CD PROJEKT RED Mandates Six-Day Work Weeks Ahead of Cyberpunk 2077’s Launch

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IcePickFreak

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I like how everyone talks about how they are getting paid... Based on the way the management worded it they wouldn't be if they had a choice. The fact that the company response is due to Polish laws we will be paying everyone overtime.

If a company came out and stated our product will not kill children because laws in the USA prohibit us from selling poison to children that take away wouldn't be their product is safe the take way is why do they need to state that they are not going to kill kids? Do they want to kill kids? If they could poison and kill kids would they?

All they had to say is that we will be compensating our employees for working overtime and stop there, the added because we are forced to by law doesn't make it sounds like they have the employee's best interest at heart.
Huh? That wasn't in quotes, that's something the author of the article added in there, not the guy from CDPR. o_O
“Starting today, the entire (development) studio is in overdrive,” Badowski wrote, elaborating that this meant “your typical amount of work and one day of the weekend.” <- Note the end of the quote here. The extra work would be paid, as required by Polish labor laws. Many other video game studios don’t pay for overtime.
Disclaimer: The text in green is a comment I added in for clarification, neither CDPR or the author said it, just to be clear (I hope?)
 

Flogger23m

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Or some things just progress slower when working from home (coordination between multiple people) and other small things that naturally delayed the game.
 

RanceJustice

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There are myriad issues with "crunch" in the game development industry. What started out as something that was a rare "Sometimes we all have to pull together during big moments, everyone will be compensated, get extra bonuses after a job well done, and time to rest before the next project" has been turned into just another form of exploitation. Continual crunch rather than proper scheduling, higher-ups lounging about while workers are expected to crunch, rates of work that are harmful and contribute to burnout not to mention other health problems, little contribution if any and pressure that employees "give of themselves to make the game the best it can be" through things like unpaid overtime while firing/failure to promote those who dont' because they're "not team players" etc...

It goes on and on in this late-stage capitalist hellscape and we just need to call it what it is - exploitation, wage theft, and horrible management practices. Even companies who make games we like like CDPR shouldn't be grinding their employees to grist to do so. There's numerous reports of just how much garbage like this is in the AAA industry and CDPR is far from the only ones or the worst, but especially with the delays it would be nice if they could schedule the development in a way that didn't require the rather predictable crunch practice. Its understandable that as things get down to the wire you'll need to polish things up and get ready for launch, but crunch that starts in the final days or perhaps the week or so of launch is different than the practices that have become common in the industry. This is not to say CDPR is the worst, but even their comparatively "good" iteration showcases an issue. As companies adjust in the wake of COVID19 it should be an opportunity to put an end to some of these norms and replace them with something better.

Overall perpetual crunch culture is related to many of the other issues within the industry and ends up harming the employees, which isn't acceptable. In the same way that we shouldn't want to purchase sweatshop-made clothing, buy conflict diamonds, or support corporate agribusiness for numerous reasons, we shouldn't accept that exploitation of the worker should be part of AAA game development, either.
 

Factum

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I like how everyone talks about how they are getting paid... Based on the way the management worded it they wouldn't be if they had a choice. The fact that the company response is due to Polish laws we will be paying everyone overtime.

If a company came out and stated our product will not kill children because laws in the USA prohibit us from selling poison to children that take away wouldn't be their product is safe the take way is why do they need to state that they are not going to kill kids? Do they want to kill kids? If they could poison and kill kids would they?

All they had to say is that we will be compensating our employees for working overtime and stop there, the added because we are forced to by law doesn't make it sounds like they have the employee's best interest at heart.

You cannot protect against people from the US not reading and understanding, but still whining 🤷‍♂️
 

Exavior

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Huh? That wasn't in quotes, that's something the author of the article added in there, not the guy from CDPR. o_O

Disclaimer: The text in green is a comment I added in for clarification, neither CDPR or the author said it, just to be clear (I hope?)

I guess trying to quickly skim the article I did miss the “ and read that all as the quote.
 

DFenz

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Six days of work sitting at a desk working on a video game can't be that hard, maybe a little added stress, try working 70 hours in the dead of winter tearing up a road to fix a sewer system. But to keep businesses functioning sometimes sacrifices need to be made, they can leave if they don't like it. They can start their own company with no overtime and see how it works out.

