Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up

In this tweet CD PROJEKT RED studio head Adam Badowski responds to the report that the developer has gone back on their commitment to avoid putting their staff through crunch to complete Cyberpunk 2077:
These last 6 weeks are our final sprint on a project we've all spent much of our lives on. Something we care for deeply. The majority of the team understands that push, especially in light of the fact that we've just sent the game to cert and every day brings us visibly closer to shipping a game we want to be proud of. This is one of the hardest decisions I've had to make, but everyone is well compensated for every extra hour they put in. And, like in recent years, 10% of the annual profit our company generates in 2020 will be split directly among the team.
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30.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Oct 1, 2020, 13:20
Beamer
 
30.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Oct 1, 2020, 13:20
Oct 1, 2020, 13:20
 Beamer
 
PHJF wrote on Oct 1, 2020, 10:15:
Beamer wrote on Oct 1, 2020, 09:59:
wtf_man wrote on Oct 1, 2020, 09:49:
Sepharo wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 20:25:
In the U.S. software engineers are exempt from overtime regulations. The company can pay it but it's not law. I've been in the industry many years, don't know of anyone around here that gets paid OT. But frankly I appreciate being able to work whenever I want and not keeping my time or punchclocking whatever. My particular company can get really busy if there is a hard deadline coming up but crunch is mostly not a thing for us thankfully. But you submit your own estimates for work, so if you're way over what you thought it would be you better have a good explanation or be willing to work some late nights to catch yourself up. Not required, but I'm sure it reflects on your performance if you never get anything done when you say you will.

Right.

As far as I know that exemption not restricted to just software engineers, but any salaried employee vs. hourly in the US. No Overtime pay for Salaried Employees.
That may have changed but I have had a Salary type job in will over 25 years.

Above $36,000. Below that, and they would be eligible.
How do I know that? In order to avoid furloughs when our revenue plummeted in March, my company rolled out short-term pay reductions. I took a 12% hit. The average was 5%. People making $40k weren't impacted, to avoid any chance of putting them below this, but I don't think we have many people making below $45k.

Apparently the Obama administration tried to make it $47,500, or $913 per week, but a court shot that down.

So instead of being furloughed and making an extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits you got to keep working while making even less money. I'd be interested in seeing the total monetary loss you suffered as a result.

For me, a lot.
For others, less. Likely more meaningful than for me.

I wasn't involved in the decision, but I stand by it. We didn't do layoffs. Our competitors did. They also furloughed, and most (but not all) of the layoffs came from people furloughed. Some did something along the lines of an every Friday furlough, which means no unemployment. Some did long term furloughs, but it isn't really like there was less work, just a bunch of people already overworked now even more overworked.

The frustrating part is that our division is actually flat on the year now. We'd been down, but we rebounded. However, bonuses aren't tied to just our division, which is frustrating when everyone else in the company is down. I also can't promote anyone right now, which drives me insane, and I've spent way too much time pushing hirings back in order to save money to use for end of the year promotions.

On the plus side, when the calendar year rolls over we'll be in really solid shape.
29.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Oct 1, 2020, 12:32
29.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Oct 1, 2020, 12:32
Oct 1, 2020, 12:32
 
MrBone wrote on Oct 1, 2020, 07:24:
Scheherazade wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 19:46:
I worked on a project where I crunched for well over half a year. The last 2 months were 16 hour days, which was especially annoying since the company didn't allow you to log more then 12 hours per day [ because of some legal limit to daily hours IIRC ].

What did I get in the end? A reprimand for looking bad on security review for working odd hours... by the same person assigning me the daily tasks... who would leave at 5 and give me a full days work to do by next morning (we all started at 9 daily).

Lesson learned : don't do overtime.
If they demand it, demand compensation.

Another thing I noticed was that when management leaves at 5, they don't see people working anymore, and they act like as if everyone is done working at the same time.
By not doing overtime simply by request (which is quickly out of mind) they are forced to be aware of it by authorizing the compensation.

