Cyberpunk 2077 Has Been Delayed, But The Devs Will Still Have To Crunch

Cyberpunk 2077's developers are being made to work long hours.

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As part of a CD Projekt Red press conference following Cyberpunk 2077's five-month delay, the Polish developer confirmed that it will be asking its employees to work extra long hours to finish the much-anticipated role-playing game ahead of its scheduled release in September. The team is not planning on sticking to regular hours, despite now having more time to complete the game.

During a Q&A session, CD Projekt Red was asked if the development team would need to "crunch" to finish Cyberpunk 2077. Adam Kicinski, who is CD Projekt Red's joint CEO, confirmed that he expects the team to need to work long hours to finish the game, though he said there is a plan in place to attempt to lessen the periods of crunch.

"To some degree, yes--to be honest," Kicinski said. "We try to limit crunch as much as possible, but it is the final stage. We try to be reasonable in this regard, but yes. Unfortunately."

"Crunch" is the video game industry term for working for an unreasonable and unhealthy amount of time on a project. Typically, but not always, periods of crunch happen near the end of development.

CD Projekt Red is developing Cyberpunk 2077 across its studios in Krakow and Warsaw offices. At PAX Aus in October 2019, CDPR Krakow boss John Mamais told GameSpot everyone at his studio was working "really hard," and that while the staffers can feel rejuvenated by showing the game at tradeshows, this also puts the team "in a vice, in a way."

Mamais also spoke about how CDPR's culture of hard work is not a good fit for everyone. He said CDPR does what it can to limit crunch, but this isn't always possible.

"You sacrifice some things to do that and be part of that. There are a lot of people who come into the industry that are fresh; they don't really understand what it takes to do it," he said. "So we get a lot of new guys coming in, and they go, 'Oh god, this is like too much.' But then we have other guys come in from Rockstar Games, and they're like, 'This is not even crunch!' We're doing the best we can to keep the work under control. But sometimes when you're doing some big-ass game like this, it's not always possible to do that. It takes really hard work to make it really awesome."

It was also confirmed during the Q&A that the Cyberpunk 2077 delay has shifted other projects back as well, as the Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer game will now release in 2022 at the soonest. Additionally, although Cyberpunk 2077's new September 17 release date is closer to the releases of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, CDPR still has no plans to support those systems.

CDPR also confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 has been playable from start to finish for months, but "there's still work to done," which is why the company's board of directors unanimously voted for the delay.

"Night City is massive--full of stories, content and places to visit, but due to the sheer scale and complexity of it all, we need more time to finish playtesting, fixing, and polishing," the company said. "We want Cyberpunk 2077 to be our crowning achievement for this generation and postponing launch will give us the precious months we need to make the game perfect."

Kicinski clarified during the Q&A that some parts of Cyberpunk 2077 were on schedule while others were not. He added that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the game, only that the studio needs more time for polishing and other efforts related to the size and complexity of the project.

The executive also confirmed during the Q&A that the Cyberpunk 2077 development team was only informed of the delay "minutes" before the official announcement came through.

This is not the first time that CDPR may be crunching on one of its big releases. In 2014, the company was aaccused of crunching for more than one year to finish The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Find out how to pre-order Cyberpunk 2077 and more in our guide to everything Cyberpunk 2077.

Read next: Cyberpunk 2077, Avengers, And Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Developers Talk Crunch Culture

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DivisionCAlpha

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Edited By DivisionCAlpha

These boards are full or reject trolls gracing us with their expertise, gaming wisdom, and insider knowledge. Thank God I got married, had a kid, and found a higher purpose in life or I'd be one of these sad people spreading trolldom at 35 years old.

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ThatOneGuy7895

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Edited By ThatOneGuy7895

"Won't reduce crunch" is such bullshit. Sure it won't eliminate crunch, but now they have months more time before the game ships. Instead of working 24 hour shifts to try and make the initial deadline, they've given themselves more time to space out and tackle their goals. If that's not the definition of reducing crunch, I don't know what is. Stop trying to demonize the company.

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Naija

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The devs called it months ago. They said the game was nowhere near ready to be shipped. They gave an estimate of 2021 at least. And they were already complaining about long work hours resulting in little to show for their efforts. This game is over ambitious and completely over CDPR's heads but that won't stop people believing in them. It's just ridiculous. This game will be a complete disaster.

