Following launch issues surrounding Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red has allegedly changed its developer’s bonus structure to ensure they will still get their bonuses.
As reported by Bloomberg, executives at CD Projekt SA have taken “responsibility for the buggy release of the highly-anticipated title Cyberpunk 2077 this week” and have made changed to make sure that the team “will receive their full bonuses no matter how the game is reviewed.”
“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,” wrote Adam Badowski, studio head and creative director for Cyberpunk 2077, in the email to staff that was obtained by Bloomberg. “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.”
As of this writing, Cyberpunk 2077 has a 90 on review-aggregate site Metacritic, which reveals that high standards the team had set for itself. Despite these high review scores, Cyberpunk 2077’s launch has been impacted by many factors, including a possible seizure-inducing sequence in the game, poor performance on base PS4 and Xbox One units, and copyrighted songs that may cause DMCA strikes for streamers. Furthermore, these issues and others have caused CD Projekt Red’s stock to drop 29% around the launch of Cyberpunk 2077.
Current and former employees talked to Bloomberg about how the bonus structure previously worked for Cyberpunk 2077 devs, and it’s a bit complicated. Every month, team leads would give out tokens – styled after the company’s logo, no less – to “members of the their team they felt deserved honors.”
These tokens could then be transferred into bonuses if Cyberpunk 2077 were to meet certain criteria. Under the revised system, those “payouts will be guaranteed even though Cyberpunk 2077 was delayed and the review score has been mixed.” Bloomberg also notes that these bonuses come “on top of regular annual profit-sharing payouts,” but that “there has been concern it pushed them to work longer hours.”
This tracks with an earlier report that revealed CD Projekt Red had enacted mandatory six-day work weeks to finish work on Cyberpunk 2077. This came after promises that no crunch would be implemented.
All these issues aside, Cyberpunk 2077 appears to be a bonafide commercial success. CD Projekt revealed that its pre-order sales had already covered the entire development and marketing cost of the game, and that Cyberpunk 2077 had sold 8 million copies before launch.
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