Fortunately I work at a tech company myself and know how easy we got it even when I have mandatory overtime, but did work construction throughout my 20s, so I know how easy I got it these days. Especially during covid.
 

blackmomba

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Six days of work sitting at a desk working on a video game can't be that hard, maybe a little added stress, try working 70 hours in the dead of winter tearing up a road to fix a sewer system. But to keep businesses functioning sometimes sacrifices need to be made, they can leave if they don't like it. They can start their own company with no overtime and see how it works out.

Totally right, "sitting at desk working video game" is definitely nothing compared to being a plumber in the winter, what in God's name are these people whining about !
 

alxlwson

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My 6-7 day workweek. And I love it.

Buncha whiny little girls. I have zero sympathy for grown people to complain about a cozy chair, air conditioning, and going home every night. They all went into the industry knowing what would be required of them. Suck it up, take your nice paycheck, and go on a nice vacation when the crunch is over.
 

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Meeho

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My 6-7 day workweek. And I love it.

Buncha whiny little girls. I have zero sympathy for grown people to complain about a cozy chair, air conditioning, and going home every night. They all went into the industry knowing what would be required of them. Suck it up, take your nice paycheck, and go on a nice vacation when the crunch is over.
I'm sure you would love it just as much with lower pay, no job security and increased unpaid workload.
 

alxlwson

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alxlwson mate, are those nukes that get aimed at moscow?!😯😵

Wet end at paper mills lol. I work on overhead cranes.

I'm sure you would love it just as much with lower pay, no job security and increased unpaid workload.

I would say most coders make more money than I do($85k+). My job security is my knowledge and work ethic. Nobody in America works extra without extra pay unless they are salaried workers, and they signed that contract of their own free will.
 

Meeho

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I would say most coders make more money than I do($85k+). My job security is my knowledge and work ethic. Nobody in America works extra without extra pay unless they are salaried workers, and they signed that contract of their own free will.
CDPR is not in America, but this is a fantasy there too.
 

chameleoneel

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Why is this even news? The project is hugely complexed, pushing the envelope. Covid came and messed things up as well. Besides a true team takes responsibility for the outcome and not just blame management but that is besides the point. Unfortunately the hype train is not good because some folks would never really get into a game like this but may end up buying it and not liking it. I am not even sure I will even play it, if the actual game turns out great, gets needed updates if necessary then that will be the time for me.

Really, 72 hours is harsh??? lol, some of us had to work for a living, serve our Country and what not. Was a manager for years, 72 hours would be a short week. Owners of businesses, some put in 16 hours+ a day, 7 days a week for years and become either rich or in a mental institution :(.
its news because CDPR said (some time ago) that they had taken steps to not do this anymore and to clean up their work culture.

Also, the hours and responsibilities of owners and higher managers are not comparable to other employees. And the fact that you have been in those positions....don't lose sight of reality about your co-workers and those who work for you.
 
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This sounds to me like they mismanaged their time while working from home and misrepresented deadlines to everyone. Fire them all and scrap the game TBH.
 

OpenSource

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So the game has been in development for what 4-5 years, and you have management asking for 6 weeks of crunch? I mean... that doesn't really seem that bad. I guess all of the other game studios have made "crunch time" into something so taboo, because its the norm for those, in that industry that it's now unacceptable for any reason, ever for CDPR. I applaud them for saying they're going to try to prevent that but shit happens maybe this will help them prevent that in future releases..
 

Meeho

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So the game has been in development for what 4-5 years, and you have management asking for 6 weeks of crunch? I mean... that doesn't really seem that bad. I guess all of the other game studios have made "crunch time" into something so taboo, because its the norm for those, in that industry that it's now unacceptable for any reason, ever for CDPR. I applaud them for saying they're going to try to prevent that but shit happens maybe this will help them prevent that in future releases..
CDPR has been one of the worst offenders, so much so they went out of their way to publicly vow to do better. Then they mismanage their next big project, take years meandering, delay it several times, all the while lying about the state of the development and progress, only to now do the very thing they were notorious for and had denounced, and confirming they had been lying about Cyberpunk's state the whole time.
 

OpenSource

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CDPR has been one of the worst offenders, so much so they went out of their way to publicly vow to do better. Then they mismanage their next big project, take years meandering, delay it several times, all the while lying about the state of the development and progress, only to now do the very thing they were notorious for and had denounced, and confirming they had been lying about Cyberpunk's state the whole time.

That context helps, thanks.

If they've been known for this for years and have literally just been pissing away at development time then that's something entirely different.
 
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Wet end at paper mills lol. I work on overhead cranes.



