There’s not much more to be said about Cyberpunk 2077’s launch than what has already been mentioned. As we all know it wasn’t exactly the smoothest launch ever and came with a lot of issues regarding bugs and especially performance on last-gen consoles. A new report has been released however and sheds some light on the situation leading up to the game’s release.
Recently, CD Projekt Red openly apologized for Cyberpunk 2077’s launch on last-gen consoles, and outlined specific plans to release new updates and bug fixes soon. In that apology, it was revealed that the various issues to do with Cyberpunk 2077’s launch was not entirely known beforehand. However, this new insider report suggests otherwise.
“As the launch date drew closer, everyone at the studio knew the game was in rough shape and needed more time,” said Jason Schreier from Bloomberg’s report. “Chunks of dialogue were missing. Some actions didn’t work properly. When management announced in October that the game had “gone gold” — that it was ready to be pressed to discs — there were still major bugs being discovered.”
According to him and “more than 20 current and former CD Projekt staff,” external tests done on CP2077 absolutely showed the issues before launch and were known around the company.
In fact, the problems were so widely known at that point, that after the third delay which pushed back the game by 3 weeks, “exhausted programmers scrambled to fix as much as they could” during that time. But having a bug-free and smooth launch was not going to happen.
Some other issues outlined indicate there were troubles with development from the start, particularly with building the game at the same time as developing the very engine it was being built on. Some backlash was also revealed among the company as game director Adam Badowski made major gameplay overhauls during development.
Some of that backlash even led to former developers on The Witcher 3 leaving the project, which included changing from a third to first person perspective. Additionally, it was reported that the management staff at CDPR struggled to manage a team that was twice as large as The Witcher 3’s - around 500 people.
Another detail mentioned that the entire 40 minute E3 2018 demo was completely fake, though fake is a pretty colourful term to mean something more like ‘entirely scripted’. Basically it says that the E3 2018 demo was still a work in development, and therefore none of the underlying game systems had been properly implemented at that point.
Though that is pretty much what a lot of games do already, this instance was a bit more malicious though in that it suggested the gameplay elements had been locked down at that point, which was far from the case apparently.
Since the report has circulated around online, CD Projekt Red’s Adam Badowski, the Studio Head, has responded with his own statement on Twitter:
Essentially, Badowski challenges the report by saying that a group of 20 employees is not enough to make such claims when the entire studio has 500+, especially when all but one of them remained completely anonymous. A valid statement, true, but just because the sources are anonymous in the article does not mean they are anonymous to the reporter.
The other main response that Badowski has regards the details about the ‘fake’ E3 demo: “it’s hard for a trade show game demo not to be a test of vision or vertical slice two years before the game ships, but that doesn’t mean it’s fake,” he said.
“Compare the demo with the game. Look at the Dumdum scene or the car chase, or the many other things. What the people reading your article may not know is that games are not made in a linear fashion and start looking like the final product only a few months before launch. If you look at that demo now, it’s different yes, but that’s what the “work in progress” watermark is for. Our final game looks and plays way better than that demo ever was.”
Badowski also reiterates here the topic of cut content, and how it’s just “part of the creation process. Features come and go as we see if they work or not.”
There’s a lot more to the report and Badowski’s response, but these were the major points of interest. No matter how bad the launch was and how buggy the game still is, CDPR is clearly committed to fixing them as quick as possible and getting the game up to the standard that was promised, even if that means the planned free DLC gets pushed back a little.
What do you think? Do you agree with the report? Or is everyone being too harsh on the game? Where do you stand with the state of Cyberpunk 2077 now and at launch? Let us know your thoughts!