CD Projekt Red orders mandatory crunch for employees ahead of Cyberpunk 2077 launch

Exley97

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Curious to see what people think of this news.

"Polish video game developer CD Projekt Red told employees on Monday that six-day work weeks will be mandatory leading up to the November release of the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077, reneging on an earlier promise to not force overtime on the project."

 

Casual Shinji

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Nothing new for CD Project, right? I mean, the same thing happened with The Witcher 3. And I think they even proudly stated once that crunch was part of how they made games. But considering they're industry darlings, I'm sure they won't catch as much flak for this as Rockstar and Naughty Dog did.
 

Exley97

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Nothing new for CD Project, right? I mean, the same thing happened with The Witcher 3. And I think they even proudly stated once that crunch was part of how they made games. But considering they're industry darlings, I'm sure they won't catch as much flak for this as Rockstar and Naughty Dog did.
Right, but I think since Witcher 3 they've seen how attitudes have changed about crunch, hence the company's pledge last year. I don't think it would necessarily be news otherwise. And by the looks of things, it seems like CD Projekt is taking some heat here (though if Twitter is any indication, there are a lot of folks defending them and trashing Jason Schreier).
 

laggyteabag

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Its a shame.

I certainly wouldn't want to be forced to work a 6-day week, even if it was for "only" 6 weeks.

I see comments from people saying "Its not too bad, they're getting paid for it" like that isn't the bare minimum.

Honestly, I would much rather that they delayed the game by a further week or 2, instead of taking it out on the employees.

Really disappointed in CDPR, here.
 

Exley97

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Its a shame.

I certainly wouldn't want to be forced to work a 6-day week, even if it was for "only" 6 weeks.

I see comments from people saying "Its not too bad, they're getting paid for it" like that isn't the bare minimum.

Honestly, I would much rather that they delayed the game by a further week or 2, instead of taking it out on the employees.

Really disappointed in CDPR, here.
And remember, the six weeks is just "mandatory" crunch -- according to the article, a source at the company said some staff had already been working nights/weekends for nearly a year.
 

CriticalGaming

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I wish people would stop making a big deal about overtime. People work overtime sometimes it's a thing that happens. It's not a big deal and if you can't handle overtime here and there then you need to grow up and realize that sometimes shit happens on the job and you sometimes need to put in extra effort to get shit done or fix problems.

These developers have been working on this game with a probably very normal work schedule for the better part of five years. Now we are 6 weeks away from the launch, and they can't push the release back and further. Which means people might need to put in some extra hours in work to make sure that nothing goes wrong and as much polish is applied as possible to the game before it's out the door.

The reality of business is sometimes there is overtime. Sometimes you have to do business during other countries work hours on top of your own. Sometimes you have to travel for work, sometimes a project deadline is approaching and you have to put in extra hours to hit your deadline. That's how the working world operates.

Engineers work overtime on almost every project to draft papers and blueprints because there might be construction deadlines that can't just be pushed back.

Lawyers may have to put in overtime to make sure they are prepared for a trial because the trial can't just be pushed back.

Traveling sales people have to work weekends through trade shows, or meetings with clients on off days, because business can't be pushed back.

All workplaces have to have deadlines, they have to have milestones, because despite being a coorporation money isn't endless and you can't bleed into a project forever. At some point they have to shove it out the door regardless.

The grown up working world has overtime. Fucking deal with it. And frankly I think the public gets more offended by crunch than employees do.

I remember even as a tester for Activision the last 5-6weeks of a project we worked 7 days a week 12 hours a day. And i loved it because the company paid for all my food, they arranged cabs to take me home and pick me up from work. Honestly crunch periods were the best times at work because not only did I make overtime pay everyday, but the company also paid for a lot of my expenses during that period.
 

CriticalGaming

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And remember, the six weeks is just "mandatory" crunch -- according to the article, a source at the company said some staff had already been working nights/weekends for nearly a year.
"some staff" what does that mean? The security guy? The Janitor? They are technically "some" staff.

