CD Projekt execs to no longer tie Cyberpunk 2077 dev bonuses to Metacritic following buggy launch

The executive team at CD Projekt Red is taking responsibility for the buggy launch of Cyberpunk 2077, and developers are benefiting for once.

Cyberpunk 2077 has been out in the world for a few days now, and studio CD Projekt Red has walked back a policy that was set to hurt developers right in the wallet. Many video game devs have bonuses tied to Metacritic average review scores, and that was the case with Cyberpunk 2077. The line in the sand for the devs is a Metacritic score of 90 out of 100, which is actually where the score sits at the time of this article. The game has launched to a vast array of bugs, glitches, and other issues, leading share of CD Projekt SA to drop earlier this week. Instead of blaming their developers who have basically been crunching for the better part of 2020, the company told employees today that they will receive their full bonuses even if the Metacritic score drops below 90.

Bloomberg is reporting that CD Projekt Studio Head and Creative Director for Cyberpunk 2077 Adam Badowski wrote the following email to employees earlier today:

“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. 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.”

The bonus system at CD Projekt sounds like an episode of The Office where team leaders would hand out red bird tokens (similar to Schrute Bucks) to employees who they felt were deserving of praise and honors. These tokens would be redeemable in the form of actual pay bonuses if the game met the previously set Metacritic score goal. We are not sure what the conversion rate is of red bird tokens to Stanley nickels. These performance bonuses are set to occur on top of existing contractual profit-sharing payouts.

Today’s bonus policy change at CD Projekt is a great first step, but it comes against the backdrop of a studio full of developers who have been grinding away for years on this game. Reports of crunch have run rampant following Cyberpunk 2077‘s multiple delays, and the game is still in a pretty buggy state at the time of this article. It was probably a good idea for the executives to change this policy before the Shacknews review dropped.