CD Projekt Red announced yesterday that, once again, they were delaying the launch of Cyberpunk 2077. The dystopian RPG's new (and potentially even final) release date is December 10th. This was a surprise to us, who've seen CDPR repeatedly say no more delays. And reportedly, the people making the game found out about the new delay at the same time we all did. Might not be the nicest surprise when you're having to work crunch hours.
Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, who last month broke the news that CDPR were crunching, tweeted yesterday: "All of them found out at the same time we did - CDPR sent an internal email simultaneously with the public tweet."
In a follow-up, he noted that the "The email said they couldn't share the news earlier because of stock regulations." That might be so, but damn. It seems a kick in the teeth to be crunching with the end is in sight, only for the end to be shoved back three weeks - and to not even hear it before the news explodes onto the Internet.
CD Projekt Red explained yesterday that the game "has all content" and might be "ready", but the period between finalising master discs for manufacturing and launch is when they focus on fixes. They said, "many improvements are being made which will then be distributed via a Day 0 patch. This is the time period we undercalculated."
The company had long claimed to be against mandatory crunch. Last month's leaked internal e-mail from studio head Adam Badowski, which informed staff of their incoming overtime, repeated that, saying it was "in direct opposition to what I personally grew to believe a while back - that crunch should never be the answer. But we've extended all other possible means of navigating the situation." So staff have needed to work a day on weekends too.
Schreier claimed yesterday that delaying the launch doesn't change things much for some devs anyway, that many "were going to be crunching into December anyway for a post-launch patch". It does not sound pleasant. He added that one developer recently told him they'd just worked a 100-hour week.
Update: CDPR have confirmed in a conference call that crunch is extended for some employees, claiming it's fine really. Joint CEO Adam Kiciński said, "some people have been crunching heavily, but a large part of the team is not crunching at all since they have finished their work; it's mostly about Q&A and engineers, programmers – but it's not that heavy; of course, it will be extended a bit, but we have feedback from the team; they're happy about the extra three weeks, so we don't see any threats regarding crunch."