Nobody is working 24/hours a day at a studio. They might have people working night shifts, and weekend shifts to make sure that there is someone working on the game 24/7, but that doesn't mean oppressive overtime. There are always strange details that get left out of statements like that. I love how every video game company seems to be a "hell on earth" working environment, yet the number of games made every year increases because more and more people get into game development.

At the end of the day, some perspective is in order i think. These aren't people working in Coal Mines (that do run 24/7), these are people working in offices making computer games.
 

Baffle

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It's extremely disappointing. I honestly don't know why anyone would want to work in the industry, let alone jump through all the hoops you have to for it, just to be treated like shit.
 

BrawlMan

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Nothing new, not surprised, not getting the game either way. I don't make excuses for bullshit like this.
 

Baffle

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I wish people would stop making a big deal about overtime. People work overtime sometimes it's a thing that happens. It's not a big deal and if you can't handle overtime here and there then you need to grow up and realize that sometimes shit happens on the job and you sometimes need to put in extra effort to get shit done or fix problems.

These developers have been working on this game with a probably very normal work schedule for the better part of five years. Now we are 6 weeks away from the launch, and they can't push the release back and further. Which means people might need to put in some extra hours in work to make sure that nothing goes wrong and as much polish is applied as possible to the game before it's out the door.

The reality of business is sometimes there is overtime. Sometimes you have to do business during other countries work hours on top of your own. Sometimes you have to travel for work, sometimes a project deadline is approaching and you have to put in extra hours to hit your deadline. That's how the working world operates.

Engineers work overtime on almost every project to draft papers and blueprints because there might be construction deadlines that can't just be pushed back.

Lawyers may have to put in overtime to make sure they are prepared for a trial because the trial can't just be pushed back.

Traveling sales people have to work weekends through trade shows, or meetings with clients on off days, because business can't be pushed back.

All workplaces have to have deadlines, they have to have milestones, because despite being a coorporation money isn't endless and you can't bleed into a project forever. At some point they have to shove it out the door regardless.

The grown up working world has overtime. Fucking deal with it. And frankly I think the public gets more offended by crunch than employees do.

I remember even as a tester for Activision the last 5-6weeks of a project we worked 7 days a week 12 hours a day. And i loved it because the company paid for all my food, they arranged cabs to take me home and pick me up from work. Honestly crunch periods were the best times at work because not only did I make overtime pay everyday, but the company also paid for a lot of my expenses during that period.
"Om nom nom, I love the taste of boots!"

Overtime is fine, useful when you need the cash. Compulsory overtime is never okay -- it's a failure of management.
 

Exley97

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"some staff" what does that mean? The security guy? The Janitor? They are technically "some" staff.

Nobody is working 24/hours a day at a studio. They might have people working night shifts, and weekend shifts to make sure that there is someone working on the game 24/7, but that doesn't mean oppressive overtime. There are always strange details that get left out of statements like that. I love how every video game company seems to be a "hell on earth" working environment, yet the number of games made every year increases because more and more people get into game development.

At the end of the day, some perspective is in order i think. These aren't people working in Coal Mines (that do run 24/7), these are people working in offices making computer games.
I don't know -- I'm not Jason Schreier and I didn't write the article. Regardless, If you've worked on games before, particularly at Activision, then I think you know that it's not just the janitor or security guy working weekends, especially for a game the size and scope of Cyberpunk 2077.

Also, I agree perspective is needed, and not all overtime is bad. And kudos to CD Projekt Red for actually paying people to work overtime on nights/weekends! But a lot of developers and publishers don't. And six weeks may not be "hell on earth," but 1) that assumes the crunch will actually end in six weeks, and 2) that the next project or employer wont have you in the same position. And crunch may not bother you, but I think burnout in this industry is a very real problem.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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I mean it's not great but if it's normal hours but 6 days a week it's better than 5 days a week working 5 til 9.
 

happyninja42

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Its a shame.

I certainly wouldn't want to be forced to work a 6-day week, even if it was for "only" 6 weeks.

I see comments from people saying "Its not too bad, they're getting paid for it" like that isn't the bare minimum.

Honestly, I would much rather that they delayed the game by a further week or 2, instead of taking it out on the employees.

