Last week’s news of Cyberpunk 2077‘s delay was accompanied by a controversial statement from CD Projekt RED’s CEO Adam Kiciński, who told investors in no uncertain terms that the delay would “unfortunately” result in crunch. Although the studio has previously made an effort to limit crunch, Kiciński noted that the game is in its final stages and will require long working hours “to some degree.”
The statement was met by a lot of criticism, especially in light of the game industry’s history of poor working conditions. The International Game Developers Association has issued its own statement, expressing concerns over Kiciński’s comments.
Executive Director Renee Gittins told GameDaily:
Work-life balance is critical for the mental health of developers, and studios should consider the well being of their employees when determining a new release date. Gamers have become more aware of the pressures on game developers and they are more understanding of delayed launches. A studio as massively successful as CDPR would hopefully have the means to support a longer development cycle to reduce crunch. While they have previously noted their crunch periods are not mandatory, the pressure to crunch is strong just from supporting longer hours and even stronger when directly asking developers to work nights and weekends.
Crunch is one of the main factors in the game industry that burns out developers and causes a high rate of departures from both roles and the industry. Caring for the mental and physical health of employees not only supports the creation of the best quality games, but ensures that the game industry grows even stronger by supporting the continued growth and well being of our developers.
Cyberpunk 2077 will now launch on September 17, 2020.