It has been revealed that CD Projekt Red staff will be working overtime in order to get Cyberpunk 2077 finished in time, but do we want that?
I know that behind a release date, are the investors and their expected returns on said investment. However, dev studio's should not become sweat shops. This is also why you shouldn't announce a release date until all your key milestone have been met.
working overtime is now a sweat shop.
working way overtime every fucking day for weeks is a sweat shop. There's a reason they call it crunch and not simply overtime.
It's not overtime though is it? Its crunch, there's a massive difference between the two.
So crunch and overtime are not the same ,can you explain how they're different, and are you suggesting developers don't get paid for working "crunch time" ?
Message you are replying to makes no mention of overtime. Respond appropriately or not at all.
@QuarkZ We had some programmers quit at my job and I had to work 10 hour days for 3 months (normally I work 8) , I got paid double time and made a ton more money. No it's not a sweatshop.
There is a difference between overtime and crunch. Overtime is just working more than usual hours. It can be infrequent or optional. But when it becomes both frequent and non-optional, then it becomes a crunch. Some people think that as long as you're getting paid, it's fine. Well, not really. People also have lives? What's the point of getting paid a lot of money if you have no time of the day left to even spend it on? It's anyone's choice is they want to work over 8 hours a day, but most people don't, and would rather have normal salary and a social life, then high salary and no social life.
Mono Developers don't get paid extra money for crunch. Most are on fixed salaries Now once the game is out and makes tons of money they may get bonuses. It's not a regular job where working extra hours means more money. But every AAA studio goes through crunch for last 3-9 months, when developers join the industry they know about it. Doesn't make it right or wrong, better of worse end of the day this is a known fact. Now once game is out and does well these bonus checks could be pretty hefty
@QuarkZ Ever think about a farmers yearly schedule? People have been working like this forever. There are a ton of industries that do it.. construction, manufacturing, fisherman... game devs just complain the most about it.
crunch is a colloquial term used to describe increased hours to get something done. It includes overtime, and devs are compensated for it. Devs do not always work 24/7, sleep at the office, or have their lives ruined because of it. There are many different ways crunch go down, and delaying a game is going to be less intrusive to the devs than trying to get everything that needs to be done in six months, and pushing all that into two months and probably releasing a game that still needs lots of work after the fact to fix all the problems that will still exist. For all the people who will take their high horses and say how terrible it is for the devs, they don't know exactly how it's going to go down with this dev, and will still buy the game, because they care more about appearing like they care, than they do actually speaking with their wallet and saying it's OK if a game development goes on indefinately and that they're willing to wait just as long. Let the devs worry about their own life. The only concern the consumer should have is if they want the game or not, and if they should pay for it. The development community doesn't need a bunch of naive people speaking on their behalf, because it's not going to change anything. These devs are adults, and the industry will make it's own changes based on what it needs to carry on, and if they can't keep people in the industry, the'll adapt, like they've been doing for over a decade now because crunch was a problem.
I can tell how many of you have never worked an industry job with shift work where working double shifts is ridiculously common. Yeah, it's "voluntary" but those of us who work these jobs know that it's only "voluntary" in name and if you don't take your fair share of shifts, you won't be there long, or your coworkers will tend to make life a bit harder on you. But you do get paid for your time, and usually paid very well. This is nothing new and it's a lot better than it was 100 years ago. But it's still not a "sweatshop" and you tend to make a lot more money for your time so most workers don't mind it. At the end of the day, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
You've never seen a sweat shop if you think this is "like" working at a sweatshop.
Plenty of jobs require overtime. It just needs to be managed well so it isn't unhealthy.
Yeah 60-80hr weeks were not invented by, nor is it exclusive to the gaming industry. To be clear, I do not condone this - overtime/crunch is cancer, especially the unpaid kind, but sometimes you need to put in the extra hrs to complete something. Recognition (both verbal and salary-wise) for a job well done is what really matters in the end. In CDPR's case I'm pretty sure they'll get both.
Sometimes, being the key word here. Many people work overtime, I do too. I've worked on weekends with very few hours of sleep because it demanded it, but I sure as hell wouldn't work 60-80 a week for weeks on end, unless I'm paid in consequence, which, let's be honest, most aren't.
Yes, sadly most aren't.
