Crunch culture is a term used in the video game industry to describe the practice of working extremely long hours in order to make sure that a game is ready in time for its release date.
It’s rather unfortunate that this continues to play a major role in video game development, given the fact that it’s significantly exhausting to developers. Naturally, they would want to avoid this stressful situation as much as possible.
Now, however, there’s been a report that CD Projekt Red is enforcing the Cyberpunk 2077 developers to work crunch time. This makes the studio one of the many companies implicated in perpetuating crunch culture.
Cyberpunk 2077 is scheduled to be released soon, not long after the release of the Xbox Series X and PS5. Despite its low pre-order sales, the title is turning out to be one of the most highly-awaited games this year, but the developers are suffering in the process.
Recently, CD Projekt Red has been accused of implementing mandatory six-day work weeks, which is the complete opposite of what the studio said last year when they promised that they wouldn’t force crunch time on the developers.
From what we can see so far based on the updates and sneak peeks, Cyberpunk 2077 will be an intricate game with gangs, for instance, and all kinds of other content that will provide players with a unique gameplay experience.
However, it’s definitely disappointing to hear that all these wonderful features come at the expense of the developers. According to Bloomberg, the developers are required to work extra hours to work on the game.
The reporter, Jason Schreier, mentioned that when he interviewed one of CD Projekt Red’s bosses last year, he was specifically instructed to announce that they didn’t want mandatory crunch time to be a part of the game’s development process.
Many developers on Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most hotly anticipated games of 2020, have been working overtime hours for months if not years now. But this call for six-day work weeks, "mandatory" crunch, directly reneges on what CDPR's bosses told me last year.
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) September 29, 2020
Now, it appears that CD Projekt Red is going against their word, as they are now enforcing the developers to work for six days straight until Cyberpunk 2077 gets released. Sadly, this isn’t the first time that the studio has been accused of overworking their staff.
However, unlike other companies like Rockstar, it seems that CD Projekt Red is not improving its workplace policies. Crunch culture, in and of itself, is already a pretty concerning practice, given the fact that it can damage a developer’s work-life balance.
Not only that, but crunch culture also encourages unhealthy work practices. What makes this entire situation even direr is the fact that CD Projekt Red went back on the promise they made last year.
We’re not sure what the studio told their employees exactly, but without a doubt, many of the developers are unhappy about this mandate.
Although Cyberpunk 2077 is expected to be a great game and fans are undoubtedly excited, it’s also important that the developers who are working extremely hard on the title are treated the right way, too.
After all, the game wouldn’t be possible without these hardworking developers, and they don’t deserve to be overworked and misled in this manner.