That letter, down to the language, the letterhead…It reminds me of a conversation I had about CDPR.
Some people were like: “I love CDPR! They are indie! And nothing like EA or those big AAA outfits that oppress people and write flowery PR letters! I hope they gain more and more success!”
My insight: “Do you understand that EA and the others also started as small independent outfits? Do you realize that the destiny of every successful indie is that as time passes they will start to look, talk, and act like a big AAA outfit?”
The pigs evicted the human farmers, but eventually became humans themselves (“walking on two legs, and speaking in the same tongues”) - basically, the most powerful of the animals become the very things they rebelled against.
Of course, the most common interpretation of Animal Farm is political, but I thought it also had business/capitalism undertones as well.
Upstart companies and independents can rail against the established ones, but once they are the ones in power, it is very frequent that they become like the very large corporations they fought against.
It happened with Apple (when IBM was the world’s biggest technology company). It happened with Google (when Microsoft was the biggest company in networking and the internet).
Technically it also happened to Nintendo, who were the upstarts in console video gaming when Atari was the leader of a then shrinking industry. Atari’s move back then was to try and exclude Nintendo and their Family Computer from the US market. But once Nintendo “came to power” they enacted an SKU rule system to exclude the chances of 3rd party developers from exceeding sales of Nintendo-released games.
I’m not judging CDPR. I’m just saying they learned Corporate-speak very quickly for a group once lauded as a plucky group of upstarts from Poland, and that I found it a bit ironic that workers rail against them in a manner similar to “evil” corporations like EA.
My feeling (and to an extent my experience) tells me that it won’t be long before CDPR may very well employ the same battery of lawyers and closed door deals with other developers in order to “put a lid on worker-related problems”. This is especially possible because they may feel like workers fired the first shots over at Glassdoor.
I don’t want to say it that way… I’m corporate shill myself technically.
But I ponder that issue as well.
“selling out” is an oversimplification of what happens.
But for example in CDPR’s case… it’s like… when you were 20 people… some of you have problems with bills payments or feel the work is too stressful. Your leader can come to you… talk to you one on one. Heck! you can all gather together and solve the problem.
Maybe you can even shell out money or something and life goes on, the company is “great for young artists” and it’s like a family and all that.
But once you hit hundreds of people… It’s impossible to do such personal touches anymore. Worse, when you do it that way, 50 other people demand the same treatment. Meanwhile your projects get bigger and bigger and bigger…
You need… lawyers (just like the Pigs needed the Dogs)… and so on…
It’s romantic to imagine that success should make organizations wiser or that they shouldn’t become “bad” like the ones before. But… it is just very hard because intimate and personal touches do not scale.
Even EA’s original dream of being a haven for young dynamic artists just isn’t possible anymore when the games cost 100 million usd to make… you need “controls” and then it becomes meddling.
Then the masses call you a sell out…I’ve seen it happen. Success is its own prison sometimes.
That is incredibly well written and right. It just becomes hard to manage all the resources properly and then the staff changes,people leave and others take over and everything just changes as it is bound to,I don’t think that those peeps in that picture are the same guys that killed of Visceral(which,btw,PISSES ME OFF,wtf is so wrong with a singleplayer star wars game?).
I just hope that CD Projekt end up more on the…say,Rockstar side of things,fun quality games that are AAA(leaving GTA Onlines latest dlcs out of this of course).
To wit, there is one EA pioneer who isn’t on that photo. Larry Probst, the man responsible for successfully pushing the games direct to retailers - in effect making EA a publisher as well as a group of devs.
Today Probst is Chairman of EA Games and is still the single largest shareholder of EA. But he did lead EA alongside Trip Hawkins (who I believe is the guy seated center in the 1983 photo) up until 2000. Hawkins left EA to try his hand at launching a video game console called the 3DO - EA was 3DO’s biggest launch line up supporter. EA was built between those two guys. Trip was a genius in his own right. His most famous contribution to EA was the code for John Madden football as well as designing the game itself alongside John Madden.
