Some employees of developer CD Projekt RED have been negatively reviewing the studio online, raising discussion around working conditions and prompting a response from the company heads.
The battle of reviews has been happening over the past several weeks on career website Glass Door, with some employees writing scathing critiques of working conditions in the studio, while others are defending it. CD Projekt RED currently has an aggregate score of 3.1/5 on the site.
One review, titled “Chaos!” and posted on September 28, gives the company one star. In the review, the anonymous employee bullet points cons about the company, including “Managment [sic] is incompetent”, “Fake goals”, “Lies” and “Low salarys [sic]”.
However, a five-star review was posted on October 3 by an employee who has been with the company for five years, outlining pros such as “Best projects” and “Best people”. This review seems to be in retaliation to claims made in negative reviews, with comments such as “Crunch is paid – it is a lie that it’s not”. The writer goes on to outline some of the studios cons, but again uses it to highlight their perspective on comments made in negative reviews.
“Overtime –there is, that’s true, but not that much as some haters write here. Rather like a normal amount in gamedev or other businesses,” the reviewer wrote.
The employee summarises in the advice to management section, saying simply “keep doing what you're doing, hater's gonna hate anyway”.
The review battle has caught the attention of fans and press alike, prompting a response from CD Projekt RED co-founder Marcin Iwinski and studio head Adam Badowski.
The pair wrote in a statement, that they normally wouldn’t respond to incidents like this, but because of their silence around the production of Cyberpunk 2077, they thought it was necessary to elaborate on how these issues will affect the studios production schedule.
They said there had been discussion around departures from the company since releasing The Witcher 3 in 2015, but countered that the studio had almost doubled in size in the same period, and so people leaving was to be expected.
"So, does a departure, even a high profile one, mean that the project is in danger? One would need to be very courageous to base the future of an AAA role-playing game of such scope on one person (or a few people)," they wrote.
They said their projects have often seemed impossible to achieve by some people, but they have always succeeded through “a lot of faith, commitment and spirit”.
“This approach to making games is not for everyone,” they said.
They concluded by reassuring readers that Cyberpunk 2077 is progressing as planned, “but we are taking our time – in this case, silence is the cost of making a great game”.