CD Projekt bosses have reportedly told staff they will get their full bonuses despite Cyberpunk 2077’s buggy launch.
According to a report by Bloomberg, executives at CD Projekt have taken responsibility for the launch of Cyberpunk 2077, which suffers from bugs, glitches and, particularly on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, performance problems.
Bloomberg said it had seen an email sent by CD Projekt studio head Adam Badowski to staff on Friday that announced bonuses would be paid out no matter what Cyberpunk’s review rating ends up at. They had been told extra pay would be tied to the game’s critical performance. CD Projekt has yet to comment on the report.
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The PC version of Cyberpunk currently has a 90 metascore on Metacritic, the reviews aggregation website used by some publishers as an indication of a game’s quality. The console versions are currently without a metascore – although their user ratings on Metacritic are very low.
“We initially had a bonus system that was focused on the game’s ratings and the release date, but after consideration, we believe that measure is simply not fair under the circumstances,” Badowski said in the email.
“We underestimated the lengths and complexity involved to make this a reality, and still you did everything you could to deliver an ambitious, special game.”
CD Projekt has come under fire for its use of crunch during the development of Cyberpunk.
In September 2020, CD Projekt told employees it would require them to work six-day weeks until the game’s November launch (it was subsequently delayed to December), breaking a previous promise not to force compulsory overtime to finish the project.
This new, compulsory overtime is paid, as is required by Polish law, but came after many employees were reportedly working long hours already.
At the time, Badowski tweeted to say: “This 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 per cent of the annual profit our company generates in 2020 will be split directly among the team.”
When CD Projekt delayed Cyberpunk a final time to December, it said it was struggling to ship the large number of different versions of the game it needed to have ready this year – including current and next-gen consoles, PC and Google Stadia.
According to Bloomberg’s report, the now guaranteed performance bonus comes on top of the regular annual profit-sharing payouts mentioned by Badowski in his September tweet.
Bloomberg reported that some staff have said CD Projekt’s bonus system, which involves handing out performance tokens to workers, encouraged them to crunch because to get the tokens the developers wanted to show their bosses they were working longer and harder than their peers.