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Cyberpunk Revelation Has The Internet Fuming

In a year defined by a drawn out pandemic and economic upheaval, "Cyberpunk 2077" was still somehow one of the slowest train wrecks of 2020. After being delayed multiple times, CD Projekt's "Cyberpunk 2077" released to expectant gamers, many of whom were disappointed to find the game was full of bugs. Now, "Cyberpunk 2077" is back in the news again, thanks to a recently discovered pay gap within the company that made it.

CD Projekt's recent financial statement revealed an alarming pay difference between board members and other team members. Jason Schreier reported on the discovery for Bloomberg, and explained that even though "Cyberpunk 2077" was by most standards a disaster, CD Projekt still somehow had its best year ever, and higher-ups at the company will still earn millions of dollars in bonuses. "[CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin] Iwiński and co-CEO Adam Kiciński are each slated to receive a bonus of 24 million zloty, or $6.3 million," Schreier detailed. Even as some CD Projekt members were set to receive millions in bonuses, many employees told Schreier that they would only get a few thousand dollars in comparison.

Needless to say, many gamers weren't pleased to discover the pay gap at CD Projekt. @FalseCynic tweeted, "It wasn't the devs who screwed it up, the game needed to be delayed for another year not a few months." Valve president Gabe Newell also defended CD Projekt's development team in the past, arguing that the game's designers weren't at fault for when "Cyberpunk 2077" released, and that the game ultimately shows developers' ambitions. Even so, the development team seems to be getting hit the hardest via CD Projekt's pay scale.

Many responses to Schreier's article took issue with calling "Cyberpunk 2077" a "flop," arguing that it sold millions of copies. Twitter user VR gaming producer Callum Hurley pointed out, "The fact that so many people's only response to this horrific story is 'but it's not a flop' is kinda sad. We should all be pretty mad about this." Hurley, along with a small group of like-minded fans, argued that CD Projekt should be held accountable for its egregious pay gap. Another gamer commented that the game was a "cultural flop," if not a sales flop.

According to Schreier's report, Adam Kiciński has acknowledged the pay difference, stating that board members' payment has always been tied to the company's profits, while other employees get paid a more stable salary. That being said, CD Projekt seems to be reexamining how it pays its employees. According to Schreier's sources, the company has already made some positive changes to how it compensates some lower-paying positions, increasing pay for departments like game testing.