Home Gaming Cyberpunk 2077 studio co-founder explains what went wrong with the game, what’s next

Cyberpunk 2077 studio co-founder explains what went wrong with the game, what’s next

7 min read

Cyberpunk 2077 didn’t exactly have a smooth console launch last year. PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game were an unplayable mess at best, riddled with bugs, and saddled with glitches that also infected the game on new-gen consoles. There’s a lot of work to be done at getting Cyberpunk 2077 up to snuff, that developer CD Projekt Red talked about last night.

“Despite good reviews on PC, the console version of Cyberpunk 2077 did not meet the quality standard we wanted it to meet. I and the entire leadership team are deeply sorry for this, and this video is me publicly owning up to that,” studio co-founder Marcin Iwinski said.

Please, don’t fault any of our teams for what happened. They are all incredibly talented and hard-working. Myself and the board are the final decision-makers, and it was our call to release the game. Although, believe me, we never ever intended for anything like this to happen. I assure you that we will do our best to regain your trust.

So what went wrong with the last-gen versions of Cyberpunk 2077? According to Iwinski, the increasingly complex game presented a series of challenges on PS4 and Xbox One and in-game streaming proved to be a hurdle that was particularly difficult to overcome due to the limited hard drive bandwidth on those systems. Progress was being made, but more time was needed to fine-tune the experience.

Along with work from home challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cyberpunk 2077 ran into more potholes on the development road. The current plan for Cyberpunk 2077 is to keep hotfixing and patching the game, with Iwinski promising a substantial update in the next couple of weeks. Free DLC is also on the way, but the next-gen upgrade on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S will only arrive in the second half of 2021.

On CDPR’s website, a new FAQ page also had a few more answers to burning questions. Here’s a few highlights from that copied and pasted below:

Cyberpunk 2077 FAQ

Q: Why is there such a gap between PC versions of Cyberpunk 2077 and old-gen consoles?

A: Cyberpunk 2077 is huge in scope, it features a multitude of custom objects, interacting systems and mechanics. In the game, everything is not stretched out over flat terrain where we can make things less taxing hardware-wise, but condensed in one big city and in a relatively loading-free environment. We made it even more difficult for ourselves by first wanting to make the game look epic on PCs and then adjusting it to consoles — especially old-gens. That was our core assumption. And things did not look super difficult at first, while we knew the hardware gap, ultimately, time has proven that we’ve underestimated the task.

Q: What was the main issue that made development for consoles that difficult?

A: The main culprit was having to constantly improve our in-game streaming system for old-gen consoles. Streaming is responsible for “feeding” the engine with what you see on screen, as well as the game mechanics. 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.

Q: Didn’t you test old-gen consoles to keep tabs on the experience?

A: We did. As it turned out, our testing did not show many of the issues you experienced while playing the game. As we got closer to launch, we saw significant improvements each and every day, and we really believed we’d deliver in the final day zero update.

Q: Why was there a gap between PC and console reviews?

A: We started sending out PC review keys to start the review process in the first week of December. Come December 10th, launch day, we had a really good start with PC reviews, and while it’s not perfect, this is a version of the game we were, and still are, very proud of. When it comes to the review process for consoles, at the same time PC codes were sent out we were still working hard to improve the quality of the game on old-gen consoles. Every extra day that we worked on the day zero update brought visible improvement — that’s why we started sending console codes for reviews on the 8th December, which was later than we had planned.

Q: What have you done since launch to make the game better?

A: Our top priority since launch has been to fix bugs in Cyberpunk 2077. We have already released three hotfixes which have improved the game, but these are just the beginning.

Q: What are you going to do going forward to fix Cyberpunk 2077?

A: We are focused on fixing the bugs and crashes players are experiencing across every platform. You can expect more in the way of patches — both small and large — to be released regularly. The first update will drop in the next 10 days, and it will be followed by a larger, more significant update, in the weeks after. Our plans for supporting Cyberpunk 2077 in the long-term are unchanged, and we will continue to introduce updates and patches to give all players across all consoles and PCs a better experience with the game.

Q: You have said there would be free DLC for the game in ‘early 2021’, will this be impacted by improvements?

A: We’re still planning on releasing free DLC for the game, just like with The Witcher 3. However, we have decided that our priority is working on the most important fixes and updates. We will be releasing free DLC afterwards — we’ll have more to say about that in the coming months.

Q: When can we expect the next-gen update for Cyberpunk 2077?

A: For those who are playing the game on next-gen consoles via backwards compatibility, we are planning the free, next-gen update for Cyberpunk 2077 on Xbox Series consoles, and PlayStation 5, this year. We’re aiming for the second half of the year and we’ll reveal more when we have more to share.

Q: Are you making the team crunch to work on the patches?

A: The team is working to bring relevant fixes to the game without any obligatory overtime. Avoiding crunch on all of our future projects is one of our top priorities.

Q: When is the game coming back to PlayStation Store?

A: We are working on fixes and updates, and are working with Sony to bring Cyberpunk 2077 back to PlayStation Store as soon as possible.

Q: What is the status of the Help Me Refund initiative?

A: The initiative is progressing according to plan and we just sent out the first wave of reimbursements.

Will Cyberpunk 2077 get better in the future? Absolutely, but it’s going to be a long and eternal grind for it to get to a point where it lives up to fan expectations. Despite all the drama, the game still sold like the hottest of cakes and with sales in the many of millions even after a number of refunds were granted, CDPR has a solid playerbase to woo with multiplayer add-ons once the core game has been fixed.

Last Updated: January 14, 2021

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