Almost all devs are paid for overtime work. Contract employees, which make up the bulk of the industry either work per job, in which case they agree to the time it will take to complete and negotiate at that time, or work by the hour, in which case they're subject to standard labor laws which set the guidelines for what is considered overtime(over 40 hours for the US). Salaried employees often have overtime worked into their contracts, and EU/UK and most states in the US where most devs set up shop, have overtime laws for employees. There is a lot of uninformed people out there who like to talk about this as if they understand how crunch goes down, or what the devs get from it.
Fundamentally disagree. Jobs only require your contracted working hours. Overtime is only voluntary. If you are forced to do overtime then it’s just time.
Well, no one is "forced" to do anything. This isn't slavery. Anyone working at CDPR can quit at anytime. I don't know the labor laws of the area but in many places the employer can fire the employee at any time for any reason. So "requiring overtime" isn't just a matter of it being "voluntary". Some people work the extras hours just to be able to keep their job. If they do not then the company can find someone who will. Regardless, the point to all this is: workers in the gaming industry are no different than anyone else trying to make a living.
I trust in CD project so their game is getting day one purchased for my PC. Witcher 3 is my game of the generation.
NO! Crunch is never rightly justifiable. Simple as
Please make sure to point this one every interview you have so that no employer accidentally hires you
Sadly we don't live in such a perfect world.
in a perfect world...
You don't even know what "crunch" is, do you? I've worked 40 hours in a single weekend. Why? I was motivated to get the job done. I wasn't forced. It was all me.
So, you're not gong to buy this game, or most any other AAA game ever again?
I'll wait for a better polished experience on the PS5. Rushed games always provides bad soar. It's better to wait for the good product. I can wait more time and get it on the next generation that is already here.
It's not really about what "we" want. CDPR have bills to pay and likely need the revenue from this release to be realized in 2020 to stay healthy financially. They're crunching for their own sake, not really ours.
I don't think they need the revenue. They're worth quite a bit of money, and have other revenue streams. Obviously they want this revenue stream, but they're also a dev that likes to put out a quality product. I think the crunch on this game would have been a lot worse for the dev should they not have delayed it.
"It has been revealed that CD Projekt Red staff will be working overtime in order to get Cyberpunk 2077 finished in time, but do we want that?" So apparently crunch time only happens in the game industry, like no other company or industry in the world ever gets to the crunch. This is unfortunately real life and I promise these game devs dont know what crunch really is. Try working in a construction business and if they have experienced that then and only then can game devs complain about "crunch".
That's bullshit. Oh Mr. "if you don't have it as bad as me, then you don't have it bad at all!!" You sound ridiculous. Construction isn't exactly easy - but you think game design is? Working extra hours, likely double your normal workload, isn't necessarily easy for anyone, regardless of the job title. Construction may be more physically demanding, but their job is more mentally draining. Get off your high horse.
Bullshit and its not a high horse its reality. Come speak to me again when you have gone 72 hours with 4 hours sleep in between and your bed is a hard board and your pillow is a bag of cement, its not fun. Do you have any idea how stupid its sounds to hard labourers when these people who have access to clean water and clean toilets complain about "crunch" and then go on to say its mentally more draining. Get off your high horse.
Inzo, congratulations on making his point. I've worked weekends with little hours of sleep because the business needed to be up the next monday. You sound like a complete cunt exactly saying "Well you know in my days we had to walk 50 miles to school!" You clearly don't know what mental drain can do if you think that you trying to make it "what I do is worse so they shouldn't bitch" and at the same time expect people to not call you out on your crap. Get off your high horse, again, you having some shitty job doesn't mean that others who do should do so too.
I don't need to "come speak to you." You chose the job, deal with it. But, it doesn't mean your work is even more tiring, difficult or draining than any other employee who gets 4 hours of sleep. It's no one's fault that you didn't prepare better with a sleeping bad or inflatable mattress - or bring some water bottles, with you. Again, you sound ridiculous.
