CD Projekt Red is a Warsaw-based developer that created The Witcher trilogy, one of the best reviewed RPG games in the history of the genre. But just like the sword of destiny, every major video-gaming studio has two edges, and it’s time to talk about the ugly side of the respected Polish producer.
Glassdoor is a website that allows former employees to anonymously review companies they had a chance to work at. CD Projekt Red doesn’t enjoy good reputation according to the site, as the studio’s management is accused of being “inexperienced” and “difficult“. Also, the salaries are huge, but only in comparison to the Polish national average. Around 40% of all of Red’s employees are not from Poland, so earning a thousand dollars (around 3620 zlotys) per month could be a potential problem.
Youtuber YongYea has previously made a video about the troubles within the studio and the management’s responde to it. In a long statement Marcin Iwiński, the studio head and co-founder of CDP said that “this approach to making games is not for everyone” and Cyberpunk 2077 is not in any danger, as the works are going according to the plan. Well, here’s the catch, because the anonymous developers that worked on the project decided to talk to the youtuber and it looks like Cyberpunk 2077 would be lucky to ship in 2020. Yes, you read that correctly – 8 years after the game’s announcement.
What’s causing the studio’s troubles? In Poland, there’s a saying “the fish stinks from the head down” – and it matches the situation perfectly. It looks like the developer’s management is relentless and the human resources team does a terrible job. The employees are forced to work after-hours and (especially after so-called “crunches” – usually a month before finishing a game) some developers couldn’t stand the pressure and decided to leave. In recent months CDP lost four core designers, including Mateusz Piaskiewicz – lead level designer and Derek Patterson – senior gameplay producer.
The biggest problems were caused after the launch of the original Witcher. Despite the game’s success, CDP lost 40% of the staff and the developers that stayed had to face 25% lower salaries. The producer also has problems with accounting and documentation. After the exception of only one developer, the whole team was forced to work on an important element from the scratch. Cyberpunk 2077‘s “birthing pains” and chaos are all over the project, as the studio has constant problems with moving from “alpha” to “beta” status of development and cannot match the dates of “milestones”.
Let’s talk about Cyberpunk 2077. After the announcement in 2012, the game is still far, far away from looking like a complete product. In 2015 the game was still in pre-production, but ambitious of the developers has clearly exceeded their capability. Red Engine 3 which was problematic during the creation of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is not well suited to generate a huge, living city with high skyscrapers, vehicles and gun modification, shooting mechanic or added to all this multiplayer.
The studio’s goal was to present Cyberpunk at E3 2017 and ship the game to stores in 2019. YongYea’s sources said that it’s highly unliklely and even the premiere in 2020 would be unreal, as apparently everything the team managed to bulid up to 2016 was scrapped and the works has started over.
You can learn more about the situation from the source of these revelations, YongYea and his video: