The Witcher: Despite the studio’s history with mandatory overtime periods, such as with Cyberpunk 2077, Jason Slama vows not to fall for it. The Witcher’s next video game, currently in development at the CD Projekt RED offices, will combat crunch, director Jason Slama has promised. Even with the precedents that are part of the study’s history, with notable cases such as The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, Slama wants to show that the video game set in Night City has been a lesson learned and they will not incur practices of this nature again.
Slama previously worked as a user interface programmer on The Witcher 3 and later as a director on Gwent: The Witcher Card Game; he has a lot of experience in polish study. After making public that he is being the director of the new The Witche video game —currently unnamed; will start a new saga—, a user has asked him about the crunch. His answer, simple but direct: “Never under my direction.”
You forgot to mention the sign on bonus of horrible crunch and being treated like a dog https://t.co/iXVeQA01zI
— 🏳️🌈🐻ElonGAYted Muskrat 🐙 (@octolingtime) March 21, 2022
There may be reason to trust his word. In an interview with IGN about Gwent, Slama commented that they finished the development of the game without resorting to mandatory overtime, “with really impressive working conditions”, without having to be “with whips and chains”, especially “having taking into account all the controversies that happened with the crunch.
The problem of crunch in the world of work
The crunch is a euphemism to refer to the prolonged extension of the working hours of employees in a sustained and mandatory manner during specific periods of developments; generally in the final stretch, when the delivery dates are approaching. In many cases, the environment is intoxicated, mood drops and mental health is compromised; especially if many of those extra days are not paid. Although crunch is a term widely coined in video game circles, it is not exclusive to this sector and can be extrapolated to many other fields and industries.
The next The Witcher video game will use Epic Games’ graphics engine, Unreal Engine 5, after a multi-year agreement that will allow both companies to learn and benefit together. It still does not have a release date, platforms, protagonist or specific details about its time frame in the chronology of the saga.