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Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has said that delaying the game until September won’t negate the need for crunch.
Outlining the decision during an investor Q&A held last night, the studio was asked whether the development team would be required to put in crunch hours in order to meet the revised launch date of September 17, 2020, and the answer was an "unfortunate" yes.
"To some degree, yes – to be honest," responded joint-CEO Adam Kicinski. "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."
The issue of crunch has been a persistent one in the games industry, and describes the practice of working long stretches of overtime towards the end of a development cycle to meet deadlines -- which can lead to burnout and mental and physical health issues.
In the past, CD Projekt has spoke of employing a "non-obligatory crunch policy" to ensure its dev team understands crunch isn’t mandatory, and made a public commitment to treating staffers with humanity and respect -- although that doesn’t mean the studio can’t heavily imply the need for overtime.
As it stands, the Polish company says Cyberpunk is already complete and playable, but that the dev team need to spend more time playtesting, fixing, and polishing the title.
"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," added Kicinski.
During the Q&A, Kicinski also dismissed the notion that a September release date - traditionally a month when other triple-A titles hit shelves -- would hinder Cyberpunk’s performance, and said he is confident the title "will find its place in the market" regardless of date.
The joint-CEO also revealed the dev-team was only informed of the delay "minutes before" the news broke, but said the decision was backed unanimously in the boardroom.
"It was definitely a unanimous decision. We agreed on the date and we support it. I mean it’s not just a PR. We’ve been discussing this and we finally decided we were convinced of our decision," he commented.
"We are constantly evaluating the game and we decided if we are to delay this is the right moment, and that with the decision to add five months we would be really sure that we can deliver what we had planned.
"Of course, it was a tough decision, but we and our team -- which was informed minutes ago -- think that this was a good decision and that having an extra five months will enable us to deliver a perfect game."
You can hear more from the CD Projekt team by checking out the full Q&A right here.