CD Projekt Red released a new statement, explaining what with wrong with Cyberpunk 2077’s development and promising to continue its improvements.
Cyberpunk 2077 is once more in the spotlight, this time due to CD Projekt Red offering an explanation as to why the title launched in such a poor state, particularly on last-gen consoles. While the RPG’s PC version predominantly received glowing reviews in the days ahead of release, the studio conspicuously held back console review codes. The reason became clear once launch day arrived; on PS4 and Xbox One, the title was little more than a broken mess, even with the day zero patch in tow.
CD Projekt Red and its latest product quickly became mired in controversy. A refund fiasco led to Sony delisting Cyberpunk 2077 on the PlayStation Store. Review aggregation site OpenCritic accused CDPR of purposefully lying about the state of the game. And the last few weeks have seen the company faced with class-action lawsuits filed by its own investors. All the while, one core question continued to linger in the air. Where exactly did things go wrong? According to one studio executive, the blame falls solely on management.
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Today, CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwiński explained what went wrong in a five-minute video, accompanied by an FAQ. Early in the video, Iwiński acknowledges that blame falls on the studio’s leadership, himself included. The scope of Cyberpunk 2077 is rather ambitious, he explained; myriad systems, custom objects, and mechanics must all work cohesively to ensure the game functions as intended. And it all must function in an expansive open-world. To achieve such a feat, CDPR first focused on making the title “look epic on PCs,” before adjusting to consoles. While the task initially seemed doable, the team severely underestimated the work required. Improving Cyberpunk 2077‘s “in-game streaming system” for older hardware proved especially taxing. The process essentially feeds the game world with what’s seen on-screen. “Since the city is so packed and the disk bandwidth of old-gen consoles is what it is, this is something that constantly challenged us,” the FAQ noted.
Additionally, the studio claims testing for the console versions didn’t yield the poor results that were on display at launch. In fact, the team saw “significant improvements” with PlayStation and Xbox SKUs every day in the lead up to launch. The day zero/day one update was designed to fix any lingering issues that hadn’t been resolved ahead of time. Interestingly, things get a little dodgy when CDPR’s statement begins explaining the PC and console review controversy. Iwiński and the FAQ correctly note that PC review builds were sent out in the week ahead of launch. However, according to IGN review editor Dan Stapleton, both incorrectly state that console review codes began making the rounds. Either way, the claim is that console reviews arrived late because “[developers] were still working hard to improve the quality of the game on old-gen consoles” when PC codes went out.
CD Projekt Red’s apology, explanation, and promise to be better is all well and good. Some might even call it an admirable step in the right direction, especially since Poland’s consumer protection agency is now keeping close watch on Cyberpunk 2077’s improvements. Yet, the seeming disingenuousness about the console review date, which could be an honest mistake, muddies the water a bit. And, truth be told, even without the date issue, the explanation isn’t as clean cut as it should be.
Here’s to hoping the studio does eventually earn its goodwill back. Such a feat will require transparency from here on out, though. As more updates and fixes go live for Cyberpunk 2077, in addition to free and paid DLC, all eyes will be on how well CD Projekt Red continues to handle this rather unusual situation.
Next: Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against CD Projekt Red After Messy Cyberpunk 2077 Release
Cyberpunk 2077 is available to play now Google Stadia, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
Source: CD Projekt Red
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