With yesterday’s announcement of CD Projekt Red’s new Witcher video game being in development, the game’s director, Jason Salma, promised that the game would have no crunch during development. For those unaware of what crunch is, put simply, they are stages in development where workers are demanded to work considerably more hours per week to meet deadlines, often unpaid. Multiple game companies, including CD Projekt Red, have taken stances against work crunch on the vow of being “more humane”, as stated by CD Projekt Red co-founder, Marcin Iwińsk. However, this oath of no crunches has been assured by CD Projekt Red before, only to be broken multiple times.
Due to broken promises oft made by CD Projekt Red, a twitter user quote tweeted Salma’s original tweet with, “You forgot to mention the sign on bonus of horrible crunch and being treated like a dog.” In response, Salma tweeted back, “Never on my watch!”
Never on my watch!
— Jason Slama (@SlamaTwoFlags) March 21, 2022
However, Salma’s pledge must be taken with some skepticism, mainly due to CD Projekt Red’s history with Cyberpunk 2077 and Witcher 3. For Witcher 3, CD Projekt Red responded to an insider leaking that the studio had been crunching for over a year with a side-step of “if you have any doubts about Wild Hunt’s quality, have a look at the 35-minute gameplay video we published some time ago,” and reportedly would not respond to questions about the company crunching. With Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red promised two times that the studio would not crunch, but in September of 2020, studio head, Adam Badowski, wrote in an email,
I take it upon myself to receive the full backlash for the decision. I know this is in direct opposition to what we’ve said about crunch. It’s also 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.
At least CD Projekt Red paid its workers overtime for Cyberpunk 2077, which most companies do not.
With this history of back-stepping, like a twitter user stated, “I will save this tweet for the future. if a crunch news comes out on CDPK.” Let the search for news on CD Projekt Red breaking yet another promise of not crunching commence.
I will save this tweet for the future.
if a crunch news comes out on CDPK
— Diego Silva (@diefcosilva) March 22, 2022