I don't mean onesey twosey rare and incidental overtime, I mean the 'this is how things are' overtime.

-scheherazade

When you woke up from this nightmare, did you have a hankering for some cookies??

The reference goes over my head, sorry.

-scheherazade
28.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Oct 1, 2020, 12:21
28.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Oct 1, 2020, 12:21
Oct 1, 2020, 12:21
 
wtf_man wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 19:30:
I was replying to GothicWizard's comment about most game studios... not specifically what CD PROJECT RED is doing.

You choose a job you KNOW crunch is a thing and still take a salary position and don't negotiate a better deal? Part of the blame falls on you at that point.

I agree there is still work to be done and ALL OT needs to be compensated. However this shows it IS moving in the right direction, and that is a start and what I am getting at. I didn't say the issue is 100% fixed, you inferred that not I.
27.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Oct 1, 2020, 10:34
27.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Oct 1, 2020, 10:34
Oct 1, 2020, 10:34
 
PHJF wrote on Oct 1, 2020, 10:15:
So instead of being furloughed and making an extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits you got to keep working while making even less money. I'd be interested in seeing the total monetary loss you suffered as a result.
Not quite sure how you get the idea that the $600 unemployment would have been a benefit for Beamer.

if I'm not mistaken he's previously stated that he makes over 6x that so the 12% cut he took really hasn't affected him that poorly. Then again he lives in New York City where $200,000 a year is probably close to the poverty level.
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26.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Oct 1, 2020, 10:15
PHJF
 
26.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Oct 1, 2020, 10:15
Oct 1, 2020, 10:15
 PHJF
 
Beamer wrote on Oct 1, 2020, 09:59:
wtf_man wrote on Oct 1, 2020, 09:49:
Sepharo wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 20:25:
In the U.S. software engineers are exempt from overtime regulations. The company can pay it but it's not law. I've been in the industry many years, don't know of anyone around here that gets paid OT. But frankly I appreciate being able to work whenever I want and not keeping my time or punchclocking whatever. My particular company can get really busy if there is a hard deadline coming up but crunch is mostly not a thing for us thankfully. But you submit your own estimates for work, so if you're way over what you thought it would be you better have a good explanation or be willing to work some late nights to catch yourself up. Not required, but I'm sure it reflects on your performance if you never get anything done when you say you will.

Right.

As far as I know that exemption not restricted to just software engineers, but any salaried employee vs. hourly in the US. No Overtime pay for Salaried Employees.
That may have changed but I have had a Salary type job in will over 25 years.

Above $36,000. Below that, and they would be eligible.
How do I know that? In order to avoid furloughs when our revenue plummeted in March, my company rolled out short-term pay reductions. I took a 12% hit. The average was 5%. People making $40k weren't impacted, to avoid any chance of putting them below this, but I don't think we have many people making below $45k.

Apparently the Obama administration tried to make it $47,500, or $913 per week, but a court shot that down.

So instead of being furloughed and making an extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits you got to keep working while making even less money. I'd be interested in seeing the total monetary loss you suffered as a result.
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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25.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Oct 1, 2020, 09:59
Beamer
 
25.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Oct 1, 2020, 09:59
Oct 1, 2020, 09:59
 Beamer
 
wtf_man wrote on Oct 1, 2020, 09:49:
Sepharo wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 20:25:
In the U.S. software engineers are exempt from overtime regulations. The company can pay it but it's not law. I've been in the industry many years, don't know of anyone around here that gets paid OT. But frankly I appreciate being able to work whenever I want and not keeping my time or punchclocking whatever. My particular company can get really busy if there is a hard deadline coming up but crunch is mostly not a thing for us thankfully. But you submit your own estimates for work, so if you're way over what you thought it would be you better have a good explanation or be willing to work some late nights to catch yourself up. Not required, but I'm sure it reflects on your performance if you never get anything done when you say you will.

Right.

