Cyberpunk 2077 Dev Execs Got Huge Bonuses, Despite Game's Troubled Launch

Two CEOs took home more than $6 million each in profit-sharing bonuses.

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Despite the game launching in an unfinished state to the point that refunds were offered and a post-launch development roadmap being adjusted to account for the months it had to spend fixing the game, Cyberpunk 2077 creator CD Projekt is awarding millions in bonuses to its executives. When questioned about this, an executive said they were tied directly to net revenue.

Spotted by Bloomberg, CEO Marcin Iwiński and co-CEO Adam Kiciński will each receive more than $6 million in bonuses, with the game's director Adam Badowski also receiving more than $4 million. Nearly $30 million in bonuses have been allotted for the company overall. However, because huge chunks of this were awards to executives, the average employee will get somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,000 to $9,000, Bloomberg was told.

The mean total for the bonuses among employees is $34,000, but this includes the outliers in executive roles, which makes it appear that the low-level workers received much more than they did. The bonuses were tied to company profits, which were much higher in 2020 than they had been previously.

"Our compensation was always directly tied to net earnings--that's the way the money the company earned," Adam Kiciński said when questioned about the bonuses during an investors' call. "Higher net profit means higher bonuses; that's been the case historically."

Bloomberg was told that steps were being taken to keep staff from wanting to leave, including higher wages for lower-level employees. During the call, Kiciński said one of its "major HR tasks" for 2021 is to mitigate employee losses and that they have "many ongoing initiatives" to accomplish this.

Despite the negative publicity and roughly 30,000 refunds processed for the game, Cyberpunk 2077 was actually a huge financial success, selling more than 13.7 million copies in three weeks. Players started encountering bugs and crashes, however, and the console versions running on original Xbox One and PS4 hardware were often unplayable at launch. This led to both Sony and Microsoft offering refunds, and Sony also removed the game from the PlayStation digital store. As of now, it's still not available for purchase via the PlayStation Store, though the physical version is still being sold at retailers.

Cyberpunk 2077 has a long development roadmap ahead of it, including a free piece of DLC coming this year. Full next-gen versions of the game, rather than the small enhancements available now, are scheduled to arrive before the end of the year. They will be free upgrades for those who already own the game.

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