Game design is less labor intensive, and to be 100% honest, more than half the time spent in a development office is done sitting around waiting for something else to be done. Game development can be frustrating because what may take a few minutes to implement, can take hours to test, only to find that it didn't work. People choose to work their hours. Mandatory overtime is not legally enforcable even for salaried employees in any state in the US, and the EU/UK have pretty strong labor laws which make sure that people are protected from repurcussion. Saying no isn't going to be good for one's career, but the idea that devs are forced is not really taking the mentality of how most devs look at game development, at least until they decide that they want something less intrusive and end up leaving the industry. But it's this attrition which has been causing the industry in general to make changes which consider the well being of their workers more, and I don't know of any major developer which goes to extremes with crunch anymore, nor any that don't compensate their workers for their time.
I appreciate you feel that way, but unless you've worked in every sector of work going, none of us can really compare them. I'm sure each is challenging when the crunch comes around!
Look out everyone, we have a badass who has a RealJob(tm) in our midst!
Gosh, that almost sounds like something you should have reported to your union. Which construction workers have and game devs don't.
Construction workers have unions? Most are either day workers or contract employees that work per job. Only construction workers I know that have unions are those who work on large jobs, like skyscrapers or building roads or other government funded projects. Devs don't need unions. Like the construction industry, there is a severe shortage of qualified individuals to fill the jobs. Believe it or not, they have a lot of control over their pay, and working conditions. But it's not a one way street, which is about all that unions offer the workers, and unions would only make things worse when it comes to getting jobs done. Just like they did for the movie industry, where they caused increased production costs, and constraints to what could be done, and depending on the project, requiring people who may not even be needed for a production. Movie industry eventually adapted, and got things sorted out, but there isn't a severe lack of qualified people in most of the jobs which have unions attached to them.
No tpp no buy
As a consumer, I just want the best product possible. Getting into the games industry on a development level, you know what you're getting into. Same as service workers like police and firefighters. Your job isn't always going to be pretty.
Yeah, I get the impression crunch in gaming gets talked about so much, and ignored in other professions, because journos are always looking for something dramatic to crusade about. Makes them feel like they're doing some real, grown-up reporting about something more important than video games, which apparently for many of them isn't a valid enough job. Some of them act like they've broken the next Watergate scandal.
It is a gaming website talking about something happening in video game development. Crunch isn't being ignored in other professions. If journalists who write about video games are not allowed to report on this in your opinion, than who is? Also, what goes on in other professions is irrelevant to most gamers. EA getting repeatedly voted worst company in America demonstrates this lack of perspective.
It gets talked about because it gets people riled up, and allows them to act all moral and try to show support in a matter which they more often than not seem completely ignorant of. Crunch isn't the same as it was 20 years ago. The industry had to adapt to keep workers, because there just aren't enough people wanting to get into the industry, and this talk of crunch by naive journalists who don't care to really look into the issue, or even ask devs opinions on the matter, are probably turning off more people when they realize they can make good money doing similar more pedestrian jobs getting the same kind of degrees. IT jobs in general pretty much need anyone they can get, and one doesn't even have to try and excel to get a job in IT anymore. Game design requires more effort, special degrees which aren't useful anywhere else, and there's this stigma that you will end up working ungodly hours without compensation, or be kicked out the industry on your back side. That just isn't really the case anymore, and it'd be nice if these journalists stopped trying to speak on behalf of developers with their ignorance, just to have the community talk about it with their ignorance, because they feel that we in the gaming industry need their help to make our lives better. Game developers are adults. We aren't slave labor. Engineers make more than average for other IT engineering jobs. Asset creators tend to make standard pay compared to other industries doing the same kind of work, but there is a lot more people able to do that work. Production management is about the same as the movie or TV industry. Hours can vary between studios, but hearing the word crunch doesn't mean that the dev is working 80-100/wk, sleeping at the office, never seeing their family, and having their life ruined with no compensation except maybe a bonus later on. It's just not like that anymore.
Game developers doing crunch is like children making smartphones in factories. People kind of feel a little bad when thinking about it, but they prefer to ignore it and have the products in their hands as cheap and fast as possible.
I dont give a flying $^^$ about the people working there. I want the game and if those people can be squeezed to get it to me sooner than thats what I want. Life is finite, I dont want to wait for months just so some people i dont even know get it easy.
Stupid question is stupid.
Let them take their time until they are satisfied with it. It's better for us when we finally get it. Plenty of other games to play in the meantime for me, so I am happy they delayed it really. But for everyone involved at the deveoping team I hope they don't work themselves sick or anything, if anything...postpone the release further for some stress relief. But then there's the investors and all that.
