CD Projekt Red, creators of the popular Cyberpunk and The Witcher universes, hope to redeem past transgressions with new policies.
For what an amazing game it is now, Cyberpunk 2077 did not have the greatest origin story. From poor performance across platforms and a litany of bugs to internal issues involving bullying and crunch culture, the title has come a long way since its original launch in December 2020.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Gabe Amatangelo, lead director on the upcoming Phantom Liberty expansion, spoke about the culture that persisted as several high-profile employees left the company.
According to the report:
On Phantom Liberty, Amatangelo said, they have lived up to that promise, implementing various policies to prevent people from burning out, including a system that alerts management if someone is working for prolonged periods of time. He said if an employee asks to do a few extra hours, he’ll permit it, but only to a certain degree.
Amatangelo goes on to state:
Fortunately, it’s a very healthy work-life balance right now.
In addition to overseeing the development and production of Phantom Liberty, Amatangelo is also slated to direct the upcoming sequel to Cyberpunk 2077, according to a tweet from Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier.
As reported previously, an entirely new gaming studio named BLANK. was founded by veterans from CD Projekt Red to push back on industry norms and crunch culture. Mateusz Kanik, BLANK. Co-founder and Game Director said:
Where the industry champions a dictatorship of the creative individual, we want to give ownership to the team. Where the industry leans on crunch culture, we prefer work-life balance. Where the industry says bigger is better, we’re setting our sights on highly polished games with a focus on emotion, story, and craftsmanship.
While it’s not completely clear whether all concerns or negative workplace practices like crunch persist at the company, the reporting does go on to say that lower-level employees also backed up the director’s assertions.
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