I would say most coders make more money than I do($85k+). My job security is my knowledge and work ethic. Nobody in America works extra without extra pay unless they are salaried workers, and they signed that contract of their own free will.

You ought to be making a lot more working in those shit conditions. Hey but those gold miners in Africa do have it way worse.
 

Aireoth

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There are myriad issues with "crunch" in the game development industry. What started out as something that was a rare "Sometimes we all have to pull together during big moments, everyone will be compensated, get extra bonuses after a job well done, and time to rest before the next project" has been turned into just another form of exploitation. Continual crunch rather than proper scheduling, higher-ups lounging about while workers are expected to crunch, rates of work that are harmful and contribute to burnout not to mention other health problems, little contribution if any and pressure that employees "give of themselves to make the game the best it can be" through things like unpaid overtime while firing/failure to promote those who dont' because they're "not team players" etc...

It goes on and on in this late-stage capitalist hellscape and we just need to call it what it is - exploitation, wage theft, and horrible management practices. Even companies who make games we like like CDPR shouldn't be grinding their employees to grist to do so. There's numerous reports of just how much garbage like this is in the AAA industry and CDPR is far from the only ones or the worst, but especially with the delays it would be nice if they could schedule the development in a way that didn't require the rather predictable crunch practice. Its understandable that as things get down to the wire you'll need to polish things up and get ready for launch, but crunch that starts in the final days or perhaps the week or so of launch is different than the practices that have become common in the industry. This is not to say CDPR is the worst, but even their comparatively "good" iteration showcases an issue. As companies adjust in the wake of COVID19 it should be an opportunity to put an end to some of these norms and replace them with something better.

Overall perpetual crunch culture is related to many of the other issues within the industry and ends up harming the employees, which isn't acceptable. In the same way that we shouldn't want to purchase sweatshop-made clothing, buy conflict diamonds, or support corporate agribusiness for numerous reasons, we shouldn't accept that exploitation of the worker should be part of AAA game development, either.

Late stage capitalism has nothing to do with crunch time or any of your other complaints, nor would any other system address it.

This issue, like many of the others you rant about are in a constant flux of push and pull, globalisation has had more impact on it than capitalism.
 
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alxlwson

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You ought to be making a lot more working in those shit conditions. Hey but those gold miners in Africa do have it way worse.

That's my base. Im in six figs by end of October. I also pay $170 for health insurance each month for the wife and me($5k max out of pocket/plan), 6% 401k match, 1:.5 match on stock purchase plan, 120hrs PTO + 40hrs sick, PTO rollover, free Aflac, free dental/eye, I can call in whenever I want with zero issue, 75% STDetc ... I get treated very well. I'm called a Specialist, but I'm basically a "field engineer" with a hard focus on automation. I work hard, and I play hard. We all do in this field, and there is never anyone over our shoulders. I have one of the most elite jobs in the world, and very few can handle the requirements. No other career requires working at heights in the temperatures you've seen, while also requiring the ability to weld, troubleshoot/program PLC's(structured text which is basically C++, as well as ladder logic and boolean), VFD's, tune saturable reactor controls, rig, configure/troubleshoot industrial networks (fiber, copper, CAN Bus, ProfiBus, ProfiNET), operate heavy equipment, calm angry customers, sell $250k repairs on the spot, repair rotating machinery, etc...
Part of an elite trade like no other. We are so badass, unions can't even figure out how to organize us(a fantastic thing, fuck those lazy asshats).
At the end of the day- either you love your job, or you don't. If you don't, then go find something else. Complaining solves absolutely nothing. Do yourself right and go find something that you love. I have no sympathy for folks that bitch and have no action.
 
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That's my base. Im in six figs by end of October. I also pay $170 for health insurance each month for the wife and me($5k max out of pocket/plan), 6% 401k match, 1:.5 match on stock purchase plan, 120hrs PTO + 40hrs sick, PTO rollover, free Aflac, free dental/eye, I can call in whenever I want with zero issue, 75% STDetc ... I get treated very well. I'm called a Specialist, but I'm basically a "field engineer" with a hard focus on automation. I work hard, and I play hard. We all do in this field, and there is never anyone over our shoulders. I have one of the most elite jobs in the world, and very few can handle the requirements. No other career requires working at heights in the temperatures you've seen, while also requiring the ability to weld, troubleshoot/program PLC's(structured text which is basically C++, as well as ladder logic and boolean), VFD's, tune saturable reactor controls, rig, configure/troubleshoot industrial networks (fiber, copper, CAN Bus, ProfiBus, ProfiNET), operate heavy equipment, calm angry customers, sell $250k repairs on the spot, repair rotating machinery, etc...
Part of an elite trade like no other. We are so badass, unions can't even figure out how to organize us(a fantastic thing, fuck those lazy asshats).
At the end of the day- either you love your job, or you don't. If you don't, then go find something else. Complaining solves absolutely nothing. Do yourself right and go find something that you love. I have no sympathy for folks that bitch and have no action.