Delay until you can comfortably release at a standard you’re happy with. Crunch, in the negative sense implies wonky project management (which can be due to many things..) Crunch shouldn’t be happening unless it’s really well compensated.
What exactly is the problem? All industries have crunch sometimes. They’re working more hours and making more money. The horror.
Except that they are not making more money. Most game developers are salaried employees which means that they are usually exempt from overtime compensation. In the cases that they are entitled overtime, the company has usually refused to pay the extra money. EA and Rockstar have both settled multi-million dollar lawsuits with employees over unpaid overtime.
I’m a salaried employee and I deal with extra uncompensated time all the time. It’s part of the job and any salaried employee knows that is a risk going in. That’s the whole point of salary. The hours you work are driven by mission.
Really? You have some evidence that they aren't compensated for overtime? Doesn't matter if it's a salaried position, these devs have contracts and those contracts usually speak of overtime for crunch. EU and UK have laws for paying overtime, even for salaried employees. Many states where most game devs are in the US now have laws that require paying overtime to salaried employees unless their contracts specifically state otherwise, and there are still sometimes protections for labor beyond that despite contracts. The only devs which don't get paid more for crunch are those that are paid by the job. A set amount to deliver a specific job. This is typically outsourced work, and not even that common. There is so much ignorance from people who want to fight for these apparently slave driven lowly developers who for some reason can't protect their own interests.
@rainslacker "Many states where most game devs are in the US now have laws that require paying overtime to salaried employees" That is true and it is also true that in those states there are ways to be exempt. In California for example, if a computer software professional has a salary of at least $96,968.33 then they are exempt from overtime pay. In the US as a whole, federal law exempts computer employees if they have a salary of $684/week or $27.63/hr. So yes, most developers are not making more money because they are working longer hours. It is amusing reading your posts and seeing the amount of hoops you will jump through defending the status quo. I especially liked how you rainslacker, who comments on just about everything here, telling others what they can and cannot have an opinion on. The story about your cousin was also nice since you just proved what people have been saying about crunch - your cousin loved overtime until he had a baby and then needed or wanted to spend more time with that baby. Apparently in your mind, video game developers don't have babies or families that they too might want to spend time with instead of being forced with crunch to meet an artificial deadline.
Are you working 80-100 hours a week for months at a time? Exactly how much extra uncompensated time do you have to deal with in your salaried job? It is amusing how many people think that having to come in on a Saturday or spending 4 hours after work some Wednesday puts them in the same boat as developer crunch time. I bet that the reason that you are ok with the extra time you have to put in at work is because you are not working 80-100 hours a week. Please share with us what your job is and the length of your work week.
OK, I'm seeing a lot of ignorant comments and misinformation flying around here, that should be addressed: Yes, every industry has a little bit of crunch, every now and then. The problem in this case, endemic to the videogame industry, is that crunch is PRACTICALLY GUARANTEED to happen, and it happens for months to years at a time. This isn't an issue of "every now and then," a few days here or there a year. This is people working 16-20 hour days, 6-7 days a week, for anywhere between 3 - 18 months, for no extra financial (if any) reward. What makes this a perfect storm for abuse is the fact that people working in the games industry (outside of management and finance, of course) are hired as contractors, which means they have no guaranteed rights or privileges like paid vacation, tenure, or chances for promotion and most won't have a job by the time the product ships. And that is despite the fact that they poured their very souls into a project and maybe even lost their family along the way (ridiculously common). Crunch is often cynically characterized as "voluntary", while those who choose not to participate are labelled as not being "team players" and may have their financial rewards stripped. And those financial rewards will often go unpaid regardless of participation (Gearbox, as a recent case). There is an unhealthy culture of overwork in the videogame industry, that companies are all to happy to allow and perpetuate, because it benefits them immensely. Working in these ridiculous conditions is often lauded as being the noble, dutiful, heroic course by management and more "old-school" veterans because it's the only way they know how to work. They will knowingly set a release estimate that will be practically impossible to hit without crunch, because the contractors will feel morally (and will be financially) obligated to do so. So before you chime in about how you had to work a 12 hour shift that one time and it didn't kill you, maybe do a bit more research on the topic.
