Executives at Polish video game maker CD Projekt SA this week took responsibility for the mispublication of the highly anticipated title Cyberpunk 2077, and on Friday, in an email received from Bloomberg, informed employees that they will receive their full bonuses, regardless of how the game is reviewed. Previously, the developers of CD projects were told that they would receive additional compensation due to the critical performance of the game.
Cyberpunk 2077, which came out on Thursday, is one of the biggest games of the year and a monumental release for the Polish publisher, which only brings out new titles every few years. The science fiction role-playing game received more than 8 million pre-orders before launch and was praised for its mechanics and story, but for the number of glitches and errors. As of Friday, Cyberpunk 2077 on the Agacritic website had 90 out of 100 for rating aggregations – a strong score that nonetheless disappointed shareholders. If this value falls below 90, it may no longer match the threshold CD Projekt originally set for bonus payouts.
“We originally had a bonus system that focused on the game’s ratings and release date, but upon review we believe the measure is simply not fair under the circumstances,” wrote Adam Badowski, Studio Manager and Creative Director at Cyberpunk 2077. in the email to the staff. “We underestimated the length and complexity it would take to make this happen, and yet you did everything to deliver an ambitious, special game.”
A CD Projekt representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The CD Projekt bonus system used for Cyberpunk 2077 developers was complicated. Each month, the company’s team leaders distributed tokens based on the studio’s logo, a red bird, to members of their team who, according to three current and former employees, felt deservedly honored. These tokens would then have been converted into bonuses if the game had met certain criteria, such as: B. Critical recognition and timely publication. Under the new system, these payouts are guaranteed even though Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed and the review result is inconsistent. This performance bonus is added to the regular annual profit sharing payments.
Although the structure will financially reward some employees, there have been concerns that they have been forced to work longer hours. In September, Bloomberg reported that CD Projekt’s developers had been working excessive overtime or crunch since 2018. The company asked all employees to work for six days in the months leading up to the release. Developers who criticize the bonus system have stated that it implicitly encourages employees to schedule nights and weekends to show that they are working the hardest.
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