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DivisionCAlpha

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@naija: No devs called it months ago. Your imaginary friends which you talk to might have told you that hot insider tip but definitely not any dev. You should stop spreading your toxic loserdom on these boards and find a purpose. The game will be a complete disaster because some dweeb says so.... we gotcha bro, we gotcha loud and clear. Where would we be without you?

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aross2004

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@naija: " This game is over ambitious and completely over CDPR's heads but that won't stop people believing in them. It's just ridiculous. This game will be a complete disaster."

TW3 says hello.

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dynamotnt

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@aross2004: tw3 has more bugs then an ant farm, and when they improved the frame rate for the xbox version they left black shadowed artifacts in the game for over a year.

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nintendians

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i'm fine as long as it's not buggy and glitch-y at launch date.

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GarGx1

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Edited By GarGx1

I work in an industry (not game development) where 70 - 90 hour working weeks are common. Last year my average working week was 65 hours and I worked more than double the average annual hours, for men, in the UK. On top of that, the majority of my work is away from home, including international. It's the career I've chosen and it's the hours that are required to get our work done in the time periods we are given.

Anyone who goes in to an industry where deadlines are part and parcel of it, should expect to be working long hours on occasion, even more so when a project milestone is approaching and you are behind schedule.

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Orontes13

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@GarGx1: Hard to believe coming from a random videogamer on the internet.

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GarGx1

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@Orontes13: What's hard to believe? I've been working in Commercial Fire and Flood restoration, mostly Electro-mechanical, for over 20 years. If a Factory has a fire we go in and clean/repair the machinery etc. to get it back in to production. That obviously has very tight dead lines to stop the factory from losing customers and going out of Business. Right now I'm working in Scotland, in November/December I was in the Middle East. If you choose to think I'm lying (why would I make up something like that?) it's up to you.

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KIFF_82

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@GarGx1: crunch alone will not burn you out - but the people you work with might.

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GarGx1

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@kiff_82: Very true.

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Boonimal23

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I understand that people don’t want CD to crunch. Crunch sucks. But these guys also have to pay employees and keep the lights on. However, The longer a game takes the harder it is to make enough money to pay off loans, pay employees, and have enough left over to develop and publish the next title.

It seems a better project management system is needed across the board, for any software development. The sprint/scrum doesn’t seem to be working.

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Naija

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@Boonimal23 : It would help then if CDPR weren't such irresponsible pricks. They party every week and redecorate all of their offices at an alarming rate, wasting a ton of money and never investing any of it in training their staff to do the work they actually expect from them, often involving work for which they have had no prior training, resulting in code that is a disaster requiring months and months of post-release patching.

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MaD_mAn808

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Mask off. Looks like the "good guy" CD Projekt Red exploits it's workers just as much as all the other AAA game companies.

I feel sorry for their employees who have to stay at work overtime instead of being with their families after a fair 8 hours a day. And they most likely get badly compensated for the extra work, if at all! I'm going to boycott this title until they show they respect their workers and at least afford them their right to rest and be with the people they love instead of working them like animals.

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Naija

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@MaD_mAn808: Ask anyone who lives in Poland if their dream job would be to work at CDPR and you'd get a resounding NO. They know the company best and they would rather work anywhere else.

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Fedor

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Fedor  Online

@MaD_mAn808: Got some bad news for you, every developer deals with crunch. Even Indie devs deal with it. You going to boycott gaming as a whole?

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Krakn3Dfx

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Or maybe not working people into the ground for a game and just put it out once it's done with a reasonable amount of effort by your employees.

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ukgamer51

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I am hoping that Dying light 2 or watchdogs legions will be out soon to keep me occupied till September, If either of those are delayed till then I am going to have to make a choice !

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Maralzo

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BOYCOTT!

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King_Pazuzu

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As a gamer I would be happy the game being delayed even more after September if it means the employees have more reasonable work hours.

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judaspete

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@King_Pazuzu: If only. I mean if Cisco can build the internet while having their employees maintain a good work/life balance, there ought to be a way for game companies to do the same.

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Atzenkiller

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I guess that won't make them look too good in the eyes of the masses. But "crunching" for almost 3/4 of a year is insane. Yeah, that's certainly not healthy for anyone involved.

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lokar82

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Edited By lokar82

My backlog is already years long. They should take whatever time they need. Crunch should be illegal.

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off3nc3

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off3nc3  Online

RIP in that case.

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aross2004

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Don't kill yourselves or anything, we can wait. A game isn't good when it's done, it's done when it's good.

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off3nc3

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off3nc3  Online

@aross2004: oh shut up the game has already been delayed , ain't nobody got time to wait years for a great game.

