CD Projekt Red Co-Founder Explains What Went Wrong With Cyberpunk 2077

The Cyberpunk 2077 launch was riddled with issues beyond simple glitches. From the intentional misleading nature of hiding console versions of the game from reviewers to downright game-breaking bugs and a whole slew of marketing issues, the once-sterling reputation of CD Projekt Red took a massive hit following release. Following the delisting of the game from the PlayStation Store and refunds galore, the co-founder of CDPR just shared a new video detailing what the road to launch looked like, what went wrong with last-gen console copies, and what the team is doing to make it right. 

In addition to the video below, a few key questions were answered alongside an infographic showing off the roadmap going forward. From the gap between PC and console versions of the game to what the studio is currently doing to be proactive about fixes, here is the latest update about the state of the game and where CD Projekt Red stands pending an investigation notice that went public earlier this month. 

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A big question following launch (and the reason behind the storefront delisting) is what happened to the last-gen console version of the game? While the company previously told investors that the last-gen versions were almost treated as an afterthought, the latest Q&A paints the picture that the studio thought it was in good shape. 

“Cyberpunk 2077 is huge in scope, it features a multitude of custom objects, interacting systems and mechanics,” explained CD Projekt Red in its latest post. “In the game, everything is not stretched out over flat terrain where we can make things less taxing hardware-wise, but condensed in one big city and in a relatively loading-free environment. We made it even more difficult for ourselves by first wanting to make the game look epic on PCs and then adjusting it to consoles — especially old-gens. That was our core assumption. And things did not look super difficult at first, while we knew the hardware gap, ultimately, time has proven that we’ve underestimated the task.”

When asked if the team tested older versions of the game to make sure it ran as promised, CDPR claimed that the internal testing done did not show most of the errors seen at launch, saying “As we got closer to launch, we saw significant improvements each and every day, and we really believed we’d deliver in the final day zero update.” 

CD Projekt RED
A roadmap for Cyberpunk 2077 updates

The day-zero update was no small patch, but it wasn’t enough to fix many of the issues reported with many citing PlayStation 4 versions specifically as almost unplayable at launch. 

But what about reviews? When review codes went out, the embargo restrictions were intense. Some of those restrictions, that have previously gone public, stated that no organic gameplay footage could be shared pre-launch and codes were restricted solely to the PC version. When asked why the review process was handled in such a controlling manner, the response claimed that readiness was behind the decision to keep it PC-only: 

We started sending out PC review keys to start the review process in the first week of December. Come December 10th, launch day, we had a really good start with PC reviews, and while it’s not perfect, this is a version of the game we were, and still are, very proud of. When it comes to the review process for consoles, at the same time PC codes were sent out we were still working hard to improve the quality of the game on old-gen consoles. Every extra day that we worked on the day zero update brought visible improvement — that’s why we started sending console codes for reviews on the 8th December, which was later than we had planned.

The game released December 10, with some being able to play it on December 9, but the console codes sent out were massively restricted. Game Informer did not receive a console code until post-launch, and many of the usual outlets that provide reviews were left waiting until post-launch. 

Regarding the future of the game, CD Projekt Red promises that fixes the bugs reported is its top priority with several major hot fixes having already been deployed. When I revisited the game following some of the improvements made to make it safer for those with epileptic tendencies, I saw a massive difference between that moment and when we first played for review purposes. Still, there is more work to be done, work that the company recognizes and is actively working on. 

The latest update also reaffirms that Cyberpunk 2077 free DLC plans are still intact. That being said, DLC has been bumped as a lower priority item on the task list while there are still issues needing to be addressed. 

While this is good news and great for those hopeful to play the Cyberpunk adventure when it is more polished, there is an obvious concern: What about the team? Many of the developers challenged investors openly, asking for accountability for poor communication with the community and the part their pressure played in the work culture surrounding this title. 

With numerous reports of grueling working conditions surrounding the culture of CD Projekt Red on the heels of a promise from leadership to not push its team to their limit as with the release of The Witcher, the amount of post-launch work has raised a concerns over what this means for the devs themselves. What actions are CDPR leadership taking to ensure the health and safety to those working to make these changes? How is the current leadership ensuring that quality changes are implemented and kept going into the future? These are important questions and questions that will hopefully be addressed so the developers that love what they do, that are proud of their work in Night City, can openly be exuberant in the latest game to come from the Polish studio. 

[Source: CD Projekt Red]

Source: Gameinformer