New Witcher game's director addresses crunch: 'Never on my watch!'

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(Image credit: CD Projekt)

The director of the upcoming Witcher game has tried to quell concerns of crunch culture at CD Projekt Red.

Jason Slama—who's been serving as the director on standalone card game Gwent for the last few years—announced in a tweet that he would be taking up the helm as director for the newest game in the Witcher saga (thanks, Gamespot). Along with announcing his new role, Slama was encouraging people to apply for an array of roles that are currently going at the studio.

Understandably, some replies weren't particularly thrilled at the idea of working for a company that was notorious for its crunch conditions during the development of Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3. After all, despite promising "more humane" working conditions for staff during the development of Cyberpunk 2077, the team was then pushed into an obligatory crunch period in early 2020. Following the game's final delay in September 2020, co-CEO Marcin Iwiński told investors regarding crunch at the studio: "actually, it's not that bad—and never was." Iwiński later apologised to CDPR staff for his comments, saying "I had not wanted to comment on crunch, yet I still did, and I did it in a demeaning and harmful way."

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All of this led to some healthy scepticism in the replies, with one person quote-retweeting to say "you forgot to mention the sign-on bonus of horrible crunch and being treated like a dog." Slama responded to the tweet, simply saying "never on my watch!"

His reply didn't seem to have people completely convinced, but it seems as though CDPR is attempting to distance itself from the negative crunch culture that has surrounded its previous two games. Who knows if that mantra will continue as development plods along, but a commitment to minimising it is a start.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.