Cyberpunk 2077 crew will reportedly get performance bonuses regardless of buggy release

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,119   +862
Staff member
TL;DR: The launch of CD Projekt Red's opus Cyberpunk 2077 did not go off without a hitch. The game is riddled with bugs and performance issues, especially on PS4 and XB1 base units. Despite these problems, CDPR management is reportedly promising to pay out bonuses regardless of how the game fairs with critics.

In an email addressed to staff and obtained by Bloomberg, CDPR studio head Adam Badowski took responsibility for Cyberpunk 2077's turbulent release. The email, which was sent out Friday, said that the employees would receive bonus checks regardless of the game's reception.

"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," Badowski wrote. "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."

It is probably in CDPR's best interest to pay out the bonuses in light of the criticism it has faced regarding crunch time. After delaying the game for the second time, management announced that all employees would be required to work overtime until the game was finished.

Crunch time is not unusual for game developers trying to make their scheduled release date. Still, it came after co-founder Marcin Iwiński promised that overtime would not be obligatory back in May of 2019. Not only was the crunch "forced" starting in September 2020, but the game also suffered another nearly month-long delay, extending the mandatory overtime even further.

Holding back performance bonuses when the crew was working hard and putting in extra effort for three months might have shed an unwelcome PR light on executives, especially considering the game moved more than 8 million units on day one. Additionally, Cyberpunk 2077 is not as bad as social media is making it out to be.

Most of the performance issues are related to running the game on the lower-powered PS4 and Xbox One standard units—devices the company made clear it would struggle running the game. The rest of the bugs are reasonably par-for-the-course as game development is concerned and will surely be ironed out in due course.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,214   +5,910
My bugs have been far and few between.

#1 My shotgun disappeared from my hand when I was chased by drones - but I was still able to shoot it.

#2 A man spawned in front of me in the cafe and "slid" out the door before walking away.

#3 Waitress trying to take an order from a guy eating a burger?

#4 Some over sensitive HDR.

#5 A weapon detail screen wouldn't go away after I exited.

I'm playing on a 3090 FTW3 in PSYCHO mode and otherwise, the experience is flawless.


That said: This game NEVER should have been made for PS4 and Xbox One until a PS5 version and Xbox Series X version was possible upon launch. Totally would have helped with launch titles. Those versions look like trash.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,219
Software is buggy. Does that mean one shouldn't get a bonus when working crazy hours over the past few months?
If your bonus structure was predicated on the release not being buggy-- yes, of course you shouldn't.

Or rather, you shouldn't unless management feels otherwise. Cal has perspicaciously identified that their motivation is likely PR-related, but if you didn't meet the stated metrics, it's still management's call.
 

Experimentongod

Posts: 337   +180
"Cyberpunk 2077 is not as bad as social media is making it out to be.

Most of the performance issues are related to running the game on the lower-powered PS4 and Xbox One standard units—devices the company made clear it would struggle running the game. The rest of the bugs are reasonably par-for-the-course as game development is concerned and will surely be ironed out in due course."

=> Borderline unprofessional statements in my opinion. Blaming bad performance on "outdated hardware" when the official Playstation Youtube channel posted an extremely deceptive "PS4 4K Gameplay video" of this game barely three weeks ago. And essentially defending a disastrous release.

CDPR apologists make me sick.
 

eforce

Posts: 380   +489
The game could have done with another 6-12 months of works before launch, not mainly for the bugs but overall content, missions aside the world is quite empty, not a lot to do.
 

OortCloud

Posts: 634   +505
They deserve it. Worked extremely hard and produced something pretty special.
Nice to see a PC title coming out that pushes the hardware for once. Used to be the norm, but nowadays most companies put out games that will run on five year old hardware. Can't imagine Ubisoft for instance ever creating something like this - too risky, best put another skin on the Anvil engine and churn out another mindless cookie cutter.
 

Jules Mark

Posts: 65   +31
Mirrors don't have reflections in them. It's it too hard to put water puddles on the wall and make them look like mirrors?

Or just mirrors are too hard to do?
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,080   +779
If your bonus structure was predicated on the release not being buggy-- yes, of course you shouldn't.

Or rather, you shouldn't unless management feels otherwise. Cal has perspicaciously identified that their motivation is likely PR-related, but if you didn't meet the stated metrics, it's still management's call.

If you have been asked to work overtime your company should give you bonuses for committing to these deadlines to keep the moral and good creative/dev teams from leaving.

Again bugs in software happen, enfact are a given, you are clearly not familiar with CD Project Red.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,219
If you have been asked to work overtime your company should give you bonuses
They were given overtime pay for working overtime. Don't conflate issues.

Again bugs in software happen, enfact are a given.
Yet some software is released very nearly bug-free, while other releases are so buggy as to be unusable. Developer performance does matter here.

But that's besides the point. These developers were told something to the effect that, "if upon release, the game receives an average review of 'xx' or better, you will receive a bonus ." The game didn't receive that rating.

Now, management decided that, because the game sold very well despite those ratings, the bonuses should be paid out anyway. That was likely a wise call, but it doesn't change the fact that it was their call to make, and in no way a legal or ethical imperative.
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,285   +3,358
Hats of to these developers, making a game like this under pressure from ***** fans must not be easy. There are tons of videos on YouTube about Cyberpunk and almost every one of them talks about how buggy the game is at some point. You don't have to search for bugs really, they're just common. Anyway, thanks to all the people who paid $60 to beta test this game for us.
 

candle_86

Posts: 729   +730
Hats of to these developers, making a game like this under pressure from ***** fans must not be easy. There are tons of videos on YouTube about Cyberpunk and almost every one of them talks about how buggy the game is at some point. You don't have to search for bugs really, they're just common. Anyway, thanks to all the people who paid $60 to beta test this game for us.

Yet these same.people give bethesda a pass, oh you got off your horse so it started spinning in circles and rose slowly in the air, that's bethesda.
 

alexnode

Posts: 67   +20
The game is super . Yes they shouldn't have bothered with xbox and ps4. That was a mistake. Cyberpunk is next gen, to port it to 10 year old machines was a mistake and probably needed a tremendous amount of work. But since they took the money they should fix it. They will. The timing between console releases is unfortunate. But the game rocks on a 2080 ... definitely buy and play the game. Little visual bugs and some loose physics with the car are the things you will see ... there is a tremendous amount of content in there ... stories being told by npcs in every corner of the map ... loads of side missions. The main story is amazing so far.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,827   +790
While many opinions abound and there's probably a good rationale for any one of them, but it's really no one's business except to those within the company. Having said that, it was purported to be one of the most ambitious projects to date and so there's bound to be errors with any applied time crunch. They can still to continue with improvements and bug fixes and most likely all will be forgiven.

One thing I do disagreed with is the release to current consoles. Sure a business decision was made, but in the end, the requirements for a positive user experience is what it is. Gamers know that and are likely already planning to upgrade. So there's no point for the company to be making promises to gamers that they can't keep. It was a bad PR move IMO.
 
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