Gaming

Cyberpunk 2077 lead dev responds to crunch backlash

Published: 30/Sep/2020 11:30 Updated: 20/Oct/2020 11:39

by Calum Patterson

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Adam Badowksi, the head of CD Projekt Red, has responded publicly following a report that the studio would be enforcing mandatory six-day working weeks for all staff in the lead up to the release of Cyberpunk 2077.

Although Badowski had previously stated that they would avoid crunch as much as possible, to buck the industry trend, it was uncovered in a report from Bloomberg that this was not going to be the case.

With the game already being delayed twice, another delay was not an option, according to the studio bosses, and so all of the development team would have to start doing six-day weeks.

On September 30, Badowski responded to the reports, after the studio-wide email was sent to press, explaining their position further.

Cyberpunk 2077 street with car driving
CD Projekt Red
Cyberpunk 2077 has already been delayed twice.

“These last six weeks are our final sprint on a project we’ve all spent much of our lives on. Something we care for deeply,” he explained.

“The majority of the team understands the push, especially in light of the fact that we’ve just sent the game to cert, and every day brings us visibly closer to shipping a game we want to be proud of.”

“This is one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, but everyone is well compensated for every extra hour they put in. And, like in recent years, 10% of the annual profit our company generates in 2020 will be split directly among the team.”

When news of enforced overtime broke, many were calling for the game to simply be delayed again, rather than having more stress on the developers. Some even suggested boycotting the game entirely as a result.

The community will now have to gauge Badowski’s response, and how it measures up to their expectations of the acclaimed studio.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 report reveals scrapped features: 3rd person, wall-running, more

Published: 16/Jan/2021 13:09 Updated: 16/Jan/2021 21:08

by Joe Craven

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UPDATE 1/16: CDPR Studio Head Adam Badowski has responded via Twitter, addressing several of the points mentioned in the Bloomberg report. A new Cyberpunk 2077 report has revealed a number of major features that were cut in the development process by CD Projekt Red.

Cyberpunk 2077 released back in December of 2020 and, over a month later, it’s still fairly difficult to ascertain a definitive community response.

The game’s release on PC and next-gen widely delivered the experience that fans expected, but many players still using PS4 and Xbox One consoles were left massively disappointed with invasive bugs and texture issues. As such, CD Projekt offered unprecedented refunds to the affected players.

However, on January 15, Bloomberg‘s Jason Schreier revealed that the game could have looked massively different, and some major features were cut during the development process.

Cyberpunk 2077 with logo
CD Projekt Red
Cyberpunk 2077 has been a mixed bag for a lot of players.

Most notably, Schreier revealed that, up until 2016, it was conceived as a third-person game. Given the perspectives we got when it launched in December, a third-person view of Night City seems difficult to imagine. The obvious reference for comparison here is GTA V, which released in third person way back in 2013, before adding an optional first-person perspective.

“If you’re wondering just how much Cyberpunk 2077 changed over the past decade: well, up until 2016, it was a third-person game,” Schreier said. The Bloomberg reporter then revealed a number of major features that were cut, including a wall-running mechanic, flying cars and car ambushes.

“Features that were originally envisioned (wall-running, flying cars, car ambushes) were cut along the way (not atypical in game development),” he commented.

It should be noted that flying cars aren’t totally removed, as you can still be taxied in them, but they can’t be driven (piloted?) or owned, unlike road vehicles.

He also explained that the police system in Cyberpunk was added at “the last minute”. Many fans have made the comparison to GTA, and concluded that GTA’s open-world environment is better realized.

Schreier puts this down to trying to emulate the GTA series, albeit with a fraction of their resources. It is also stated that CD Projekt’s management hurried the game’s development and pushed for a 2020 release, despite the scale of the game. Reports state that the game’s developers believed it would be released in 2022.

Adam Badowski – studio head at CD Projekt Red – responded to the article via Twitter on January 16. He thanked Schreier for his full report and additional tweets, but wanted to offer his own thoughts on the information presented in the article.

Badowski’s response addressed three specific points from the report: the game demo provided to the media at E3 2018, CDPR staff believing the game wasn’t ready for release in 2020, and the use of different languages within the workplace.

The studio head pointed to the complex nature of game development and the many different nationalities working at CDPR as answers to some of the issues. Badowski also reiterated that despite on the game’s on-going problems, the studio is “proud of Cyberpunk 2077 as a game and artistic vision.”

Whether CD Projekt (and, indeed, their management) learn from Cyberpunk’s issues remains to be seen, but fans can still get excited about the remainder of the game’s life-cycle.