Really disappointed in CDPR, here.
I used to work at a cardboard production plant, we made cardboard boxes for a multitude of different brands. From water heaters for homes, to Little Debbie snack boxes. The plant ran 24/7, and had 3 shifts of 8 hours. The amount of material that went through that plant was insane. And if your counterpart on another shift didn't show up, you had to stay over 4 more hours, and the other guy on the other end of the short shift, had to come in 4 hours early. Doesn't sound too bad, until you consider that some jobs were very specific, and only certain people on the different shifts were double trained. So while my guy on 3rd shift might actually be there that day, he was not doing MY job, as he was filling in for the control room guy, because the other control room guy was on vacation for 2 weeks, or in one case, dead, and they hadn't brought in a new guy. So I had to stay over, to fill his spot, while he filled that other guys spot. And this would go on for weeks. And then it would shift, because once vacation guy was back on 3rd shift, a guy on 1st shift would take HIS vacation, and we'd start the game of musical chairs all over again, but this time, I'm coming in early, not staying late. And it was a hot job. The machines that baked the paper into cardboard ran around 600deg Fahrenheit, flash steaming the material that was going through the feeder at....i think probably around 40-50 miles per hour? Really fucking fast, so it had to be super hot since it was only in contact with the material to bake it for like half a second. So, this machine is putting out so many BTUs of heat, that even during the winter, I'm wearing shorts and a tshirt, and still sweating balls. During the summer, it was even worse, as my post was near the roof of the factory, so heat rises, so I'm even more cooked. During the summer, I would drink probably 8 liters of water, if not more, and I'd sweat so much I would rarely use the bathroom.

The stress of this setup, for month after month, drove me to the point, where I, a guy who really hates any kind of violence or conflict, so much so that I get physically ill when confronted by someone in an aggressive manner, was SERIOUSLY contemplating punching out the Plant Manager, because he was being an asshole on a survey of our shift, and I just really wasn't in the mood to take his shit. I did in fact, cuss him out, but restrained from punching his asshole face. That was when I realized I needed to quit that job. Because I was seriously contemplating physical violence on another person. ME, and, I know you people don't know me, but trust me, that's a tall order to get me to WANT to inflict violence on someone. So I quit the job a week later, since you know, I didn't want to go to jail for assault.

But hey, the pay was really good! So that makes up for all of the physical strain, injuries, heat strokes, having to work with blatant racists (my coworker would seriously call hispanics w-backs, and black the N word, and couldn't understand why I didn't like him saying that shit around me). I've got hearing loss from the noise level, because the hearing protection was shit, and a bunch of other things. *sarcasm*

So yeah, crunch can go fuck off. The monetary compensation does not make up for the other things you lose. The longer it goes on, the more diminishing returns kick in, until you are just a walking corpse, without anything good going on.
 

CriticalGaming

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Compulsory overtime is never okay -- it's a failure of management.
Wrong, any number of things can go wrong. Especially in Game development. Unforeseen bugs, unforseen things can break when other bugs are fixed. Just like unforeseen problems can arise in many other projects, construction projects can have weather cause issues or industrial accidents can set back projections.

Things go wrong and the workforce has to adapt to overcome those things. This results usually in mandatory unexpected overtime.

To say it is a mangement failure is not always true.

I don't know -- I'm not Jason Schreier and I didn't write the article. Regardless, If you've worked on games before, particularly at Activision, then I think you know that it's not just the janitor or security guy working weekends, especially for a game the size and scope of Cyberpunk 2077.
See the problem is the way it's worded. Like the statement is meant to imply that they are forcing people to work weekends and nights on top of the normal 9-5 weekday shifts. But this lacks context and is highly unlikely. What's more likely is that they have a completely different staff working nights and rotating people out for the weekends.

It isn't uncommon for a studio to have people working on a game 24 hours a day, but that doesn't mean it's the same people. There are things called shifts, and different people work different shifts. Just like any other business that runs 24 hours a day.

Much like many of these articles, they want you to cast judgement and outrage without knowing the full story or context of the situation.

That sucks dude. and I feel for you. However your situation is not "crunch" it's your factory being run by shitheads. And let's not compare your hot ass miserable factory work, to people sitting at computers making video games. Those are two different levels of stress. Your stress was physical misery, while any developer stress is almost purely mental.