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aross2004

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@off3nc3: "ain't nobody got time to wait years for a great game".

Pretty sure great games take years to make. Your comment is hilarious.

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off3nc3

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off3nc3  Online

@aross2004: Maybe in the zoomer universe you live in , this game has been under development since 2013 and it's almost pushing 2021 . Go be an apologist shill somewhere else duderino.

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aross2004

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Edited By aross2004

@off3nc3: You should take a moment and check your facts. Development on 2077 didn't actually even begin until the end of 2015 after the Witcher 3 released, (although it was announced in 2013), so your math is off by several years.

You also need to take into account that CDPR has a much smaller development team than other AAA studios, so 5 years does not seem surprising for a game of this scope.

Glad I could take this opportunity to enlighten you. You're welcome ;)

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Caj1986

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Edited By Caj1986

Take as much time as u want but please dont turn d crunch into work habits like EA, ACTIVISION OR EVEN UBISOFT.your fans will dislike you

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G-Corleone

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@caj1986: well said.

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lagbolt68

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No, crunch is bad. I would rather wait longer than September if it will help relax the staff. A happy staff means a more productive staff, which translates to an even better finished product. Love you CDPR, but all of us want a great game, and a healthy staff.

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s1taz4a3l

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s1taz4a3l  Online

Am not happy, am kinda worried the final product isnt as good.

The multiplayer got pushed back 2 years, thats no peanuts time, it means MP was probably really bad.

I still believe putting MP on cyberpunk was a horrible idea and hopefully will get fully squashed and forgotten. I didnt preordered it for MP but for a superb SP campaign.

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phoenix1289

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@s1taz4a3l:The multiplayer wasn't pushed back 2 years. The multiplayer is a separate product being made by a separate studio that as of a month ago was at that time still only in early development. This isn't like GTA V where it's an extension of the main game that's been developed concurrently.

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Shunten

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Edited By Shunten

I feel like a studio like CDPR should be able to make this game without needing massive amounts of crunch.

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Atzenkiller

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@Shunten: Then you're probably underestimating the scope of the game. Not to mention if you actually want to release the game in a finished and polished state, which is pretty rare nowadays for big publishers. They could try to hire twice as many people of course but considering the amount of effort that would require, even if you had the money for it, not to mention that there's not an endless supply of top developers out there, crunching is probably the best choice for them if they want to get the game out on time for the new release date without having to make sacrifices.

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dynamotnt

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im fine with them taking their time, I wasn't buying any of the games coming out this year till they're on ps5 anyway.

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Atzenkiller

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@dynamotnt: Why? With BC you'd be able to play them on PS5 anyway.

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dynamotnt

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@Atzenkiller: not sure if there would be free patch upgrades on the games or just re-releases, either way i can get full game and all dlc for 40 notes each and it'll look better, with a hopefully improved frame rate on ps5.

i got 40 odd games to play atm.

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Atzenkiller

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@dynamotnt: Which it will because all PS4 games will be backwards compatible. You don't really seem to get how this whole thing is gonna work. Whether a developer decides to make and graphics improvements or not for the PS5 is up to them but you probably would only need to download a patch for that, not buy the game all over again as it's already running on the hardware. If your only concern is that you're rather wait a year to play any games that came out in the meantime to get some prettier graphics, well, then do that. But otherwise there's no point in waiting because you'll keep access to your library of games and I'm sure the PS5 will at least play all PS4 discs as well.

But you're not saying that you're having 40 games lying around, waiting until the PS5 releases until you can play them. Or are you?

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dynamotnt

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Edited By dynamotnt

@Atzenkiller: im a trophy hunter, and i enjoy almost all games and all genres, right now im finishing bioshock 2, outlast 2 and starting dead rising 4 with friends. I've played tlou and finished it several times on my old account ages ago, but not played through for platinum or anything, so was willing to waitfor Tlou 2.

the difference between metro exodus on the 1x, and ps4 is night and day in terms of the detail, esp when gaming on a 65" c9 qled, so waiting to play amazing games at amazing shader levels is a thing I would quite like to do.

between ps now, and 40+ physical and digitals i've bought on sales over the last 6 months i've got a fair bit to play.

Xbox have all the money in the world and can afford to spend time patching old games to keep their fans happy. sony I'm not convinced games like Tlou 2 would get a remaster or a re-release or whatever. so im quite happy to wait.

I get the backwards compatibility thing sure, doesn't mean devs will though. I'll support sony since they're good and always have been, just not sure i wanna buy everything twice.

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