
Cyberpunk 2077 will release on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia on September 17th, 2020.