CD Projekt Red is famous for producing excellent quality games, making it one of the largest studios today. Five years ago, they released The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, considered one of the best games in all of history. When it was released, many wondered “how is it that a Polish studio could make a game with so much content?” The sad thing is that the answer has to do with the fact that multiple former workers have accused the company of labor exploitation. And Cyberpunk 2077 seems to be the same story.
Jason Schreier, a Bloomberg reporter, shared some truthful information on CD Projekt Red’s working conditions. This comes from Reddit user FarTransportation366, who worked on Cyberpunk 2077 for a long time. And what he commented was quite disturbing:
The developers have been crunching non-stop since May 2019 … they were concerned about the doomed two-year march long before the crunch started because they know this is how CDPR does things … a lot of people have been spending their weeks on the office and doing 16 hours of work every day since June 2019, some departments started up to a year before… conversations always end with administrators saying that everything is great and that we have to “believe in the product”.
I hope you do not miss the irony that Cyberpunk 2077 is a game about exploitation and inequality in a futuristic world. And to do so, Polish developers are applying the models of exploitation and inequality that you can see today. The commercials and interviews with Keanu Reeves can be entertaining, but what happens inside CDPR does not appear to be anything short of terrifying.