Cora examines Cyberpunk 2077‘s disastrous, disappointing launch.
After almost a decade, the wait was finally over. The open-world, action-RPG meant to inherit the throne of CD Projekt Red’s own The Witcher franchise was on sale worldwide. After seven years of development, it was hoped to be the shining light at the end of 2020’s tunnel of disasters.
Oh, how we were wrong.
So very wrong.
Released on 10th December 2020, Cyberpunk 2077 was at first positively reviewed. The game depicted a dystopian future where technology and humans have melded together, and cities had turned into junkyards for advertising. Think Blade Runner but even more angsty, violent and criminal. Characters transform themselves into cyborgs upgrade by upgrade, and Keanu Reeves even stars. Surely the game must be fantastic if Keanu Reeves is involved?
Yet alas, the breath-taking graphics, fictional realism, and our beloved Keanu could not make up for Cyberpunk 2077’s shortcomings.
So, where did it all go wrong?
The hype was there. Gamers were watching CD Projekt Red’s every move, frothing at the mouth for peeks into this cybernetic city. The game even gained eight million pre-orders ahead of launch!
When the launch at last arrived, it took less than a day for complaints and refunds to roll out. Why? Even though had the biggest PC launch in history, Cyberpunk didn’t fare so well on old-gen consoles.
Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players’ experience was appalling. Gamers experienced low frame rates – many struggled to reach 30fps – and a lot of straining eyes to make out blurry textures. Glasses couldn’t fix this problem. Warnings were added after reviewers and charities reported experiencing epileptic seizures, something the developers are now investigating a solution for.
To add to this, there were many bugs appearing: Pop-in, textures struggling to load and NPCs failing to fulfil basic functions like shooting enemies – in other words, you. As great as having no enemies sounds, it doesn’t make for a very fun gameplay experience.
To say the game is a buggy disaster is a polite way to describe it.
In response, CD Projekt Red announced that multiple patches will release over the coming months. In their public apology on Twitter, they stated “The first round of updates has been released and the next one is coming within the next 7 days … After the holidays, we’ll continue working – we’ll release two big patches starting with Patch #1 in January. This will be followed by Patch #2 in February.” So, maybe there’s hope for a functioning Cyberpunk 2077 on old-gen consoles in the new year.
It seems Cyberpunk 2077 has been openly acknowledged as a mess.
Yet, for now, players are encouraged to seek refunds on the Sony and Xbox stores if they’re unsatisfied with the game.
Due to the chaos that has unfolded since launch, Sony and Microsoft are offering full refunds to disappointed players, with the former even removing the title from the PlayStation Store “until further notice.” However, many have been confused by both stores’ refund policies, with some even having their requests denied. Previously, Sony’s store had stated that refunds wouldn’t be issued unless the content was faulty, but considering the game cannot be purchased on the store now, it seems Cyberpunk 2077 has been openly acknowledged as a mess.
On the opposition’s side, the game can still be purchased on the Xbox Store, although, Microsoft has stated that they will be expanding their refund policy to cover Cyberpunk 2077 digital sales.
…clear signs that CDPR knew what a mess their game was.
CD Projekt Red has had to face the heat of their disastrous product and accept responsibility for their actions that caused this.
Adam Kici?skia (Joint-CEO of CDPR) acknowledged the Management Board’s failure in an investors’ call: Focusing too much on releasing the game, misjudging the complexity of issues, and refusing to accept it needed additional time for refinement. He also referred to the deception of Cyberpunk’s marketing campaign, which used mainly PC footage.
Tellingly, reviewers weren’t given the buggy console versions early. Nor were they allowed to use their own gameplay footage in PC reviews, as that version had its own issues. These are clear signs that CDPR knew what a mess their game was. Kici?skia admitted that these mistakes and lies “caused the loss of gamers’ trust and the reputation that we’ve been building through a big part of our lives.”
Hopefully, this acknowledgement – along with unhappy developers and investors looking to sue – will push CDPR’s management into rethinking their ways and supporting their developers in turning Cyberpunk into the phenomena that everyone expected.
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