The end of 2020 was pretty busy for the video game industry. After many years of waiting, CD Projekt Red finally released its CyberPunk 2077, which was announced in 2012, presented at E3 2018 and postponed several times in 2020. Unfortunately, the release of the long-awaited game was a real mess.
The censorship of the console versions of CD Projekt, the PC and console versions of the game rang completely impractical despite the numerous patches of several gigabytes, the PS4 and Xbox One versions. Numerous refund requests, CD project that accepts the players’ request and leaves the responsibility to Sony and Microsoft. PlayStation, which decides to withdraw the game from digital sales on the PlayStation Store until further notice. To tell you that the last twenty days of 2020 have been quite unlikely and eventful for the Polish studio.
For 2021, CD Projekt is trying to win back the hearts of gamers by announcing lots of free DLC and two major patches (scheduled for January and February) that are designed to fix most of the problems. Marcin Iwinski, co-founder of CD Projekt, just posted a video on Twitter to apologize for this fiasco and explain how it all happened.
A questionable decision by the management of CD Projekt Red
This choice? It is known that the console versions were not ready yet. But still make the decision to publish the game. A decision that will have serious consequences for the studio.
Despite good reviews on PC, the console version of Cyberpunk 2077 didn’t meet the quality standard we wanted. Myself and the entire management team deeply regret this, and this video in which I publicly admit it confirms it. Please do not blame any of our teams for what happened.
Marcin Iwinski also discusses the reasons why the game didn’t finish on consoles. Most studios start developing on consoles and then port and optimize the games shortly before they are released on the PC. In the case of CyberPunk 2077, CD Projekt did the opposite and started with a PC game that was adapted for consoles at the end of development. And obviously it wasn’t that easy.
The goal was to make the game look epic on PC and then adapt to consoles, especially older ones. While this strategy didn’t seem too difficult at first, in my opinion time has shown that we underestimated the task.
Obviously the PS4 and Xbox One versions were real trouble and had to be updated every day to fix the issues. Night City was so crowded and lively that the bandwidths of the old consoles couldn’t hold up. As the weeks went by, CD Projekt’s tests became increasingly satisfactory. Unfortunately, most of the tests didn’t reveal many issues that players might have encountered later.
As we neared the final version of the game, we saw significant improvements every day and we really thought we could deliver the update for day one to the last moment.
Finally, Marcin Iwinski points out that the Covid19 pandemic played a crucial role at the end of the development of CyberPunk 2077. The division of teams, remote work via video and intermediary emails made things difficult.
Much of the dynamic we usually take for granted has been lost in video calls or emails.
It’s a shame to see CD Projekt haven’t been honest with their community. Last April, at the time of the containment and the first restrictions on teleworking, the studio publicly stated that everything was fine and that remote working was not a problem for the teams and the development of the game. Comments that are repeated at the beginning of summer.
Below is CD PROJEKT’s co-founder personal explanation of what the days leading up to Cyberpunk 2077 was like, and the studio’s perspective on what happened to the game on old generation consoles. pic.twitter.com/XjdCKizewq
– Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) January 13, 2021
As for the console versions, the studio announced in November, a few weeks before the game was released, that CyberPunk 2077 was doing surprisingly well on the first PS4 and Xbox One. This was not the case either.
DISCOVER OUR PS4 TEST OF CYBERPUNK 2077
What are the 2021 plans for CyberPunk 2077?
During this video, Marcin revealed Iwinski CD Projekt’s plans for this year 2021 regarding CyberPunk 2077. In January (in the next ten days) a first major update should appear on PC and consoles to stabilize the game a little more.
A second, more extensive update should be released in February to fix the latest bugs and technical problems. Starting the same month (or a few weeks after), many DLC and free updates will be arriving to extend players’ journey to Night City.
Finally, CD Projekt will release the next generation PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of CyberPunk 2077 in late 2021 (likely in the fall). Versions that will be free for owners of the PS4 and Xbox One versions. While the game is already compatible with PS5 and Xbox Series X, it should be noted that these are the backward compatible PS4 and Xbox One versions that will benefit from the Boost mode of the next generation consoles.
Thanks to the next-gen versions, CyberPunk 2077 for PS5 and Xbox Series X should reach the ultimate version for PC with a much more convincing graphical and technical representation.
And for 2022?
For 2022, CD Projekt should still have a lot to offer. The arrival of the first major expansions (paid) to extend the enjoyment of the game. But also a multiplayer mode that should be independent of CyberPunk 2077 and should give you a whole new experience that you can share with your friends online.
But it was all the plans before the many problems. It will then be necessary to be patient before discovering all of this!