The Witcher 3 is one of the best games of the current generation, but required a huge amount of work from the developers, especially during the final stages of production. Many employees complained about the crunch times they had to undergo to comply with the timetable and give the players a quality product.
At the time, co-founder Marcin Iwiński in a sense defended the practice, calling it necessary to “push innovation” and “to deserve the hard-earned money from players” . A few years later and with the development of Cyberpunk 2077 alive, the company management decided to change approach. In an interview granted to Kotaku, Iwiński explained that now the goal is to grant “more human” working hours during the final stages of processing. “We have been working on it for a while. We explained to the people that there will certainly be times when we will have to work hard – as happened, for example,– but we want to be more human and treat people with respect. If they need time to switch off, then they can do it. No one will oppose such a request”.
CD Projekt RED, therefore, does not seem to have the intention of eliminating crunch time altogether but aims to become more accommodating to the needs of its employees. Undoubtedly a step forward compared to the picture of The Witcher 3 painting by some employees. Recently MachineGames, company responsible for the Wolfenstein series, intervened on the subject: Swedish developers are aiming to eliminate crunch time altogether.
About Cyberpunk 2077: the game is being developed for the consoles of the current generation and is still without a release date, but will certainly be present at E3 2019.