You speak of misinformation, and spread nothing but. Almost everything you say to be the case, or "practically gauranteed" is just wrong. You generalize things so broadly and state that issues that do happen, or have happened are the norm for the industry. You inappropriately assume that contract employees somehow have it worse off, and from a benefits perspective yeah, that can be true, but contract employees do definately make more for more hours worked. Contract employees of long durations are given overtime, they are given vacation, and in some case, they are given insurance. It really depends on what the contract employee negotiates with their employer, and if they don't get what they want, they need to become better negotiators, because the worker has most of the power nowadays since more than half the jobs that need to be filled simply don't have the people required to fill them. Your information is either way out of date, or you have gone to extremes to extrapolate conclusions. Game developers don't need you fighting for them. They are adults, they have options. If they don't like the work, then they can make the same, or sometimes more, than what they'd make in the game industry, and likely have better working conditions and benefits. But, that's all on the developer. There are abusive studios out there, but they generally will produce bad games, and eventually not be able to maintain a staff and will shut down. Word gets around fast as to which devs you shouldn't work for because the industry is very insular, and everyone knows someone who worked somewhere.
I would rather a delay than a sub par product
Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed and is releasing 8 months from now and the company has already implemented crunch time for the developers. THAT is what the problem is. It isn't crunch time if you need it for 8 months - it is an unhealthy, unrealistic, and unsustainable way of developing video games.
The question in the article headline implies devs crunch for our benefit. They don't. They do it because it fits their own needs. So asking, 'Do we want that?' is pointless. A more interesting and pertinent question is, 'Should crunch be illegal?', as in, should there be a limit to how many hours and/or for how long an employee can be asked/required to work overtime for? Because, if you're morally and ethically against crunch, that's the only way you'll get it changed. It's not gonna change because the gaming community says, 'Don't rush, by all means, please take your time'. Boycotting the product could work, but who the hell is gonna do that? I doubt people will abstain from buying Last of Us 2 or CP2077 due to wanting to take a moral stand.
Best comment I've seen on this subject. I work in the industry, and I'm tired of all the misinformation that persists on this subject while people try to appear like they care about the devs, only to support these devs they will go on at length about who have management that is abusive towards their staff. It's like the people who go on about Randy Pitchford, then go on to buy Borderlands in droves. These people care more about looking like they care, than they do about doing anything about it, or standing up for the devs in any meaningful way. What's more laughable is that they think they need to stand up for us devs, as if we aren't intelligent, functioning adults capable of making our own decision, or standing up for ourselves. As far as your question...should it be legal? Overtime itself shouldn't be illegal. Most municipalities worldwide do have limits on overtime, or what can and can't be considered for compensation. Every place has a hard limit on what is considered overtime, otherwise, it wouldn't be overtime, just more time. Funny thing. I know a couple people who wish they could work more than 40 hours without getting paid overtime, because they work 2 jobs because they can only get 40 hours at one because no one wants to pay overtime. Granted, they aren't professional jobs, but overtime being good or bad is a matter of perspective. My cousin right now, at least until he just had his new baby, was living for overtime. He's been getting 70-80 hours a week, and he's paying his bills and saving money. Within a couple years, he'll be pretty well set. Should people be fighting for him when he made the decision? Game development is really no different. Devs make their own choices, and a lot of the beliefs around what these devs have to go through is either outdated, or misinformed.
Thanks for the reply, particularly that last paragraph. Hadn't thought of people having to take two jobs, and you're right, many writers go on as if devs aren't free-thinking, free-willed individuals.
I just really hope they make the saves transferable between the PS4/Xbox versions to the inevitable PS5/Next Box definitive editions. That goes for all the big titles. Last of us 2, Ghost of Tsushima, all of it. Don’t make me start all over when I rebuy these games.
Getting sooner? It was already delayed 5 months, and was originally meant to come out in 2019. What's this "getting sooner" stuff? Yeah, they need to crunch at this point.
Stop protecting these developers! Soft generation... If you dont want to work 80 hour weeks then dont become a dev. If you're a dev you better do whatever it takes to get me the best game ASAP. I hate hearing about how these guys have families and health concerns and so on. Do you know any of them? Neither do I, so who cares? I DO care about playing great games and I'm not willing to sit through a delay so some nobody I dont even know can get a break.