The wildest thing about Cyberpunk 2077 is that despite all the criticism, the crunch controversy, the being removed from the PlayStation Store, the refunds, and everything else that encapsulates that game’s narrative, the thing is still considered a ludicrously successful entertainment product. It’s sold over 13 million copies across three platforms (with an Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 version still set to come out at some point) and developer CD Projekt Red has only issued roughly 30,000 refunds. While earnest attempts are being made to make the game playable on old consoles, the whole thing barely made a dent in the game’s profit margins and the numbers went way up.
As such, CD Projekt’s executive board is reaping the benefits of having a wildly popular game. A new report from Bloomberg lays out the numbers, as 20 percent of the company’s annual earnings for 2020 were allocated for bonuses, half of which is for the employees, the other half is for executive board. This roughly equates to $29.8 million for 865 employees, and $28 million for five (5) board members.
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Bloomberg’s report says employee profit-sharing bonuses range from anywhere to $5000 to $9000 for non-management workers, while those in higher leadership roles received were closer to $15,000 or $20,000. All while the executive board raked in millions. Co-CEO Adam Kiciński was questioned during an earnings call about whether or not it was “appropriate” for the board’s bonuses to be this large and disparate compared to other employees, to which he essentially said this is how things have always been so this is how things are going to be.
“We earned this money and the company earned this money, of course, but more net profits, more bonuses,” Kiciński said. “So well, we have results, we get bonuses, and that’s the contract we have.”
CD Projekt Red has said it intends to sell Cyberpunk 2077 “for years to come,” after it’s been putting in work to make the game actually run on the consoles it was made for, and in the echo chamber of people who pay attention to the games industry, that might sound like a fantasy. But then you look at the numbers and you realize that there are a millions of people who have no idea any of this is even happening.
So what have we all learned? Nothing. The game will have this sullied reputation in industry circles and among the hardcore enthusiasts who pay attention to games. But the same higher-ups who nearly refused to delay Cyberpunk 2077 and enforce crunch on its employees and knowingly deceived the public so they’d buy the broken console version are gonna be just fine. They’re more than fine. Sounds like they’re doing great, actually.
What a shitshow.