Report: Cyberpunk 2077 Developers Grill Management Over Crunch, Deadlines, And Poor Launch

Illustration for article titled Report: iCyberpunk 2077/i Developers Grill Management Over Crunch, Deadlines, And Poor Launch
Image: CD Projekt Red

Staff at Cyberpunk 2077 studio CD Projekt Red asked tough questions of their leadership at an all-hands video meeting on Thursday, including about mandatory overtime and far-fetched production goals, according to a new report by Bloomberg.

“Developers asked blunt questions about the company’s reputation, the game’s unrealistic deadlines and the relentless overtime in the months and years leading up to the game’s Dec. 10 release,” Bloomberg writes. Cyberpunk 2077 was originally supposed to launch in April, but was delayed until September, and then November, and then finally until December. The game still appears unfinished in some ways, especially on PS4 and Xbox One where it suffers from extremely poor graphics, lots of glitches, and frequent crashes.

The game’s first delay was announced back in January with studio head, Adam Badowski, and co-founder Marcin Iwinski, saying in a statement, “We are currently at a stage where the game is complete and playable, but there’s still work to be done. Bloomberg reports that during yesterday’s all-hands, one employee asked the company’s board why it had said the game was “complete and playable,” when that wasn’t the case, with the board responding that it would take responsibility, though it’s unclear what that would mean.

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Cyberpunk 2077 has been out for just over a week and it’s been a rough one. On the back of viral videos showcasing the game’s bugs and occasionally poor performance, as well as extremely negative reviews of the console version, CD Projekt Red’s stock has plummeted by more than 30%. The game’s issues on console, meanwhile, culminated with Sony pulling the game from its digital storefront last night and offering everyone who already bought it a refund if they wanted one. The game is still currently for sale on Xbox One, however, though Microsoft announced today that it will offer full refunds to anyone who bought the game digitally. Earlier, CDPR joint-CEO Adam Kicinski told Reuters in a statement that it is not currently in discussions with Microsoft about pulling the game from Xbox.

At the start of the week, the company’s management apologized to players for the game’s issues on console, and said two large patches are planned for January and February, in addition to the first round of more minor updates. CDPR has also promised a next-gen version of Cyberpunk 2077 for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, along with DLC and a multiplayer mode still planned for the future. Back in September, Bloomberg reported that the studio had begun requiring developers on the game to work six-day weeks, with that policy being extended after the game’s last and final delay. According to Bloomberg, however, some departments at the studio began crunching to ship the game long before then.

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Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com

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“Bloomberg writes.”