By now, everyone’s familiar with Cyberpunk 2077’s less than ideal launch. Announced in 2012 and given the fancy cinematic trailer reveal a year later, Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t exactly look or feel like a game that spent eight years in development. According to a new report by Bloomberg, that’s because development didn’t kick off properly until 2016.
The end result was a game that managed to achieve the impossible: It forced Sony and Microsoft to offer refunds due to it being a bug-riddled mess that could barely function on last-gen consoles the Xbox One and PS4. So what went wrong? According to the Bloomberg investigation that spoke with multiple CD Projekt Red employees, mismanagement, not enough staff, and a rush to push the game during the middle of a pandemic all resulted in the hot mess that frustrated many gamers.
“At E3 in June 2019, CD Projekt announced that the game would come out on April 16, 2020,” Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier wrote.
Fans were elated, but internally, some members of the team could only scratch their heads, wondering how they could possibly finish the game by then. One person said they thought the date was a joke. Based on the team’s progress, they expected the game to be ready in 2022. Developers created memes about the game getting delayed, making bets on when it would happen.
While crunch wasn’t mandatory during the development of Cyberpunk 2077, developers still felt pressured to work long into the night on the game. After being delayed several times, CDPR’s leadership then walked back on its no-crunch policy and mandated that six-day work weeks would be the norm so that Cyberpunk 2077 could hit its December release date.
“There were times when I would crunch up to 13 hours a day—a little bit over that was my record probably—and I would do five days a week working like that,” Adrian Jakubiak, a former audio programmer at CD Projekt Red, told Bloomberg. “I have some friends who lost their families because of these sort of shenanigans.”
The end result set new benchmarks in gaming for all the wrong reasons. Cyberpunk 2077 was an absolute mess at launch, and is being constantly patched to remove many game-breaking features that spoil an otherwise average adventure in a city that overloads your brain with information. CD Projekt Red boss Marcin Iwiński issued a public apology last week and detailed the long road to recovery that Cyberpunk 2077 will be taking so that it can live up to its ambitious promises.
Cyberpunk Adam Badowski also took to Twitter over the weeked, and responded to a few of the points raised in the Bloomberg post, rejecting the game’s E3 2018 demo being classified as a ‘fake” experience while being dead quiet on reports of staff being pressured to work excessive amounts of overtime:
Last Updated: January 18, 2021