8 years ago, darling developer CD Projekt RED announced to the world their next big project, Cyberpunk 2077 and it’s been a non-stop hype train since then. Little did we know it was on a collision course of epic proportions. The hottest, most anticipated video game of the most tumultuous year is finally out and it’s a brilliant mess.
Plagued by bugs, glitches and broken promises, especially on last-gen consoles, CDPR have gloriously demolished what should have been their crowning achievement. All in the name of greed.
Cyberbug Ver. 0.2077
When Cyberpunk 2077 was first announced, next-gen consoles and RTX 30 series cards were not even remotely on anyone’s radar. CDPR had always sought to release the revered title on what is now considered last-gen hardware. It seems, however, that plans changed drastically as Cyberpunk 2077 has released on Playstation 4 and Xbox One with a litany of game-crashing bugs and glitches.
This all after the game had been delayed multiple times, one of which occurred as the game was considered as having gone gold. In fact, that same delay was made so that the dev team could spend more time on the last-gen versions. Still, PS4 and Xbox One owners, even those on Pro and X consoles, have had to deal with comically bad frame rates, a frustrating amount of crashes and immersion-breaking glitches.
Even trusted tech outlet Digital Foundry dubbed the console version of Cyberpunk 2077 as an “unacceptable release”.
Disappointment, Frustration and Loss of Trust
For a lot of CDPR fans who enjoyed their past releases, like The Witcher 3, this is feeling like a rug has been pulled from underneath them. Cyberpunk 2077 was being hyped by the Polish developer as being a true innovation for open-world games, that the game’s futuristic Night City would be filled with stories to experience, colorful characters to meet and tons of stuff to do. Instead, what they got was a game that clearly needed more time in the oven.
What is clearly on everyone’s mind is how CDPR suspiciously avoided showing off the game running on last-gen hardware. They also barred reviewers from sharing any pre-release footage, a blanket ban that also stopped anyone from sharing last-gen based recordings until the game released.
CD Projekt RED has taken to Twitter and other socials to voice their regrets for the state of the game. The message has been mixed but the fact that management of the Polish developer felt the need to send a company-wide email to assure their dev team that they will be receiving their bonuses regardless of the Metascore the game received is telling of one thing; releasing Cyberpunk 2077 in this state was a higher-up decision.
It’s never an easy decision to delay a project. It’s costly and can affect sales negatively if it’s not handled tactfully. But at the same time, there was nothing tactful about releasing such an ambitious project in the state Cyberpunk 2077 has on PS4 and Xbox One. The game had over 8 million pre-orders both physical and digital. That’s clearly not a number the brass at CDPR wanted to miss out on. Now, they’re faced with the reality of needing to fulfil refunds in droves as both Sony and Microsoft have pulled the game from their digital storefronts and going against their own policies to refund the game in full.
Cyberpunk 2077 is surely going to end up being great, especially on next-gen hardware when PS5 and Xbox Series X versions come out next year. The experience, though, has been soured for many last-gen gamers who were looking forward to the game for a long time. There’s little doubt that whatever diamond comes out of Cyberpunk 2077’s rough is going to be seen as a cautionary tale in misleading marketing and terrible expectations management.