We all know that CD Projekt Red’s launch of Cyberpunk 2077 was a disaster. The game was plagued with game-breaking glitches and issues during its release which turned off many fans who were excited about the game.
Fans blamed CDPR execs and the development team for releasing a title that was not even playable when it came out. The reviews for Cyberpunk 2077 tanked and CDPR suffered a lot as a result of the debacle.
New information has emerged that there were issues with one of the companies hired to do quality assurance testing for the game before it was released. The company allegedly had an oppressive quota for bug reporting and misrepresented the size and experience of the testing team.
In an interview with PC Gamer, two current and eight former employees of Quantic Lab are claiming that the company had a practice of misleading clients about the experience and the size of its QA team. The employees were also directed to go along with the charade.
Quantic Lab is a Romanian Quality Assurance company that caters to the gaming industry. The company has worked on notable titles such as The Witcher 3, Cities Skylines, Divinity: Original Sin 2, and Cyberpunk 2077.
The company is currently a subsidiary of the Embracer Group after its acquisition of THQ Nordic.
The allegations against Quantic Lab
According to the report, Quantic Lab was offering QA services that it was not equipped for. The company was accepting projects that were beyond its capacity and staff was spread too thinly across the projects resulting in poor working conditions.
The employees revealed that among the 30 team members assigned to Cyberpunk 2077, only ten had more than a year’s worth of experience in QA. Management hid this fact by forbidding employees from talking about their tenure in the industry when communicating with CDPR staff.
Quantic Lab management also implemented a daily quota for bug reporting which led to the testers only submitting low-impact bug reports to CDPR devs. Many of these low-impact bugs were graphical glitches that prevented the devs from focusing on fixing high-priority issues.
The daily quota system prevents testers from focusing on game-breaking glitches as these take time to replicate and verify. A tester may spend several hours on a main story quest to replicate only a single bug which would result in missing the daily quota. Low-priority issues are easier to replicate but do not have an overall impact on the gameplay.
According to the whistleblowers, smaller projects would be "lucky to have at least half the testers" that Quantic Lab promised its clients. "It was common to see entire projects handled by one person, which actually needed a team of one to three testers [in addition to the lead tester]."
The company also practiced using multiple accounts to report bugs to make it appear that more people were working on the project. There are also reports that the environment in Quantic Lab was toxic and the salary was often very low.
These poor management practices by Quantic Lab may have contributed to the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077. However, the whistleblowers believe that CDPR should also be blamed as they released a product that still had a lot of bugs.
CD Projekt Red did not renew its contract with Quantic Lab after the latter underperformed during testing for Cyberpunk 2077. CDPR also worked with QLOC S.A. as a third-party QA testing service provider. The company also maintains an in-house testing team for its games.
CDPR has turned things around for Cyberpunk 2077. The game is currently one of the most-played games on the Steam Charts and is preparing to launch a DLC. CDPR is also reportedly working on a sequel and several other projects related to Cyberpunk 2077.