After Cyberpunk 2077’s rocky launch in December, developer CD Projekt Red released a statement from studio co-founder Marcin Iwinski in which he offers a personal explanation of what happened in the days leading up to the release of the game. They shed light on how there could have been such a disparity between the PC and console versions. The team also hinted that full, next-gen versions will be ready.
“Despite good reviews on PC, the console version of Cyberpunk 2077 did not meet the standard of quality that we wanted it to meet. Me and the entire management team are deeply sorry, and this video is me making it. ‘confess publicly,’ Iwinski told me.
“Please don’t blame any of our teams for what happened. They are all incredibly talented and hard-working. The board and I are the last decision-makers, and that was our call to take the game out. Although, believe me, we never intended for anything like this to happen. I assure you that we will do our best to regain your trust. “
Iwinski continues to delve deep into the specific issues with the next-gen console versions of Cyberpunk 2077. He said the technically complex nature of the game has led to some issues. In particular, he said the “main culprit” of the issues was how the team constantly had to improve the in-game streaming system for older-generation consoles. The hard drive bandwidth of the latest generation consoles was a constant challenge for the developer.
The studio’s own testing of the streaming technology showed improvements, and the studio felt that the next-gen edition could be well placed with the Day Zero patch, Iwinski said.
The executive pointed out that COVID-19 and working from home issues lead to further complications and issues for Cyberpunk 2077.
CD Projekt Red has already released three fixes for Cyberpunk 2077, but the company isn’t stopping there. The goal is to fix more bugs and crashes, and the next update will arrive in the next 10 days, Iwinski said. Another larger update is expected in the coming weeks.
On top of that, CD Projekt Red still plans to release free DLC packs for Cyberpunk 2077 later this year, while the free next-gen update for PS5 and Xbox Series X is slated for the second half of 2021.
An FAQ page posted on CD Projekt Red’s website provides additional insight into what the studio is doing to get things right. In particular, the studio says it is trying to avoid crunch – the industry term for developers working long hours to complete a project – for fixes ahead. “The team is working to make relevant fixes to the game without any mandatory extensions. Avoiding the crunch on all of our future projects is one of our top priorities,” the studio said.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, several game developers believed 2022 to be a more realistic exit window. The problems arose from the fact that the game’s development engine was designed in tandem with the game itself.
Additionally, CD Projekt Red has stated that it hopes it can work with Sony to bring Cyberpunk 2077’s PS4 edition back to PlayStation Store soon.
“We are working on fixes and updates, and are working with Sony to bring Cyberpunk 2077 back to PlayStation Store as soon as possible,” the studio said.
Despite the issues, Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the biggest commercial games of 2020, selling 13 million copies – and that includes refunds.
Cyberpunk 2077 FAQ
Q: Why is there such a big gap between the PC versions of Cyberpunk 2077 and older-gen consoles?
A: Cyberpunk 2077 has huge reach, it features a multitude of custom items, systems, and interactive mechanics. In the game, not everything is laid out on flat ground where we can make things less painful in terms of hardware, but condensed in a big city and in a relatively load-free environment. We made it even harder for ourselves by wanting to make the game look epic on PCs first and then tweak it for consoles, especially older ones. This was our main assumption. And things didn’t seem very difficult at first, while we knew the material deficit, in the end time proved that we underestimated the task.
Q: What was the main issue that made console development so difficult?
A: The main culprit was constantly having to improve our in-game streaming system for older generation consoles. Streaming is responsible for “feeding” the engine with what you see onscreen, as well as the mechanics of the game. Since the city is so crowded and the disk bandwidth of older generation consoles is what it is. ‘she is, it’s something that has constantly challenged us.
Q: Haven’t you tested older generation consoles to keep tabs on the experience?
A: We did. As it turned out, our testing didn’t show most of the issues you encountered while playing the game. As we got closer to launch, we saw significant improvements every day, and we thought. really that we would be delivering the last day zero update.
Q: Why was there a gap between PC and console reviews?
A: We started sending out PC revision keys to start the revision process during the first week of December. On December 10, launch day, we got off to a great start with PC reviews, and while it’s not perfect, it’s a version of the game that we were and are still very proud of. As for the console review process, along with sending the PC codes, we were always working hard to improve the quality of the game on older generation consoles. Every additional day that we worked on Update Zero brought visible improvement – which is why we started sending out console codes for revisions on December 8, which was later than expected.
Q: What have you done since launch to improve the game?
A: Our top priority since launch has been fixing the bugs in Cyberpunk 2077. We have already released three fixes that have improved the game, but these are just the beginning.
Q: What are you going to do in the future to fix Cyberpunk 2077?
A: We are focused on fixing the bugs and crashes that players encounter on all platforms. You can expect more patches – big and small – to be released on a regular basis. The first update will drop in the next 10 days, followed by a bigger and more meaningful update in the following weeks. Our long-term Cyberpunk 2077 support plans remain unchanged, and we will continue to introduce updates and fixes to give all players on all consoles and PC a better gaming experience.
Q: You said there will be free DLC for the game in early 2021, will that be affected by any improvements?
A: We still have plans to release free DLC for the game, just like with The Witcher 3. However, we have decided that our priority is to work on the most important fixes and updates. Next, we’ll be releasing free DLC – we’ll have more to say about it in the coming months.
Q: When can we expect the next gen update for Cyberpunk 2077?
A: For those who play the game on next-gen consoles via backward compatibility, we are planning the free next-gen update for Cyberpunk 2077 on Xbox Series and PlayStation 5 consoles this year. We are aiming for the second half of the year and will reveal more when we have more to share.
Q: Are you getting the team to work on the fixes?
A: The team strives to make relevant fixes to the game without any mandatory overtime. Avoiding the crisis on all our future projects is one of our main 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 as planned and we just sent out the first wave of refunds.
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