Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé

Bloomberg's Jason Schreier reports (may require registration or subscription) on what he rightfully calls the "disastrous rollout" of Cyberpunk 2077. He spoke with current and former staff at developer CD PROJEKT RED, most of whom requested anonymity in exchange for their frank assessments of the missteps and mismanagement that led to the problems with the highly anticipated sci-fi RPG. This includes the impact of developing the game's engine alongside the game itself, which one developer likened to trying to drive a train as the tracks are being laid ahead of it at the same time. An interesting detail is development of the game didn't actually begin in earnest until late 2016 even though it was announced in 2012. The story also reports that the game's E3 2018 demo was faked, and that the staff was forced into crunch mode very early in the project, despite repeated promises from management that they would not be subjected to it:
Fans and journalists were wowed by Cyberpunk 2077’s ambition and scale. What they didn’t know was that the demo was almost entirely fake. CD Projekt hadn’t yet finalized and coded the underlying gameplay systems, which is why so many features, such as car ambushes, were missing from the final product. Developers said they felt like the demo was a waste of months that should have gone toward making the game.

Employees were working long hours, even though Iwiński told staff that overtime wouldn’t be mandatory on Cyberpunk 2077. More than a dozen workers said they felt pressured to put in extra hours by their managers or coworkers anyway.

“There were times when I would crunch up to 13 hours a day — a little bit over that was my record probably — and I would do five days a week working like that,” said Jakubiak, the former audio programmer, adding that he quit the company after getting married. “I have some friends who lost their families because of these sort of shenanigans.”