As far as I know that exemption not restricted to just software engineers, but any salaried employee vs. hourly in the US. No Overtime pay for Salaried Employees.
That may have changed but I have had a Salary type job in will over 25 years.

Above $36,000. Below that, and they would be eligible.
How do I know that? In order to avoid furloughs when our revenue plummeted in March, my company rolled out short-term pay reductions. I took a 12% hit. The average was 5%. People making $40k weren't impacted, to avoid any chance of putting them below this, but I don't think we have many people making below $45k.

Apparently the Obama administration tried to make it $47,500, or $913 per week, but a court shot that down.
24.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Oct 1, 2020, 09:49
24.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Oct 1, 2020, 09:49
Oct 1, 2020, 09:49
 
Sepharo wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 20:25:
In the U.S. software engineers are exempt from overtime regulations. The company can pay it but it's not law. I've been in the industry many years, don't know of anyone around here that gets paid OT. But frankly I appreciate being able to work whenever I want and not keeping my time or punchclocking whatever. My particular company can get really busy if there is a hard deadline coming up but crunch is mostly not a thing for us thankfully. But you submit your own estimates for work, so if you're way over what you thought it would be you better have a good explanation or be willing to work some late nights to catch yourself up. Not required, but I'm sure it reflects on your performance if you never get anything done when you say you will.

Right.

As far as I know that exemption not restricted to just software engineers, but any salaried employee vs. hourly in the US. No Overtime pay for Salaried Employees.
That may have changed but I haven't had a Salary type job in well over 25 years.

VaranDragon wrote on Oct 1, 2020, 02:26:

That is seriously fucked up.

Also, did everyone miss that 10% profit margin bonus? In the EU these kinds of things are usually stipulated by contract, or addendum to a contract. So that's not an empty promise.

As far as I can remember, the way Salary was supposed to work in the US is that you're supposed to be getting better pay than you would for 40 hour weeks, and if tasks take over 40 hours, so be it (No Overtime Pay). That's why a lot of US companies abuse Salary vs. Hourly.
Which brings me back to my original comment that working for a Salary (At least in the US from the looks of it) is a dumb thing to do.

This comment was edited on Oct 1, 2020, 10:04.
Get your games from GOG DAMMIT!
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23.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Oct 1, 2020, 07:24
23.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Oct 1, 2020, 07:24
Oct 1, 2020, 07:24
 
Scheherazade wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 19:46:
I worked on a project where I crunched for well over half a year. The last 2 months were 16 hour days, which was especially annoying since the company didn't allow you to log more then 12 hours per day [ because of some legal limit to daily hours IIRC ].

What did I get in the end? A reprimand for looking bad on security review for working odd hours... by the same person assigning me the daily tasks... who would leave at 5 and give me a full days work to do by next morning (we all started at 9 daily).

Lesson learned : don't do overtime.
If they demand it, demand compensation.

Another thing I noticed was that when management leaves at 5, they don't see people working anymore, and they act like as if everyone is done working at the same time.
By not doing overtime simply by request (which is quickly out of mind) they are forced to be aware of it by authorizing the compensation.

I don't mean onesey twosey rare and incidental overtime, I mean the 'this is how things are' overtime.

-scheherazade

When you woke up from this nightmare, did you have a hankering for some cookies??
22.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Oct 1, 2020, 06:21
22.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Oct 1, 2020, 06:21
Oct 1, 2020, 06:21
 
IgWannA wrote on Oct 1, 2020, 05:19:
It's only fucked up if they force you to work the overtime..

Oh you don't say? Rolleyes Actually what is fucked up is that they can force you to work the overtime, and NOT pay you to do so. That kind of worker protection needs to exist in every country in the world that dares to call itself civilized.

This comment was edited on Oct 1, 2020, 06:42.
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21.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Oct 1, 2020, 05:19
21.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Oct 1, 2020, 05:19
Oct 1, 2020, 05:19
 
VaranDragon wrote on Oct 1, 2020, 02:26:
Sepharo wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 20:25:

In the U.S. software engineers are exempt from overtime regulations. The company can pay it but it's not law.

