IGDA executive director Renee Gittins calls out the lack of communication at CD Projekt Red.
CD Projekt Red announced this week another delay for Cyberpunk 2077, citing the need to polish a day-one patch for the action-RPG. This delay punctuates the ongoing issues of crunch at the Polish developer, and illustrates a communicative disconnect between studio executives and their employees: reportedly, workers at CD Projekt Red were made aware of the delay at the same time the news went live on Twitter.
No doubt the pressure of hitting the next-gen launch window has played a role in the delay. This marks the third such delay for Cyberpunk 2077, and has reignited the discussion surrounding crunch in the games industry, an issue that has characterized much of the game’s development. We’ve extensively covered Cyberpunk’s crunch problems at GameDaily, and this latest delay provides fodder for the argument that crunch simply begets more crunch.
GameDaily reached out to CD Projekt Red, but it declined to comment.
Perennial games journalist Jason Schreier, who has covered much of the Cyberpunk 2077 crunch discourse, said that he spoke with a CD Projekt Red developer who told him they have been working 100-hour work weeks already.
Another effect of the delay can be seen in the Cyberpunk 2077 social media team. The Twitter account has adopted a light-hearted, goofy persona, and has, on multiple occasions, promised no more delays.
For Renee Gittins, executive director of the IGDA, the entire situation smacks of leadership problems at CD Projekt Red.
“Candor is an important component of leadership,” Gittins told GameDaily. “Lack of trust and communication slowly chips away at the motivation and morale of any team. A manager's job is to create a fertile environment for creativity and productivity, and to protect against issues that would undermine it.”
Regarding the timing of the announcement of the latest delay, Gittins said that it’s not fair for workers to have learned of it via social media. While an internal email was reportedly distributed, it was done so at the same time as the news went live on Twitter.
“Although it's been reported CDPR management sent an internal email at the same time the public announcement went out, some employees undoubtedly saw the news on social media first, and learning about launch delays and continued crunch from Twitter instead of their own leadership would be devastating for any developer,” Gittins said.
Between delays, mandatory crunch policies, questionable trans representation, and its seeming comfort with racial stereotypes, it’s been a bumpy road for Cyberpunk 2077. While we have been promised that there will be no more delays, is a video game worth the mental wellbeing of its developers, and the dignity of marginalized groups? This is a question that CD Projekt Red ought to keep in mind moving forward.
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