Business are shuttered. Streets are quiet. Sirens blare back and forth. No, this isn’t some piece of post-apocalyptic fiction – increasingly, it’s every urban space under the escalating Covid-19 pandemic. With developers, publishers and retailers alike scrambling to get their staff working from home, Cyberpunk 2077 developers CD Projekt Red are keen to remind fans that they’ll still get their 21st-century dystopia come September 17th.
Sooner, even, if they look out the window.
CD Projekt, like many studios, have been forced to close their doors over the last few weeks. Posting on their site earlier this week, the devs seemed confident that they’d made the transition seamlessly. But while another of this year’s tentpole releases (PlayStation-exclusive stab ’em up The Last Of Us 2) found itself pushed back indefinitely, CD Projekt are confident Cyberpunk 2077 will launch as planned this September.
“There is no shortage of motivation and we also possess all the tools needed to facilitate remote work. We’ve been operating in this mode for over three weeks and to-date results confirm that we can carry on with all our operations without major disruptions. Our plans haven’t changed – we’re steaming towards the September release of Cyberpunk.”
CD Projekt don’t go into specifics, but do mention that their financial situation lets them absorb the hit of having their staff work out-of-office. When the vidbuds spoke to artist Martha Jonkers to dig into the construction of Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City, the dystopian metropolis was still being built from a well kitted out development office – and not an artist’s spare room.
Pure speculation, but I’d imagine there’s a fair bit of gear that needs redistributed into people’s homes.
As the whole coronavirus situation escalates, developers have found themselves rapidly adopting remote work practices – whether that’s Paradox sending their employees care packages containing toilet roll or Bungie using Google Stadia to keep Destiny servers online.
It’s not just developers who’ve taken a beating from Covid-19, mind. The pandemic has wreaked havoc across the games industry (and err, more importantly, economies and healthcare systems and people’s lives) over the last few weeks and months. We’ve compiled our own hefty list of events, tournaments and conventions that have been forced to cancel or postpone their shows for the safety of everyone involved.