That is seriously fucked up.

Also, did everyone miss that 10% profit margin bonus? In the EU these kinds of things are usually stipulated by contract, or addendum to a contract. So that's not an empty promise.

It's only fucked up if they force you to work the overtime. I think everywhere in the world there will be employees who work extra hours unpaid because they think it'll help their career in the long run. It really depends on the company ethos, and how nice your boss is feeling, whether you can get paid for overtime. As I understand it, workers in America do a lot of unpaid overtime, and even work through their annual leave, which is crazy because you get so little to begin with - just 10 days on average.... I get 35 days and can buy more, or carry unused days into next year.
20.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Oct 1, 2020, 02:26
20.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Oct 1, 2020, 02:26
Oct 1, 2020, 02:26
 
Sepharo wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 20:25:

In the U.S. software engineers are exempt from overtime regulations. The company can pay it but it's not law.

That is seriously fucked up.

Also, did everyone miss that 10% profit margin bonus? In the EU these kinds of things are usually stipulated by contract, or addendum to a contract. So that's not an empty promise.
Avatar 58327
19.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Oct 1, 2020, 02:23
19.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Oct 1, 2020, 02:23
Oct 1, 2020, 02:23
 
Cutter wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 23:27:
I wonder what constitutes "the team" for that profit sharing exactly? QA? Support staff - cleaners, receptionists, et al.?


My guess would be all non-outsourced game team members (engineers, producers, art leads, directors). QA/Artists gets the short straw like always as they are usually contracted but they also avoid crunch as their contract usually stipulates the work they will deliver and the hours they have allotted. Support staff usually aren’t involved in crunch.

Basically anyone on salary paid by the company itself.
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18.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Sep 30, 2020, 23:27
Cutter
 
18.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Sep 30, 2020, 23:27
Sep 30, 2020, 23:27
 Cutter
 
I wonder what constitutes "the team" for that profit sharing exactly? QA? Support staff - cleaners, receptionists, et al.?

"Hot air hangs like a dead man, from a white oak tree. People sitting on porches, thinking how things used to be. It's a dark night...dark night."
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17.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Sep 30, 2020, 22:28
17.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Sep 30, 2020, 22:28
Sep 30, 2020, 22:28
 
wtf_man wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 19:30:
I was replying to GothicWizard's comment about most game studios... not specifically what CD PROJECT RED is doing.
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16.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Sep 30, 2020, 20:25
16.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Sep 30, 2020, 20:25
Sep 30, 2020, 20:25
 
IgWannA wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 19:59:
wtf_man wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 18:27:
Most game developers are on Salary... not Hourly... which is why there is not OT pay available. However, they are usually promised some "bonus"... but we've seen how that goes, like with Gearbox.

Honestly, taking any IT Professional job for Salary instead of Hourly is kind of a dumb move ...unless the salary is way above the industry average. There's almost always "Off Hours" work to be done at some point... might as well get paid for it. Now, where I work, we mainly flex "off hours" work to avoid OT as much as possible... but if it's over 40 hours for the week, we go into OT.

I'm on a salary but I get paid overtime if I book it, so I don't see your point. A salaried position does not preclude you from claiming OT.

In the U.S. software engineers are exempt from overtime regulations. The company can pay it but it's not law. I've been in the industry many years, don't know of anyone around here that gets paid OT. But frankly I appreciate being able to work whenever I want and not keeping my time or punchclocking whatever. My particular company can get really busy if there is a hard deadline coming up but crunch is mostly not a thing for us thankfully. But you submit your own estimates for work, so if you're way over what you thought it would be you better have a good explanation or be willing to work some late nights to catch yourself up. Not required, but I'm sure it reflects on your performance if you never get anything done when you say you will.
Avatar 17249
15.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Sep 30, 2020, 19:59
15.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Sep 30, 2020, 19:59
Sep 30, 2020, 19:59
 
wtf_man wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 18:27:
Most game developers are on Salary... not Hourly... which is why there is not OT pay available. However, they are usually promised some "bonus"... but we've seen how that goes, like with Gearbox.

