A report from Bloomberg has revealed that CD Projekt employees will not have bonuses tied to the reviews of Cyberpunk 2077 although that was the original plan by the Polish developer. Executives at CD Projekt S.A. have taken the responsibility for the game's issues since release and won't pay employees performance bonuses based on critic and audience scores of the game.
It's reported that in the original plan, Cyberpunk 2077 had to hit an average of at least 90 out of 100 on review aggregator site Metacritic for performance bonus payouts to be issued. As of right now, Cyberpunk 2077 sits at exactly 90 which is lower than the company had anticipated.
The bonus system for CD Projekt Red was unconventional (read: questionable) at the very least. Each month the team leaders at the company had red bird tokens to give to employees they thought stood out with exceptional work. These tokens were transferable as bonuses. The author of the report, Jason Schreier, notes in a follow-up tweet that this format "implicitly encouraged developers to crunch" by making them work harder to stand out from the crowd.
In the email, studio head Adam Badowski said it was his and the board's responsibility for Cyberpunk 2077's messy launch. "We underestimated the lengths and complexity involved to make this a reality, and still you did everything you could to deliver an ambitious, special game."
- Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) December 12, 2020
In an email to the staff at CD Projekt, Adam Badowski, the creative director of Cyberpunk 2077 and studio lead, took responsibility for the messy launch of the game. "We initially had a bonus system that was focused on the game's ratings and the release date, but after consideration, we believe that measure is simply not fair under the circumstances. We underestimated the lengths and complexity involved to make this a reality, and still you did everything you could to deliver an ambitious, special game."
CD Projekt has had its fair share of scrutiny for crunching its employees in the lead up to the release of Cyberpunk 2077. Originally there were promises that employees would not crunch for the project, but earlier this year that promise was broken as crunch was mandated. Badowski had to apologise after downplaying the severity of the crunch situation at CD Projekt Red.
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