CD Projekt Red Developers Unionise Because of Layoffs and the Stress

Cyberpunk 2077 developers unionize over lack of job security and the impact of recent layoffs on their mental health.


Developers at CD Projekt Red are joining other workers in the Polish games industry to form a union following layoffs at the company earlier this year. In their mission statement, workers cite the lack of job security and resulting stress as the driving force behind the formation of the union, and developers are fighting for a place in corporate decision-making.

This all comes as ongoing development on Cyberpunk 2077 finally begins to slow down and developers move on to one of the company’s many other projects. At the same time, it also happens that 100 workers were laid off earlier this year, rather than transferred to other games. This included the entire Gwent team as the studio pulled its support from the game.

“We started talking about unionization after the wave of layoffs in 2023, when 9 percent [of workers] were laid off,” the union says, pointing out that roughly 100 developers lost their jobs at that time. In response, they formed the Polish Gamedev Workers Union (PGWU), a group within the larger, pre-existing Polish union, The Workers’ Initiative.

“[The layoffs] caused enormous stress and uncertainty, which affected our mental health and led to the creation of this union in response,” the PGWU says. “A union means more security, transparency, better protection and a stronger voice in times of crisis […] Our goal is not to start a fight, but to have a dialogue.”

The union is open to anyone who is active in the gambling industry in Poland. He says he’s also hiring members who work in any profession within the industry, so not just game developers.

CD Projekt Red has yet to respond to the move. In the interview given to CD Action about the formation of the union (translated from Polish), the founders say that they have not yet received a private answer either. However, they add that they did not experience any anti-union behavior when HR learned they were unionizing. They also say that working conditions at CDPR are “very good”, so the recent layoffs certainly seem to be behind the union organizing.

Hopefully this means the studio hasn’t gone back to using the crunch seen in the pre-Cyberpunk 2077 era. The company vowed again earlier this year not to overwork its employees, but with so many Witcher projects in the works and a full Cyberpunk sequel in the works, we’ll see if they can keep that promise.

Source: TheGamer

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines - including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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