The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red has released an open letter on the state of its company and its on-going work on Cyberpunk 2077 in response to a number of negative workplace reviews on the site Glassdoor.
The past few months of anonymous reviews on Glassdoor fall on both ends of the website’s five-star review scale, with many criticisms bringing up the topics of low pay, poor management, or a rough work-life balance.
The letter, co-authored by Marcin Iwiński and Adam Badowski, doesn’t directly address these complaints, instead offering a response in the form of an explanation of the studio’s development philosophy and the assurance that recent staff departures haven’t harmed the development of Cyberpunk 2077.
The letter itself suggests that part of the blame for the bad reviews may fall on that development philosophy itself, which CD Projekt Red notes "is not for everyone." The studio says it has a way of developing games that, at the time, seem impossible but that, with the right amount of "faith, commitment, and spirit", those lofty development aspirations are achieved.
“We are continuously working on making Red a good workplace for everyone,” notes the letter. “But we also have a set of values that constitutes how we are and how we do things.”
CD Projekt Red notes that it has nearly doubled the size of its company since releasing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 2015 with roughly 200 employees. The letter explains that it’s natural for employees to depart a studio for one reason or another, and says that the company itself respects both their decision to do so and the feedback provided upon departure.
“When we start down the road to creating something, we know the destination and we’re sure of one thing: even if something feels impossible, it doesn’t mean it is. And, as it turns out, most often things are perfectly possible, they just require a lot of faith, commitment, and spirit,” reads the statement.
“This approach to making games is not for everyone. It often requires a conscious effort to ‘reinvent the wheel’ — even if you personally think it already works like a charm. But you know what? We believe reinventing that wheel every friggin’ time is what makes a better game. Its what creates innovation and makes it possible for us to say we’ve worked really hard on something, and we think it’s worth your hard-earned cash. If you make games with a “close enough is good enough” attitude, you end up in a comfort zone. And you know where the magic happens.”