That's cool that you're happy, all that matters I guess. But even with all the extra info you gave me it makes me think even more that you're underpaid.
 

cybereality

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I don't agree with crunch, but I've lived with it as unavoidable doing game development.

Glad to hear cyberpunk has gone gold. I'm sure all the devs are really happy. I think it might be the best game of all time.
 

doublejack

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Probably not. They have bugs and shit to fix for day one patch more then likely.

That's a whole other bad practice that needs to end. Not everyone should be using the Microsoft model of shipping crap just to get the code out the door and worry about fixing it later.

Also, I don't think it is enough to demand continued crunch. The game went gold, that should take the pressure off. Unless there are glaring issues that somehow missed initial testing, the devs should get more time to hunt down and fix bugs correctly so they don't break more things in the process.
 

alxlwson

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That's a whole other bad practice that needs to end. Not everyone should be using the Microsoft model of shipping crap just to get the code out the door and worry about fixing it later.

Also, I don't think it is enough to demand continued crunch. The game went gold, that should take the pressure off. Unless there are glaring issues that somehow missed initial testing, the devs should get more time to hunt down and fix bugs correctly so they don't break more things in the process.

With the countless hardware configurations that exist, it's not something they can test for all that thoroughly. The same goes for software- A simple obscure overlay can tank a games performance or keep it from running all together.
Fact is that due to the basically infinite hardware/software configurations on the PC side of things, this practice isn't going to change, and will only continue to get worse.
 

Aurelius

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I never quite get the "suck it up, buttercup" mindset that tolerates exploiting workers.

Yeah, coding from home is considerably less demanding than field work, but six-day-a-week crunch for weeks at a time is still rough, particularly if you have a family. And since when was "spend almost all your time working" acceptable, no matter what your industry might be?

That's not to say overtime should be banned outright, but we shouldn't let companies walk all over us, either. They should acknowledge that you're a human being with a life outside of work.
 

Axman

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I never quite get the "suck it up, buttercup" mindset that tolerates exploiting workers.
They're not working a coal mine, they're coding a video game. That makes it sound like their being flogged by their taskmasters, that they'll die young with black lung.

What they're doing is working on a once-in-a-lifetime project. And they're running behind. As a whole, they're running behind, so as a whole, they're being asked--and paid--to work harder.
 

Aurelius

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They're not working a coal mine, they're coding a video game. That makes it sound like their being flogged by their taskmasters, that they'll die young with black lung.

What they're doing is working on a once-in-a-lifetime project. And they're running behind. As a whole, they're running behind, so as a whole, they're being asked--and paid--to work harder.

As I said, it's still rough even if you have a family, and it's exploitative. Why do you like exploitation?
 

DFenz

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As I said, it's still rough even if you have a family, and it's exploitative. Why do you like exploitation?

It's not exploitation it's about the team simply being behind and needing to regain ground to meet a deadline... If they were on target they wouldn't have to work overtime. Being behind on a project can result in a domino effect on future projects, just because Cyberpunk comes out on the 19th doesn't mean they stop working on games, they move onto the next project. From a project managers prospective you want to meet all deadlines.

In this case CDPR said the overtime is optional. I know I heard the conspiracy theories that they will target people who won't work the overtime, but that is likely stress and anxiety speaking from a younger inexperienced employee.
 

Aurelius

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How are they being exploited?

By being forced to work extremely long hours, to the detriment of their well-being and families... it's really not that hard. People fought for decades so that we wouldn't be working 70 or 80 hours a week, but we're apparently willing to let that slide just so we can play a video game a couple months earlier.
 

pendragon1

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By being forced to work extremely long hours, to the detriment of their well-being and families... it's really not that hard. People fought for decades so that we wouldn't be working 70 or 80 hours a week, but we're apparently willing to let that slide just so we can play a video game a couple months earlier.
they will be working a 48 hour weeks for 6 weeks out of 8 years. go cry in the river.
 
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