Marcin Iwiński, the co-founder of CD Projekt Red, issued his latest apology over the Cyberpunk 2077 debacle this past week, in which he clearly stated that the team were not aware that Cyberpunk 2077 had so many issues, especially on last-gen consoles, prior to launch.
Iwiński had stated that the "scope" of the issues were not known prior to its release, but no sooner had the statement been made, a damning report from Bloomberg's Jason Schreier has shown an alternative side of the story, with employees refuting the claims.
According to Schreier, "ore than 20" current and former staff members who worked on the project all stated that external testing had revealed the extent of the problems and that the bugs and issues were not a surprise, contrary to Iwiński's claims.
According to the report, "everyone at the studio knew the game was in rough shape and needed more time," and that "exhausted programmers scrambled to fix as much as they could," with the team knowing the launch would be problematic.
Devs at CD Projekt said despite promises that crunch would not be mandatory, they felt pressured to work overtime on and off for years. I can't share all the stories, but here's one on the record that may help explain why it's been infuriating to see people downplay CDPR's crunch pic.twitter.com/Qne7pti2tT— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) January 16, 2021
The report also covers the serious issue of mandatory crunch, something CD Projekt Red stated would not be imposed, before it turned tale and forced employees to work extra-long hours to get the game ready to shop. Some employees claim they were working up to 13 hours per day, five days a week.
The game appeared to have been in trouble from early on in development, with the game engine being developed at the same time as the game itself, being further complicated by director Adam Badowski making sweeping overhauls to the game in late 2016.
According to the report, a number of developers left the project after clashing with Badowski's change in direction. The team also suffered from being unusually large, with over twice as many staff working on the game than The Witcher 3, totalling just over 500.
Badowski took to Twitter after the report was released to hit back at the claims, suggesting that the majority of the staff didn't believe the game wouldn't be ready in time and that the 20 employees sampled are "too small" to make the claims they are.
He also suggests the sources used in the report are "unreliable" due to their desire to remain anonymous. Given the nature of the allegations and CD Projekt Red's treatment of staff, this is hardly surprising, though.
CD Projekt Red has recently confirmed plans to patch the game, pushing back DLC releases until later in 2021.