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Cyberpunk 2077 – Greed is not good

Eight years ago, darling developer CD Projekt RED announced to the world their next big project, Cyberpunk 2077, and it was a non-stop hype train from that point on. Little did we know that train was on a collision course of epic proportions. The hottest, most anticipated video game of the arguably most tumultuous years in history is finally out…and it’s a brilliant mess.

Plagued by bugs, glitches, and broken promises, especially on last-gen consoles, CDPR has 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 released on Playstation 4 and Xbox One with a litany of game-crashing bugs and glitches.

This is all after the game had been delayed multiple times, with one of the delays occurring as the game was considered as having gone gold. In fact, that same delay was 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 such as The Witcher 3, this felt like having a rug pulled from underneath them. Cyberpunk 2077 was 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 was 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 the 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 was 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 fulfill refunds in droves as both Sony and Microsoft have pulled the game from their digital storefronts and are going against their own policies to refund the game in full.

Cyberpunk 2077 is hopefully 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 that comes out of the coal that is Cyberpunk 2077’s rough state, it’s still going to be seen as a cautionary tale in misleading marketing and terrible expectations management.

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