Honestly, taking any IT Professional job for Salary instead of Hourly is kind of a dumb move ...unless the salary is way above the industry average. There's almost always "Off Hours" work to be done at some point... might as well get paid for it. Now, where I work, we mainly flex "off hours" work to avoid OT as much as possible... but if it's over 40 hours for the week, we go into OT.

I'm on a salary but I get paid overtime if I book it, so I don't see your point. A salaried position does not preclude you from claiming OT.
14.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Sep 30, 2020, 19:46
14.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Sep 30, 2020, 19:46
Sep 30, 2020, 19:46
 
I worked on a project where I crunched for well over half a year. The last 2 months were 16 hour days, which was especially annoying since the company didn't allow you to log more then 12 hours per day [ because of some legal limit to daily hours IIRC ].

What did I get in the end? A reprimand for looking bad on security review for working odd hours... by the same person assigning me the daily tasks... who would leave at 5 and give me a full days work to do by next morning (we all started at 9 daily).

Lesson learned : don't do overtime.
If they demand it, demand compensation.

Another thing I noticed was that when management leaves at 5, they don't see people working anymore, and they act like as if everyone is done working at the same time.
By not doing overtime simply by request (which is quickly out of mind) they are forced to be aware of it by authorizing the compensation.

I don't mean onesey twosey rare and incidental overtime, I mean the 'this is how things are' overtime.

-scheherazade
13.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Sep 30, 2020, 19:30
13.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Sep 30, 2020, 19:30
Sep 30, 2020, 19:30
 
I was replying to GothicWizard's comment about most game studios... not specifically what CD PROJECT RED is doing.
Get your games from GOG DAMMIT!
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12.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Sep 30, 2020, 19:04
12.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Sep 30, 2020, 19:04
Sep 30, 2020, 19:04
 
wtf_man wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 18:27:
GothicWizard wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 17:07:
Please, I've seen some studios, games end up in crunch that last 4+ months of development with no OT. Clearly the industry is much better then it was 5+ yrs ago. As long as they are getting paid for the OT this is a non-issue and story.

Most game developers are on Salary... not Hourly... which is why there is not OT pay available. However, they are usually promised some "bonus"... but we've seen how that goes, like with Gearbox.

Honestly, taking any IT Professional job for Salary instead of Hourly is kind of a dumb move ...unless the salary is way above the industry average. There's almost always "Off Hours" work to be done at some point... might as well get paid for it. Now, where I work, we mainly flex "off hours" work to avoid OT as much as possible... but if it's over 40 hours for the week, we go into OT.
It specifically says they will be paid overtime.

Badowski wrote, elaborating that this meant “your typical amount of work and one day of the weekend.” The extra work would be paid, as required by Polish labor laws. Many other video game studios don’t pay for overtime.
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11.
 
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up
Sep 30, 2020, 18:27
11.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Crunch Follow-up Sep 30, 2020, 18:27
Sep 30, 2020, 18:27
 
GothicWizard wrote on Sep 30, 2020, 17:07:
Please, I've seen some studios, games end up in crunch that last 4+ months of development with no OT. Clearly the industry is much better then it was 5+ yrs ago. As long as they are getting paid for the OT this is a non-issue and story.

Most game developers are on Salary... not Hourly... which is why there is not OT pay available. However, they are usually promised some "bonus"... but we've seen how that goes, like with Gearbox.

Honestly, taking any IT Professional job for Salary instead of Hourly is kind of a dumb move ...unless the salary is way above the industry average. There's almost always "Off Hours" work to be done at some point... might as well get paid for it. Now, where I work, we mainly flex "off hours" work to avoid OT as much as possible... but if it's over 40 hours for the week, we go into OT.
Get your games from GOG DAMMIT!
Avatar 19499
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