Usually when you hear the explotiation of VFX and digital artists in gaming, it usually involves long hours, being underpaid, overworked, and in severe cases, leading to insomnia and serious health problems. Like the 100+ hour weeks Rockstar waterboarded developers with to give us Rockstar.
But when CD Projekt Red first announced the need to pull all the stops, it first struck a bad chord, which is unusual in us talking about CD Projekt Red. But it was after the initial shock, the very announcement of ‘crunchtime’ bringing in more hands-on deck to see Cyberpunk 2077 off was strange in itself. Usually a developer would bring light to any perceived negativity that comes with anything that would suggest overworking staff. Rockstar straight ignored developers’ cries. CD Projekt Red didn’t. And there lies one of the key differences.
However, it was a statement from the Head of CD Projekt Red’s Adam Badowski’s that was the clincher. It was in regard to the mandatory crunch being put on Cyberpunk 2077 ahead of its release date. And in that statement, we were able to see the shining example CD Projekt Red has continued to be. The moral culture that is indelibly entwined in the DNA of the company that the game industry should adopt without reservation:
The last 6 weeks are our final sprint on a projeck we’ve all spent much of our lives on. Something we care for deeply. The majority of the team understands that 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. Tis 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.adam badowski, head of cd projekt red
Now don’t get me wrong, mandatory crunches are often the results of unrealistic goals, expectations or poor time management. And it is never a good sign when developers come out in droves to complain. But there is a key element here that many overlooked. Accountability. And action to genuinely compensate for shortcomings by the right form of compensation and ownership on the back end of their efforts. A true sign of leadership.
But what say you? Are you for Mandatory crunch? Or does it all depend if you are the creator or the consumer? Tell us in the comments?