But your story is a clear case of the management sucking ass. Which isn't the case with CDPR and most video game development. The end of development push, or "crunch", is just the developers making sure that the final bug fixes and polish patches do not break the game somewhere and that the final code is okay to ship. This is the vast majority of video game "crunch" periods (as I've worked through dozens and dozens of projects at activison over the course of five years) and each period is usually no more than 6 weeks. Sometimes it's even less not to mention that once the game ships the devs usually get a paid vacation and a skeleton crew is left behind for emergency bug fixes, or patches.
 

happyninja42

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That sucks dude. and I feel for you. However your situation is not "crunch" it's your factory being run by shitheads. And let's not compare your hot ass miserable factory work, to people sitting at computers making video games. Those are two different levels of stress. Your stress was physical misery, while any developer stress is almost purely mental.
If you don't think there was mental stress from that situation then you are high.
 

CriticalGaming

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If you don't think there was mental stress from that situation then you are high.
Well combined with the physical nightmare. I mean yes, there is a mental aspect of all things I think, but you get my meaning right? The difference between a nightmare cardboard factory and video game development. Just like you would compare the stress of Mcdonald's work to Coal Mining.

I was just trying to offer separation, is all.
 

Avnger

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Well combined with the physical nightmare. I mean yes, there is a mental aspect of all things I think, but you get my meaning right? The difference between a nightmare cardboard factory and video game development. Just like you would compare the stress of Mcdonald's work to Coal Mining.

I was just trying to offer separation, is all.
I truly have to wonder if you've ever worked a job in your life or even seen someone working a job. Your lack of perspective and empathy is honestly astonishing; a feral child found in the woods would have a better understanding.
 

Phoenixmgs

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Wrong, any number of things can go wrong. Especially in Game development. Unforeseen bugs, unforseen things can break when other bugs are fixed. Just like unforeseen problems can arise in many other projects, construction projects can have weather cause issues or industrial accidents can set back projections.

Things go wrong and the workforce has to adapt to overcome those things. This results usually in mandatory unexpected overtime.

To say it is a mangement failure is not always true.
Witcher 3 had tons of game systems and assets that had no point being in the game. Sure, unforeseen things happen but overtime resulting from that in any industry is rather low percentage compared to poor management.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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I wish people would stop making a big deal about overtime. People work overtime sometimes it's a thing that happens. It's not a big deal and if you can't handle overtime here and there then you need to grow up and realize that sometimes shit happens on the job and you sometimes need to put in extra effort to get shit done or fix problems.

These developers have been working on this game with a probably very normal work schedule for the better part of five years. Now we are 6 weeks away from the launch, and they can't push the release back and further. Which means people might need to put in some extra hours in work to make sure that nothing goes wrong and as much polish is applied as possible to the game before it's out the door.

The reality of business is sometimes there is overtime. Sometimes you have to do business during other countries work hours on top of your own. Sometimes you have to travel for work, sometimes a project deadline is approaching and you have to put in extra hours to hit your deadline. That's how the working world operates.

Engineers work overtime on almost every project to draft papers and blueprints because there might be construction deadlines that can't just be pushed back.

Lawyers may have to put in overtime to make sure they are prepared for a trial because the trial can't just be pushed back.

Traveling sales people have to work weekends through trade shows, or meetings with clients on off days, because business can't be pushed back.

All workplaces have to have deadlines, they have to have milestones, because despite being a coorporation money isn't endless and you can't bleed into a project forever. At some point they have to shove it out the door regardless.

The grown up working world has overtime. Fucking deal with it. And frankly I think the public gets more offended by crunch than employees do.

I remember even as a tester for Activision the last 5-6weeks of a project we worked 7 days a week 12 hours a day. And i loved it because the company paid for all my food, they arranged cabs to take me home and pick me up from work. Honestly crunch periods were the best times at work because not only did I make overtime pay everyday, but the company also paid for a lot of my expenses during that period.
The reason that we are talking about crunch is because crunch is not actually a *sometimes* thing. Crunch is an always thing and should not be.
 
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