Cyberpunk 2077 CEOs getting big bonuses despite the rough launch

Cyberpunk 2077 Keanu Reeves screenshot

That’s a pretty handsome pay-out for a bunch of people that pushed out an unfinished product (pic: CD Projekt)

Another report into CD Projekt and Cyberpunk 2077 reveals that the higher-ups will still be earning millions of dollars in bonuses.

In the wake of Cyberpunk 2077’s messy launch, CD Projekt told employees that they would receive full bonuses regardless of the game’s critical reception. Considering said bonuses were previously tied to its Metacritic score, and the game was critically panned at launch (especially on consoles), this only seemed like good news.

However, a new Bloomberg report states that not only are these bonuses lower than expected, but the bonuses for CD Projekt’s executives are in the millions. On top of that, the bonuses for staff could have actually been bigger had Cyberpunk 2077 been delayed past December, something upper management ultimately chose not to do.

Since a delay would have meant more time to iron out the infamous bugs and glitches, the game could have theoretically sold more copies, which would have meant a higher profit and, in turn, bigger bonuses for the staff.

20% of CD Projekt’s annual earnings goes towards bonuses, with 10% given to employees and the other 10% given to the board. Some employees who spoke to Bloomberg said that their bonuses ranged from about $5,000 to $9,000 (somewhere from £3,600 and £6,500). Senior employees’ bonuses ranged from somewhere around $15,000 to $20,000 (roughly £10,800 to £14,500).

CEOs Yet Iwiński and Adam Kiciński, meanwhile, are set to receive bonuses of $6.3 million (about £4.6 million). Director Adam Badowski, who is also on the board, will receive $4.2 million (just over £3 million).

Kiciński was asked during a recent investor call if it was appropriate for executives to receive such hefty bonuses, to which he replied, ‘It has always been like this’.

‘When there are results, we get bonuses – those are the contracts we have – and that’s all I can say at the moment.’

From a financial perspective, Cyberpunk 2077 is something of a contradiction. While it did still sell outstandingly well, smashing sales records and the company reporting an overall net profit for 2020, the 13 million copies sold within the first 10 days was apparently less than expected.

The disparity between wages for CEOs and their employees is nothing new, especially in the games industry. Activision’s investors have been complaining that its CEO, Bobby Kotick, has been earning too much money for a while, with him recently taking a substantial pay cut (not that it’s made much of a difference).

On the plus side, CD Projekt has been re-evaluating salaries and has even increased wages for previously lower-paid positions as part of a wider effort to keep staff from leaving.

Cyberpunk 2077 is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S versions are expected to launch by the end of the year.


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