Over the last few years, the gaming industry has been rocked by reports of the brutal crunch culture around programming. Thankfully, CD Projekt Red, creators of the Witcher series, stepped up to the plate today to make things right by announcing that all the coders who died in the making of Cyberpunk 2077 will be immortalized as in-game NPCs, where they will be able to continue serving the company forever as faithful employees.
Finally, a gaming company that cares.
“We know the toll working on a title as massive as Cyberpunk can take, which is why we wanted to make sure we included a deserving reward for any of our employees who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said director Adam Badowski in a statement to OGN, describing the dozens of NPCs throughout the game world modeled on the likenesses, personalities, and desk decorations of deceased employees who worked 100-hour weeks to ensure the game shipped on time. “It’s a really touching tribute to see the faces of those who lost their lives making Cyberpunk 2077 and know that they’ll be strapped to their virtual desk forever, making new open-world titles for their favorite developer.”
“Wherever you go in the game, you’ll see these programmers, buying Syncomp off a dealer to help them stay up late to iron out some choppy framerate issues or even just muttering to themselves about stabilizing the play experience as they succumb to a panic attack in one of our immaculately rendered neon alleys,” he added.
It’s genuinely touching to navigate through the immersive world of Night City and see these lost souls represented in the gorgeous REDengine, forever chipping away at their unfinished modeling, coding, and debugging. What’s even better is that each and every one of them has a faithfully recreated cubicle filled with gag calendars and discarded cans of Monster energy drink where they can make anxiety-ridden calls home to tell their spouses that they need to stay late to power through their 19th straight hour of playtesting.
Let’s all hope more developers follow in the footsteps of CD Projekt’s heartfelt monument to their workers. Whether it’s having a fake business named for them in the next Grand Theft Auto, or becoming the basis for a level boss in the next title by FromSoftware, those that give their lives for our beloved pastime deserve to be honored for their service.