Even after EA became this “evil giant video game company”, Larry and Trip are always remembered fondly
There is also a kind of “inner defiance”. If you go to EA’s Redwood headquarters there is a place where they keep parts of their history in a kind of exhibit. That 1983 photo of the first ‘Electronic Artists’, as well as the text that accompanied it, is right there in a glass box just to remind people of what EA stood for.
As for trying to maintain innocence, it’s not for lack of trying. I know of one successful studio that was coming off multiple hits and wanted to find a way to keep Creatives at the center of their universe.
Their solution was to make a Think Tank with the smartest people they had. The idea was that corporate guys could run the company but creative people ran the show. Cool right?
But later it was apparent that only like minded people were ever let into the Think Tank or got projects approved. If you were “too creative” your idea was derided as “trash”. Later some projects that did get approved saw directors usurped by Think Tank members who either didn’t agree with where it was going or…worse… they liked your concept enough to actually give your project to someone else (an anointed one) and redact your history with the project!
The Think Tank started being referred to as a Boy’s Club… an elitist clique. To be fair, they have yet to release a flop so everything still works.
Which is the reason nothing has changed there as far as I know.
I surely hope so. Cd projekt made a brilliant game with Witcher 3 and I’m not even in to fantasy that much. Cyberpunk how’re is right up my street. I love Blade Runner and I have purchased Observer (Rutger Hauer game in a Cyberpunk environment ) Nearest thing to a cyberpunk videogame I was think was the original Deus Ex.
It’s such a niche genre but my all time favourite. If I find any news before anyone here I’ll post it up
You know a company is awesome,makes great games and succeeds in hyping them up when a “beep” makes us all fans go crazy. I’m thinking announcement at E3. Or maybe at the end of the year. Full game release in 2019/2020. Perhaps even more as they are rising the stakes and details so high,but then again they do have a way bigger dev team with more and more skilled individuals.
I love Cyberpunk as a genre as well and quite frankly once this game releases I’ll go full on neckbeard. I’ve been waiting for a Cyberpunk game with this level of immersion for years AIN’T NOTHING STOPPING ME.
Cut the crap, ok? Anyone willing to do a 5 minute google search can realize CD Project Red is one of the worst companies to work for. They treat employees like tools with magic wands. Underpay them. Don’t retroactively prepare them. Exploit them. Unrealistic deadlines. They all end up quitting after stamping an “I helped made the witcher” on their resume.
Just because they’re not a monetization monster to us, does not mean they aren’t that for their people.
Already saw 2 of the videos suggested. Nothing I haven’t seen on other companies. You need to realize that when you make the kind of game they make it requires and takes a certain ammount of dedication and energy from a person. They obviously have faults. Their goals are all over the place and sometimes they set their bar even too high. They make ideas that conflict with previous ones. Blablabla. It’s CD Projekt,it was to be expected if not anticipated. Companies like EA have done worse. Just look at the Battlefield 4 scandal. Bethesda is even worst for what they did to other small companies,like the producers of Prey 2. And they also don’t treat their employees quite right,no one does.Ok,right now Bethesda is seen in a more “neutral” manner than before,but when the news broke out they were held very very high. And I still bought and buy their games if I find them good. Battlefield 1,Fallout 4…good games. I don’t care about management issues and about employees being disrespected by elders. As long as I,as a customer,enjoy myself,am respected and have fun enough to think a game as delivered it doesn’t really matter. Especially when it’s a company so customer friendly like CD Projekt Red,where you already know that by making such high quality games their standards are gonna be higher than usual.
Are their games good?Yes. Are they customer friendly?Yes. So are they a good company for me as a customer?Yes.
I think it’s bullshit,but you never know!
Also,the alleged employee said that the tech demo was impressive but still in an early stage,so if this is true we are still gonna be waiting a looong time. Or relatively long. This + The “beep” though? Really feels like they hit a development milestone. Or they are throwing us a bone.