Marcin Iwiński, CD Projekt Red’s co-founder, and Adam Badowski, the studio head and director of the game acknowledged that crunch, meaning mandatory overtime, is something they want to avoid while also expressing that it is not always avoidable.
In particular, the crunch associated with “The Witcher 3” is something the heads of the studio want to get away from.
“We’re known – let me be humble for a moment here – we are known for treating gamers with respect,” Iwiński said. “This is what we’ve been working hard toward. And I actually would like for us to also be known for treating developers with respect.”
Some developers told Kotaku that conditions have improved, while some departments, including QA and audio teams, have said they are putting in extensive overtime to prepare for E3, which is next month.
Iwiński wants to push the studio’s “non-obligatory crunch policy” through development of “Cyberpunk,” but also said that “there are certain moments where we need to work harder – like I think the E3 demo is a pretty good example – but we want to be more humane and treat people with respect.”
Even if the company says overtime is “non-obligatory,” from talking to developers in the games industry it has often been expressed that even requesting employees to work overtime puts them in a difficult spot in which an employee might feel obligated to work overtime even though it’s not required.
As for what that will look like in practice, the answer given was still a bit vague.
“I think we can promise that it’ll be better than ‘The Witcher’s’ finishing period,” Badowski said.
Crunch is a continuing concern for game developers, as various devs have come forward with their experiences of long hours at “Fortnite” developer Epic Games, “Mortal Kombat 11″ developer NetherRealm, and others.