The hotly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed by 21 days to December 10th. This comes per a post by the game’s official Twitter in which it cites struggles in testing quality across nine different devices during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The biggest challenge for us right now is shipping the game on current-gen, next-gen, and PC at the same time, which requires us to prepare and test nine versions of it (Xbox One/X, compatibility on Xbox Series S/X, PS4/Pro, compatibility on PS5, PC, Stadia).”
We have important news to share with you pic.twitter.com/qZUaD6IwmMOctober 27, 2020
Because this generation of consoles has been met with mid-cycle refreshes, like the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro, that requires additional resources from developers to ensure that games can run on more devices.
The biggest hurdle is making the game perform smoothly on original Xbox One’s and PS4’s from 2013. There’s simply less horsepower to make games run efficiently when compared to the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. With the Xbox Series X and PS5 around the corner, it further complicates things.
The post goes on to state that even the 21 day delay will make a massive difference in final quality.
The team at CD Projekt Red has also been met with criticism for putting its employees in a difficult crunch to get the game out on time. Crunch is when workers are asked to work extended overtime for weeks to finish a project. This comes after the studio touted that it would forego crunch with Cyberpunk 2077’s development.
While a six-day work week was mandatory for employees starting in late September, according to Bloomberg, “some staff had already been putting in nights and weekends for more than a year.”
The effects of long crunch goes beyond lack of sleep and increased fatigue. High stress has led developers to develop ulcers and cough up blood. It’s exacerbated by an industry that employs passionate artists and developers that tend to want to sacrifice to fulfill a final vision.
But unlike other studios, CD Projekt Red does have a profit sharing model with its staff. Given that 10% of profits will go back to developers, it can blunt the toll of crunch and help compensate employees for their extended work.