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Cyberpunk 2077 delay necessary for last-minute work on current consoles, dev says

UPDATE 4pm UK: CD Projekt Red’s joint CEO Adam Kiciński has apologised after describing Cyberpunk 2077’s crunch as “not that bad”.

In an email to staff this afternoon, shared on Twitter by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, Kiciński said he had been “demeaning and harmful”, and that his words were not just “unfortunate” but “utterly bad”.

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Kiciński had made his original comments in a call with investors – the first time the studio had acknowledged the game’s crunch since its last-minute delay was announced earlier this week. More on that in our original story, below.

ORIGINAL STORY 11am UK: Cyberpunk 2077’s latest delay – to 10th December – was caused by issues with the game’s current-gen console builds, developer CD Projekt Red has said.

Extra “optimisation” work was still necessary on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red told investors last night, and it was this which had caused the game’s release to shift back yet again.

“The game is ready for the PC and runs great on the next-gen consoles, and could be shipped on the scheduled date on those platforms,” CD Projekt Red joint CEO Adam Kiciński said.

“However, even though the game has been certified on the current gens by both Sony and Microsoft, some very final optimisation processes for such a massive and complex game require a bit of additional time.”

There was no suggestion of splitting the game’s release date.

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The delay was announced in a statement that made no mention of the extended work hours that are currently mandatory for some staff members now crunching until the end of the project.

Last night, Kiciński described the situation as “not that bad” as it only affected some members of staff and not others. Here’s the full quote:

“Regarding crunch; actually, it’s not that bad – and never was. Of course it’s a story that has been picked up by the media, and some people have been crunching heavily, but a large part of the team is not crunching at all since they have finished their work; it’s mostly about Q&A and engineers, programmers – but it’s not that heavy; of course, it will be extended a bit, but we have feedback from the team; they’re happy about the extra three weeks, so we don’t see any threats regarding crunch.”

On Twitter this week, Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier said he had spoken to a CD Projekt staff member who had worked more than 100 hours in the past seven days.

When asked if future CD Projekt Red projects would be affected in a similar way, Kiciński said no, and gave a couple of examples. The studio’s upcoming multiplayer Cyberpunk 2077 project – not expected until after 2021 – already had “initial prototypes” up and running. After that, future games will likely be next-gen only – meaning the issues faced with Cyberpunk 2077’s split generation release hopefully won’t be repeated.

“Targeting future releases – probably – just for next-gen will help a lot,” Kiciński concluded. “We are releasing a game which is, to be honest, a next-gen game, and we’re preparing it for fairly old machines, which poses certain unique challenges that won’t occur in future projects – at least in the next one.”

Yesterday, CD Projekt Red appealed for people to stop sending the studio death threats in response to this week’s delay.

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