|Bid||76.50 x 1000|
|Ask||0.00 x 800|
|Day's Range||76.28 - 77.44|
|52 Week Range||50.94 - 84.15|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.12|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||16.13|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.46 (0.59%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Mar 27, 2020|
|1y Target Est||100.55|
Equities across the Asia-Pacific region look poised to move higher due to well-defined risk/reward setups.
(Bloomberg) -- Polish video game developer CD Projekt Red told employees on Monday that six-day work weeks will be mandatory leading up to the November release of the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077, reneging on an earlier promise to not force overtime on the project.Red, a subsidiary of Poland’s biggest gaming company CD Projekt SA, has been criticized previously for engaging in “crunch,” an industry term for excessive overtime in game development. The practice often lasts for weeks and can stretch out for months or even years. CD Projekt Red co-chief executive officer Marcin Iwinski last year told gaming website Kotaku that the company would be avoiding mandatory crunch and was “committed” to allowing employees to work without overtime.But an account from a CD Projekt Red employee recently as well as an email to staff earlier this week indicate that the company hasn’t lived up to its word. The employee, who asked not to be named discussing private information, said some staff had already been putting in nights and weekends for more than a year.In the email, CD Projekt Red studio head Adam Badowski wrote that he was optimistic about the state of Cyberpunk 2077, which stars Keanu Reeves, and that they had just sent the game to be certified for release on Sony Corp.’s PlayStation and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox. Now, he wrote, it was time to fix the game’s many lingering bugs and glitches.“Starting today, the entire (development) studio is in overdrive,” Badowski wrote, elaborating that this meant “your typical amount of work and one day of the weekend.” The extra work would be paid, as required by Polish labor laws. Many other video game studios don’t pay for overtime.“I take it upon myself to receive the full backlash for the decision,” he wrote. “I know this is in direct opposition to what we’ve said about crunch. It’s also in direct opposition to what I personally grew to believe a while back -- that crunch should never be the answer. But we’ve extended all other possible means of navigating the situation.”In a post on Twitter Wednesday, Badowski said CD Projekt employees can continue to count on bonus payouts amounting to 10% of the company’s annual profit. This could prove to be a lucrative sum, as analysts estimate the Warsaw-based company’s net income will rise 11-fold to 2 billion zloty ($520 million) in 2020. CD Projekt had 1,079 employees at the end of June.“It seems that most investors take into account that in a highly competitive industry where programmers and graphic designers are the main asset, the company has to offer high bonuses in order not to lose its staff and compensate any crunch,” said Tomasz Rodak, an analyst at BOS Bank.CD Projekt’s Chief Financial Officier Piotr Nielubowicz responded to Bloomberg questions in an email saying that Cyberpunk’s Nov. 19 launch date won’t be changed, adding that the studio is working to eliminate most bugs at “the last straight,” -- the main reason it asked employees to work an extra day.Shares in CD Projekt fell 3% to close at 418.4 zloty in Warsaw. Trigon analyst Kacper Kopron said in a research note that the news about crunch may weaken sentiment to stock, even as the risk of further postponement of Cyberpunk release is minimal.Last year, Iwinski and Badowski told Kotaku that they were looking to make CD Projekt Red a more “humane” place to work.“We are known for treating gamers with respect,” Iwinski said. “I actually would [like] for us to also be known for treating developers with respect.”(Updated with bonus information in seventh paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Video game makers call it “crunch” -- the process of working nights and weekends to hit a tight deadline. But unlike other professions that might muster employees to work overtime in the final stretches of a project, in game development it can be a permanent, and debilitating, way of life.Polish game developer CD Projekt Red, a subsidiary of CD Projekt SA, this week asked all of its employees to work six-day weeks in the lead-up to the November release of Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most hotly anticipated games of the fall, Bloomberg reported. But the new policy was just the formalization of an informal code that has long existed at the studio. Various departments at CD Projekt Red have already been working nights and weekends for weeks or months straight in order to meet deadlines, according to people who have worked there.In early 2018, several CD Projekt Red developers had to crunch for months to finish the demo video they would present during the video game conference E3 in June, according to people who were involved. This year, in the midst of the global pandemic, many developers have been putting in lengthy hours to finish the game. Although the crunch wasn’t mandatory it was happening anyway. CD Projekt Red studio head Adam Badowski acknowledged as much in his email to staff this week announcing the overtime.“Much like everyone else at the studio, I, too, am overworked, mentally exhausted, and anxiously looking at the calendar,” Badowski wrote. He said he was aware that many employees had been testing their limits to bring the game to launch, efforts for which he was “immeasurably thankful!”CD Projekt Red said last year that it was going to try to curb the culture of crunch. But Badowski said he found that there was no way around it. He said in a Twitter post that it was “one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make.”It’s a situation that has existed in the gaming industry for decades. Many other game developers have also cultivated reputations for running flat out. The list includes Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.’s Rockstar Games, the maker of Grand Theft Auto; Sony Corp.’s Naughty Dog, developer of The Last of Us; and Square Enix Holdings Co.’s Crystal Dynamics, the company behind the recent Marvel’s Avengers video game. As the industry prepares for another big holiday season, workers are putting in long hours to finish their games in time.Few employees would object to putting in the occasional night or weekend, but crunch is a culture, an atmosphere, a state of mind. The video game writer Walt Williams described it as “a demon lord, hiding behind the no-charge Coke machine, laughing as you guzzle down those free sodas, knowing that each delicious slurp sells off tiny pieces of your soul.” During non-pandemic times, game companies provide free dinners and ample snacks in order to help keep people at their desks.Often, bosses don’t even need to ask people to stay late. An artist may work well past 7 p.m. because all of their co-workers are still there and they don’t want to be the first to leave. A designer might feel compelled to come into the office on weekends to ensure that their favorite feature doesn’t get cut. The audio team might have to stay until 10 p.m. because they’re waiting on some other work that wasn’t ready until 5. Even when a game company isn’t officially in crunch mode, its workers might still be crunching. The social pressures can be insurmountable.Of course the worlds of finance, law and medicine are also notorious for keeping grueling hours that test the commitment of new recruits and can become a way of life. But those fields are also generally more lucrative than game development, in which some workers, particularly contractors, might make just $20 an hour or less in big cities like Los Angeles. Badowski did reiterate CD Projekt Red’s policy of paying for extra hours and sharing 10% of the company’s annual profit among the studio’s employees. Many other studios don’t pay for overtime.Crunch can be exhilarating for some workers, particularly those involved in games that millions of people will play, who may believe that sacrifice leads to great art. But it can also be oppressive and devastating. Workers in the gaming industry have recounted stories of destroyed marriages, hospitalizations, and burnout as a result of crunch. There aren’t statistics for the number of veteran game developers who have fled the industry due to such pressure. But the consequences are clear.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.