Cyberpunk 2077 Studio promises there won’t be any crunch on Witcher 4

The graphic for the PS5 version of Cyberpunk 2077 shows the hero looking down against a neon yellow background.

image: CD Projekt Red

Yesterday, CD Projekt Red announced a “new saga in The Witcher franchise.” As part of a new multi-year collaboration with Epic Games focused on open-world design, the game will be built in Unreal Engine 5 rather than the studio’s own REDengine. It won’t be The witcher 4, but that’s what people call it now. And its director swears it won’t crunch during development, a promise the studio has made and broken before.

“I am delighted to announce that as Game Director I have humbly worked to ensure the success of the next big AAA game, The Witcher!” Veteran witcher Designer Jason Slama wrote yesterday on Twitter (above GameSpot). “Do you think you could join the team? We have tons of remote work opportunities that we could discuss!” Someone quoted him as saying he left out the part about “awful grinding and being treated like a dog.” slam answered: “Not on my watch.”

Some game companies have taken a very public position against crunchesan industry term for seizures of extended overtime during game development, especially in the run-up to new milestones or the delivery of the finished product. One of them is CDPR. It allegedly extensively crunched at The witcher 3. During the production of the similarly sprawling open-world role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077the company promised not to force anyone to work “mandatory” overtime.

“[W]We want to be more human and treat people with respect,” CDPR co-founder Marcin Iwiński told kotaku in May 2019. “If they need a break, they can take a break. No one will be frowned upon if requested.”

Continue reading: The terrifying world of video game crunch

That promise was repeated June 2019. Then, in September 2020, CDPR waived and mandated mandatory six-day workweeks up through Cyberpunk 2077‘s publication. Even before that, some developers reported later work 13 hour days in the middle of the production of the game. Despite working overtime, the game was still not finished when it finally released, especially on consoles. Some long-awaited features have not arrived until last month.

Shortly thereafter Cyberpunk 2077Publication, Iwiński apologized to the players in a video update, and CDPR has once again committed to limiting crunch. “Avoiding crunch in all of our future projects is one of our top priorities,” it wrote at the time. The language was demanding. Slama’s commitment is a little more definitive, though ultimately, as game director, he’s still at the mercy of CDPR executives and shareholders like everyone else at the company.

The real question will be whether other game developers believe that CDPR has actually changed. Yesterday witcher 4 The announcement, like so many big gimmicks these days, was all about attracting talent in an increasingly competitive industry. The Game Developers Conference 2022 is taking place in San Francisco this week after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, and CDPR is already taking advantage of the new one witcher Game for recruitment.

“See the incredible. create the impossible” read his flyers. Much more persuasive than: “Ruin your private life in exchange for having your name on the credits The witcher 4. Cyberpunk 2077 Studio promises there won’t be any crunch on Witcher 4

Curtis Crabtree

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